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:
Modi ji ne bhi chun chun ke chamchon ki fauj jama ki h- Gajendra Chauhan, chetan chauhan, pahlaj nihalani, arnab goswami, smriti irani
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) June 18, 2016
This is how Fashion shows will be done in future after Chetan Chauhan is appointed as chief of NIFT pic.twitter.com/EH6YhNE1a9
— Billoo (@MohitParmarr) June 18, 2016
— Devaiah Bopanna (@devaiahPB) June 18, 2016
So Chetan Chauhan has 23 years of experience in banking... Good...They did not make him RBI governor...Got him only to NIFT.
— Vivek (@kaul_vivek) June 18, 2016
Chetan Chauhan picks out his own shirts. What higher qualification do you need?
— Veena Venugopal (@veenavenugopal) June 18, 2016
Former cricketer Chetan Chauhan is now chairman, National Institute of Fashion Technology. Reports suggest Salman Khan will soon head ISRO.
— lindsay pereira (@lindsaypereira) June 18, 2016
— With GOP of India (@vi_vibhavjoshi) June 18, 2016
Chetan Chauhan appointed NIFT chief. Someone in BJP matching Pappu's logic
— GappuRaja (@GappuRaja1) June 18, 2016
Chetan Chauhan is the new NIFT chief... Now, what next? Shakti Kapoor as the new ISRO chief?#YogaWithNaMo
— Nimit (@nimitarora1991) June 18, 2016
Biodata of Chetan Chauhan pic.twitter.com/qWTydTBN0B
— Garvit Bhartiya (@MODIfyIndia) June 18, 2016
Appointment of Chetan Chauhan to NIFT has surged hopes for Swamy to be the next RBI Gov.
— Neeraj (@neerajn) June 18, 2016
Chetan Chauhan as NIFT chief? good enough ...how about Sunny Leone as our Cricket Coach??? she is an expert in playing games too!!!
— Lambodar Mishra (@lamboomishra) June 18, 2016
I do know in India we consider some of our Cricketers very stylish but that doesn't mean we appoint Chetan Chauhan chief of #NIFT! Bizzare.
— Rashi Kakkar (@rashi_kakkar) June 18, 2016
So Chetan Chauhan is the new Gajendra Chauhan and NIFT students might soon be the new anti nationals. Remember the joke is on us.
— Sanjukta Basu (@sanjukta) June 18, 2016
— Ajay Gahlaut (@meajay) June 18, 2016
Always was a hard-working guy, Chetan Chauhan. https://t.co/43ZZZ2EHJr
— Prem Panicker (@prempanicker) June 18, 2016
Ex-Cricketer Chetan Chauhan is Chief of NIFT.
Love his fashion.
Here he is in Shikari Shambhu's new Fall collection. pic.twitter.com/PLzBo0i9n2
— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) June 18, 2016
Chetan Chauhan to head National Institute of Fashion Technology. Now really! What next?
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) June 18, 2016
After Gajendra chauhan for FTII, Chetan Chauhan for NIFT, abt time we made Annu Kapoor the head of ISRO. #IssLaunchPeKuchNahiBolneKa
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) June 18, 2016
Who makes decisions like appointing Chetan Chauhan chief of NIFT? What's in their mind while taking such a decision? Unfair to Chetan too.
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) June 18, 2016
Why didn't govt just pick a smart BJP leaning fashion designer to head NIFT. What's the point of making Chetan Chauhan in-charge. Absurd.
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) June 18, 2016
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)
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Updated Date: Jun 18, 2016 14:53:35 IST