Several faculty members of KR Narayanan institute quit as students end strike

K R Narayanan Institute of Visual Science and Arts
K R Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts.

Kottayam: A group of faculty members of the K R Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts has resigned in a move seen as a fallout of the weeks-long students' agitation that was called off on Monday following a governmental intervention.

At least four officials, including three faculty members, have quit the institution, which has been at the centre of a controversy after students launched an indefinite strike seeking the resignation of its director Shankar Mohan, who is accused of caste discrimination.

Shankar Mohan quit on Sunday, citing the end of his tenure and reiterating that the charges against him were false. The protesters called off their agitation on Monday following a discussion with Higher Education Minister R Bindu who agreed to the demands of the film students.

News of the resignation by the teaching and non-teaching staff came soon after the students announced the withdrawal of the strike. Manorama News reported that those who have quit include Chandramohan Nair who was the dean of the institute.

A source confirmed to Onmanorama that at least three others who have tendered their resignations are Fowzia Fatima, head of the Department of Cinematography, Vinod P S, head of the department of Audiography and Anil Kumar, the administrative officer. They had sent their resignations to Mohan, before he stepped down, the source said. Onmanorama could not reach them to confirm the news.

TV reports suggested that those who resigned were close to Mohan and the institute's chairman Adoor Gopalakrishnan. The agitating students had heavily criticised Mohan and Adoor. The students accused Adoor of shielding Mohan. Speaking to reporters after the meeting with the minister, the students said they will not cooperate with Adoor.

It is not clear if the resignations were part of a planned move or not. Another source in the institute told Onmanorama that several faculty members were disappointed with the turnout of the events at the film school and had mulled quitting recently.

Chandramohanan Nair is a veteran film educator who graduated from the Film and Television Institute of Tamilnadu, Adyar, Chennai in 1978. Cinematographer-director Fowzia Fathima is a founder-member of the Indian Women Cinematographer’s Collective. She made her debut as an independent cameraperson with Mitr, My Friend, directed by Revathi. Vinod is a winner of the Kerala State Television award for audiography in 2001.

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