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Complaint filed against Leena Manimekalai over poster of her film Kaali

The depiction of the goddess has irked some religious groups in Canada.

Leena Manimekalai (File photo)

Our Correspondent

A controversy has erupted over a poster for filmmaker Leena Manimekalai’s upcoming documentary Kaali.

The poster shows the goddess smoking a cigarette and holding an LGBTQ+ pride flag as well as a trident.

The film is part of the ‘Rhythms of Canada’ segment at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada.

A case has been registered against the Toronto-based filmmaker by the Delhi police under sections 153-A (promoting enmity between groups) and 295-A (outraging religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The complaint was filed by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader called Shivam Chhabra. According to The Indian Express website, the complaint read, 'Movie director Leena Manimekalai posted a tweet on June 2 about her documentary film Kaali and shared its poster. In her tweet, she said the poster was released at Canada Film Festival and that she’s excited about the film. The poster shows Kaali Maa (goddess) smoking a cigarette. The goddess is holding a Trishul in one hand and an LGBTQ flag in the other hand.'

India's high commission in Ottawa, Canada, has also reacted to the poster after receiving complaints from some Hindu right-wing groups. In a letter, the high commission said, 'We have received complaints from leaders of the Hindu community in Canada about the disrespectful depiction of Hindu gods on the poster of a film showcased as a part of the ‘Under the Tent’ project at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto. Our consulate general in Toronto has conveyed these concerns to the organizers of the event. We are also informed that several Hindu groups have approached authorities in Canada to take action. We urge the Canadian authorities and the event organizers to withdraw all such provocative material.'

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