April 18, 2024
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Kaali poster row: Delhi, UP police file FIRs against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai

Leena Manimekalai, the director of the new documentary film Kaali, was charged with “hurting religious emotion” by the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday.

The contentious poster for the movie Kaali was the subject of a FIR under IPC sections 153A and 295A, according to the Delhi Police’s IFSO squad. In response to the filmmaker’s insulting portrayal of Hindu deities, the UP police filed a FIR against him on counts of criminal conspiracy, crime in a place of worship, intentionally injuring religious sensibilities, and purpose to instigate disruption of peace.

In a press release on Tuesday, the High Commission of India in Ottawa stated that it had received complaints about the disrespectful depiction of Hindu deities on the movie’s poster from leaders of the Hindu community in Canada. The poster was displayed as part of the “Under the Tent” project at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.

The High Commission has requested that any such offensive materials be removed by the Canadian government and the event organisers.

A few days after tweeting the cover art for her most recent documentary Kaali, independent filmmaker Leena Manimekalai received backlash online. The image from the poster that was shared on Twitter on last Saturday featured a woman costumed as the Hindu goddess Kali smoking a cigarette and waving an LGBT pride flag in her hand.Online backlash over the Kaali poster led to calls for her imprisonment and accusations that she had offended religious feelings. The hashtag #Arrestleenamanimekalai soon became popular on Twitter.

Following the reaction on social media, Canada-based Manimekalai urged users to use the hashtag “love you Leena manimekalai” instead of “#arrest Leena manimekalai”. “The film revolves around the events that take place one evening, when Kali appears and strolls the streets of Toronto. If you see the picture, don’t put the hashtag ‘arrest Leena manimekalai’ and put the hashtag ‘love you Leena manimekalai’” tweeted the filmmaker.

“I have nothing to lose. I want to be with a voice that speaks without fear of anything until it is. If the price is my life, I will give it,” she added in another tweet in Tamil. Manimekalai, a native of Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar and a resident of the Maharajapuram village, is known for the critically praised films Madathi and Sengadal the Dead Sea.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

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