The Indian High Commission in Canada on Monday issued a statement on ‘smoking Kaali’ poster by filmmaker Leena Manimekalai.
Poster of documentary film Kaali depicts the Hindu goddess smoking a cigarette (Image credits: Twitter)
The Indian High Commission in Canada on Monday issued a statement on ‘smoking Kaali’ poster by filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, and urged the Canadian authorities and the event organizers to withdraw “all such provocative material”.
In a statement, the High Commission said that they have received complaints from leaders of the Hindu community in Canada about “disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods on the poster of a film showcased as part of the ‘Under the Tent project at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto.”
Please see a Press Released issued by @HCI_Ottawa @MEAIndia @IndianDiplomacy @PIB_India @DDNewslive @IndiainToronto @cgivancouver pic.twitter.com/DGjQynxYJS
— India in Canada (@HCI_Ottawa) July 4, 2022
“Our Consulate General in Toronto has conveyed these concerns to the organizers of the event,” read the statement.
“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,” it added.
The controversy erupted after filmmaker Leena Manimekalai shared the poster of the film on social media. The poster depicts a woman dressed in the costume of Goddess Kaali. She is seen smoking a cigarette in the photo. Along with her usual accoutrements of trishul (trident), and sickle, the actor playing the goddess is shown wielding the LGBTQ+ community’s pride flag. Take a look here:
Super thrilled to share the launch of my recent film – today at @AgaKhanMuseum as part of its “Rhythms of Canada”
I made this performance doc as a cohort of https://t.co/D5ywx1Y7Wu@YorkuAMPD @TorontoMet @YorkUFGS
Feeling pumped with my CREW pic.twitter.com/L8LDDnctC9
— Leena Manimekalai (@LeenaManimekali) July 2, 2022
Soon after she shared the poster, Leena Manimekalai was at the receiving end of online brickbats. Social media users asked the Aga Khan Museum, where the film was launched, to take it down immediately.
Meanwhile, the maker of the film, Leena Manimekalai, has urged people to watch the movie first before vilifying it.