Kerala film institute ex-director alleges conspiracy behind students' agitation

NewsDrum Desk
24 Jan 2023

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 24 (PTI) Shankar Mohan, former director of the state-run K R Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts, on Tuesday alleged that students were used as tools to oust him from the post by a section of people with vested interest.

He also said the caste discrimination charges were raised against him as a "marketing tool".

His reaction came a day after the students of the Kottayam-based institute ended their week-long agitation following a conciliatory talk with the government.

Mohan alleged that a group of former staff including some security personnel of the institute, who were dismissed from service by him, had made the students a tool to protest against him.

"I clearly know that some people were behind the incidents. It was a controversy hatched by them. I don't blame the students. They were made a tool by these people," Mohan claimed.

When asked about the recent resignation of a group of faculty members extending him support, the former director said he did not expect that.

"I never expected that they would resign....They are the ones who stand by the truth," he told the media.

Mohan rejected media reports that he had resigned as a report by the two-member panel, entrusted by the government to probe the matter, had some adverse remarks against him.

Making it clear that he resigned as his three years' tenure had ended, the former director said adding that it was up to the government to release the report and he had nothing to say on the matter.

When asked whether he was a person, discriminating against people in the name of caste, Mohan said he never ever was such a person in life.

"I don't even keep a caste surname...I have never thought about caste or acted on its basis. In Kerala, caste is the best marketing tool. Students were misled (by the vested interest) using this caste card," he added.

The agitation at the government-run institute in Kottayam came to an end on Monday after the Kerala government held conciliatory talks with the protesting students here.

Earlier, a Higher Education Department committee had recommended changing the director and conducting an investigation into the allegations against him.

The issue came to the fore after some cleaning staff of the institute complained that Mohan's wife used to make them clean the toilets of her residence.

Institute chairman Adoor Gopalakrishnan had come under severe criticism from a section of former students after he allegedly backed Mohan and made a "slacker" comment against one of the teachers who supported the students' protest. PTI LGK KH KH

Read The Next Article