Do you know Chetan Chauhan? He is a former Indian cricketer, who played 40 Test matches for India. Chauhan was once a long-time opening partner of Sunil Gavaskar.
What is the perfect job for a former sportsperson with experience in cricket?
Well, according to the Union government, the answer to that question is chairman of the National Institute of Fashion Technology.
Chauhan, who thanked PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for his appointment, adds to the list of other BJP leaders who have been appointed as heads of various crucial institutional bodies, including Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). From the looks of it, the only credential Chauhan needed to head NIFT was to be a BJP MP.
In fact, even Chauhan acknowledged that he was appointed partly because he was a BJP leader. “This is a Government of India appointment. The names (for the post of chairman) are sent by the Ministry of Textiles…preference is given to people in the party (BJP),” The Indian Express quoted him as saying after his appointment.
He also said that he had been chosen as NIFT chairman because he was “an international sportsman” and has “experience in banking”. However, the NIFT Act 2006 clearly states that the chairperson of the Board of Governors (BoG) is expected to be “an eminent academician, scientist or technologist or professional, to be nominated by the Visitor” of the institute, which is the President.
According to reports, Chauhan is already the vice-president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) and is a senior BCCI official. In addition to this, Chauhan also runs a cricket academy and has a printing press. Already However, Chauhan said him juggling “all these profiles” is not a problem. “I will have time for all my roles.”
When asked how does he plan to balance the multiple roles, Chauhan said, “I will spend 60 percent of the time in DDCA, 30 percent at NIFT and 30 percent in my business,” he said.
Chauhan will be the head of the Board of Governors at NIFT, the supreme body which takes administrative and financial decisions of the institute. As if matters were not ridiculous enough, Chauhan also said that he will spend only “30 percent” of his time at NIFT and had this to say about his fashion sense:
“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.”
Appointing a former cricketer, whose view on fashion sense is something as vague as ‘dressing smartly’, the chairman of an institute devoted to fashion technology is something that confounds not just us but also a lot of people on Twitter.
Here is how many people reacted on Twitter:
Chetan Chauhan’s appointment comes after similar appointments have landed the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre in controversy. Starting from Gajendra Chauhan, who was appointed as the chairman for FTII which led to massive protests by students, to appointing actor Mukesh Khanna as the chairperson of CFSI. Critics believe that the BJP government is rewarding those who campaigned for the party prior to the elections. Khanna too had campaigned for the BJP, and was caught on camera calling Modi, “the Shaktimaan in Gujarat.”
Current CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani’s appointment was criticised heavily as well. During his appointment, Pahlaj Nihalani had said that he considers PM Modi an ‘action hero‘ and took some very controversial decisions as the censor board chief, Udta Punjab controversy being the latest one.
(With inputs from IANS)