Facing intense backlash over the poster of her movie Kaali, filmmaker Leena Manimekalai has hit out at her detractors and said, “Hindutva can never become India.”
A massive row has erupted over the poster of filmmaker Leena Manimekalai’s Kaali documentary film. (Image credits: Twitter)
Facing intense backlash over the poster of her movie Kaali, which depicts the goddess smoking a cigarette, filmmaker Leena Manimekalai has hit out at her detractors, saying “Hindutva can never become India”.
Earlier in the day, Manimekalai tweeted a photo of two people smoking while dressed in the costumes of Lord Shiva and a Hindu goddess. The photo bears striking similarities to the controversial image on the poster of Kaali.
As the post further fuelled the outrage against her, she took to Twitter again and clarified that the image was not a scene from her documentary film, but a snapshot of real life in rural India.
“BJP payrolled troll army have no idea about how folk theatre artists chill post their performances.This is not from my film. This is from everyday rural India that these sangh parivars want to destroy with their relentless hate & religious bigotry. Hindutva can never become India,” she tweeted.
Following the release of the poster for her documentary film Kaali, Leena Manimekalai has been caught in the eye of a storm. Outrage over the poster, which shows Goddess Kaali smoking and wielding an LGBTQ pride flag, soon spilled over, and political parties joined the fray.
Though Manimekalai said the documentary was about a woman strolling in the streets of Canada’s Toronto, several right-wing groups took offence and multiple complaints were lodged against her, which finally led to Canada’s Aga Khan Museum removing the presentation of the documentary.
The original tweet with the movie poster has been taken down by Twitter in response to “a legal demand, a move the filmmaker has termed hilarious. The Toronto-based director is facing separate FIRs in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra got embroiled in the row. Asked about the controversial movie poster during a one-on-one session at the India Today Conclave East, Moitra said she had every right as an individual to imagine Goddess Kaali as a “meat-eating and alcohol-accepting” deity.
Following her statement, an FIR was filed against the TMC MP in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh.
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