After a poster for the documentary “KAALI” by filmmaker Leena Manimekalai has sparked a hate campaign against the filmmaker on social media by Hindutva handles over the way it shows Goddess Kali, the High Commission of India in Ottawa, Canada has asked the authorities there to immediately withdraw all “provocative material”.
Manimekalai had shared the poster of her film on Saturday. The poster shows a woman dressed like Goddess Kali and smoking. A flag of the LGBT community also is seen in the background. The film was part of the “Rhythms of Canada” segment at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. Manimekalai, who was born in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai is based in Toronto now. “Super thrilled to share the launch of my recent film – today at @AgaKhanMuseum as part of its ‘Rhythms of Canada’. Feeling pumped with my CREW,” Leena tweeted on Saturday.
The statement issued by the High Commission of India in Ottawa on July 4 noted that they received complaints from leaders of the Hindu community in Canada about the disrespectful depiction of Hindu deities on the poster of a film showcased as part of the ‘Under the Tent’ project at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto.
The statement read: “Our Consulate General in Toronto has conveyed these concerns to the organisers of the event. We are also informed that several Hindu groups have approached authorities in Canada to take action,” the statement read. “We urge the Canadian authorities and the event organisers to withdraw all such provocative material.”
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Police and Delhi Police on Tuesday registered FIRs against the filmmaker for “disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods” in her movie ‘Kaali’.
The FIRs include charges of criminal conspiracy, offence in place of worship, deliberately hurting religious sentiments, and intention to provoke breach of peace, reports Indiatoday. Reportedly, a case has been registered against Leena Manimekalai by the IFSO unit, wherein she is charged under IPC 153A and IPC 295A.
As several Twitter handles belonging to Hindu nationalist parties slammed the poster, the hashtag #ArrestLeenaManimekal trended on Twitter.
Some even issued death and rape threats to 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,” Leena Manimekalai tweeted in Hindi on Monday.
“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’ but put the hashtag ‘love you Leena Manimekalai’,” she further wrote.