Movie poster showing Goddess Kali smoking cigarette sparks outrage

The portrayal of Goddess Kali in the poster did not go down well with a section of social media users who have demanded the poster be withdrawn

New Delhi: A poster for a documentary directed by filmmaker Leena Manimekalai has drawn flak on social media for hurting religious sentiments with the depiction of Goddess Kali.

The Madurai-born, Toronto-based filmmaker had earlier taken to Twitter to share a poster of her film which depicted a woman dressed in a costume portraying the goddess and smoking. A flag of the LGBT community is seen in the background.

The film was part of the “Rhythms of Cananda” segment at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, according to a tweet by the filmmaker.

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“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.

The portrayal of Goddess Kali in the poster did not go down well with a section of social media users who have demanded the poster be withdrawn.

Some even demanded strict action against her and the hashtag ‘#ArrestLeenaManimekal’ is trending on Twitter.

“Leena Manimekalai a filmmaker portraying Hindu God as cigarettes smokers. She is Insulting Maa Kaali,” a Twitterati wrote.

“I demand the arrest of leena Manimekalai.We won’t tolerate the disrespect of our GODDESS KAALI MAA.We all the way of tamil government this time. @beingarun28@TheDeepak2022#ArrestLeenaManimekalai,” a Twitter user wrote.

“I’m raising voice for arrest of a anti-hindu filmmaker Leena Manimekalai for portraying Hindu God as cigarette smoker.Hurting Hindu sentiments is not a right given by SC. We are not tolerate any more..!#ArrestLeenaManimekalai,” another one tweeted.

After receiving flak on social media, Leena has restricted comments on her Instagram.

She took to Twitter to post in Tamil: “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”.”

Several films and shows have in the past got into trouble for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. Anurag Basu’s ‘Ludo’ faced Twitterati’s ire for purportedly promoting ‘Hinduphobic’ content in the movie.

In 2021, Saif Ali Khan-starrer web series ‘Taandav’ raked up a row for allegedly creating a possibility of religious tension by portraying Hindu Gods in a bad light.

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