A Delhi Court has issued summons and notice of injunction to filmmaker Leena Manimekalai on a suit seeking to restrain her from depicting Hindu goddess Kaali smoking a cigarette.
Judge Abhishek Kumar said that the defendants need to be heard before passing any orders against them, and therefore listed the matter for further hearing on August 6, according to Bar and Bench.
Summons and notice were also issued to Manimekalai’s company, Touring Talkies Media Private Limited.
The poster for the documentary “KAALI” by award winning filmmaker Leena Manimekalai has sparked a hate campaign against the filmmaker on social media by Hindutva handles over the way it shows Goddess Kali.
A case was filed by Advocate Raj Gaurav against Manimekalai, arguing that in her upcoming movie, she has depicted the Hindu goddess in a very ‘uncalled for manner.’
Manimekalai had shared the poster of her film last week. 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.
The Uttar Pradesh Police and Delhi Police last week registered FIRs against the filmmaker for “disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods” in her movie.
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.
“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.