Our government, it seems, has a sense of humour after all. With the recent spate of intolerance allegations which has been dogging the administration, a ray of hope of sorts comes in the form of the appointment of Mr. Chetan Chauhan as the Chairman of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, the premier body for fashion education in the country. While it is not the first, it has definitely been greeted by a storm of laughter on social media from across the spectrum.
Starting with the appointment of Smriti Irani to the post of Minister of HRD, Gajendra Chauhan as the head of FTII and Pahlaj Nihalani as the Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification, the Central government has managed to rake up controversy every time. Smirit Irani came under fire for many reasons, from allegations of misrepresentation of her educational qualifications to her speech in the Parliament with regards to the JNU Controversy and Rohith Vemula Suicide. She was contradicted on her points for the same by the doctor who checked on Rohith when he was found in his hostel room.
Gajendra Chauhan, famous for his role in the mythological series the Mahabharata, has been under fire for having been given the post due to politics rather than competence. He also starred in movies like “Khuli Khidki” which follows the anatomical changes in a man after his love relationship in his early years. Over time, less prominent roles came his way, like the car salesman in Amitabh Bachchan starrer Baghban.
Pahlaj Nihalani, film producer, came under fire for his guidelines on film certification being made stricter. Under him, curse words and violence against women in movies have not been allowed as it is not how civil people in society interact. His various videos on Mr. Narendra Modi have brought embarrassment to the government time and again, with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry asking for his resignation for the same.
What all of them do have in common is support for the BJP. The ruling party in the Centre, this has been seen as a common trend for appointments for supporters and has been cause of uproar and many jokes on social media.
Coming to Chetan Chauhan, his views of fashion have been reported to be limited to “My fashion sense is not being flamboyant but well dressed. I am not dashing fashion-oriented because I have to go with what suits my age. But I like to dress up smartly and well.” He has also been extremely clear on his priorities, saying he would devote at least 20% of his time to the Institute, while giving 60% to the DDCA (Delhi and District Cricket Association, recently under scrutiny for financial irregularities under Mr. Arun Jaitley) and 20% to his business.
We can only hope for a mature thought process to kick in in the near future for such appointments. With the question of future of students, and even the comments made by the above personality only raise grave concerns over them being given the responsibilities of premier institutions and bodies. While at present there seems no escaping them, let us see what more humour can we expect from the Central government.
Ranveer Raj Bhatnagar