Even as land retains its status as the biggest issue in Bengal, Subhash Ghai has asked for 20 acres from the state government for setting up a campus of the his Whistling Woods, a film acting production and management based training institute.
“I wrote to the Left front government about six months back asking for 20 acres on the outskirts of the city to set up the Kolkata chapter of Whistling Woods International,” Ghai told Business Standard.
And while the request for the land is yet to be met, Ghai is optimistic saying that the institute as and when they get land the institute would require about Rs 100 crore of investment, given that the institute requires world class facilities by way of technology and equipment.
The school, which offers seven courses including masters in business management (MBA), is headed by U K Chowdhury. He is former dean of the Symbiosis School of Media and Communication.
WWI is a joint venture between Mukta Arts and the Maharashtra government, with Mukta owning 85 per cent of the institute. At present of the 400 students 70 are Europeans and Americans.
“Mamataji is a progressive leader and I am hoping that she will be able to work constructively for Bengal. The idea behind coming to Bengal is part of an overall strategy to set up WWI in each of the four main zones in India,” Ghai explained.
Land, incidentally, is an issue which has plagued West Bengal politics for a while. According to many in fact, Mamata Banerjee has been able to ride the land wave to victory which has taken her to Writers’.
Incidentally, WWI as of now has one campus in Mumbai and is set to begin work on two others in Haryana and Hyderabad by the end of the year.
Besides the campus, Ghai’s Mukta Arts has also made a significant foray into West Bengal with its first Bengal production Nouka Dubi, which has been directed by Rituparno Ghosh.
“Nouka Dubi was an interesting project given that it was based on a tried and tested formula of success in terms of it being a Rabindranath Tagore classic. The casting has been just right as well,” Ghai said.