"I have nothing against Gajendra babu... I am not talking out of personal malice or anything. I don't think I have ever met the gentleman nor have anything against him. I am sure he must be a capable man," Rishi said at a press conference here.

"When people are openly opposing you, making fun of you, insulting you, then I think you should voluntarily resign. What sort of relationship do you think you will have with kids in FTII, what respect will you expect from the students," he asked.

"Its like me saying 'My movie has flopped' and then I go all around saying 'My movie has worked, I will make it work'... it doesn't work that way. Our profession is not based on theory. It is based on practical. You can't be bookish. So, you need a figurehead to actually look up to, who can advise you, discuss world cinema, say what is good and what is bad. I am not doubting Mr Chauhan's capabilities. Its just that if the students have some problems than I am sure there must be some justification with them also," he said.

The appointment of Chauhan, whose claim to fame is the role of eldest Pandava brother Yudhishthira on a long-running TV version of the epic 'Mahabharata' had led to massive outcry, followed by protests by the institute's students who alleged Chauhan has worked in "soft-porn" movies.

Rishi had tweeted: "Advice. After all the protests and controversy, Gajendra Chauhan, the FTII Chairman should voluntarily retire. Will do good to the students."

In another, he said: "If they don't want you, they don't want you. By pushing for the chairmanship is getting you no where. Let self pride play a role and retire."

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