An Insight Into The ‘KAALI’ Movie Poster Controversy: Everything You Need To Know

6 July, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

leena manimekalai ians 1 1123715 1656922411 507490 Mq7OcseW National

The movie “Kaali” poster was published by Toronto-based director Leena Manimekalai, who was born in Madurai, prompting indignation throughout social media. The poster depicted the godde...

The movie “Kaali” poster was published by Toronto-based director Leena Manimekalai, who was born in Madurai, prompting indignation throughout social media. The poster depicted the goddess Kaali as a “smoking woman” and featured a woman smoking while wearing a goddess costume. Leena received negative feedback on social media shortly after sharing the poster. The goddess “Kaali” was also holding a flag for the LGBTQ community in the poster. The Aga Khan Museum has apologised amid the uproar. The Indian Embassy in Canada has also requested the makers to remove any offensive content. Leena Manimekalai has made a number of documentaries; among them are the well-known films Mathamma, Parai, Breaking The Shackles, Love Lost, A Hole in the Bucket, and many others. She has also received recognition from numerous national and international film festivals.

Leena tweeted and published the movie’s poster, noting that it was a part of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto’s “Rhythms of Canada” exhibit. Social media users urged the removal of the poster. Infamous posters and scenes for other movies and web series have also caused controversy. One of them is the Anurag Basu film “Ludo” and the web series “Tandav” starring Saif Ali Khan.

FIR filed against Leena Manimekalai

Leena Manimekalai, the director of the film “Kaali,” has been the target of FIRs because of her divisive movie poster. The FIRs were filed by the Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations (IFSO) division of the Delhi Police and the Uttar Pradesh Police.

A Delhi-based lawyer named Vineet Jindal filed a suit on July 2. The same was tweeted by the attorney. He claimed that Leena Manimekalai did this on purpose to damage people’s feelings. Earlier, BJP leader Shivam Chhabra filed a police complaint. The filmmaker was the subject of two complaints, according to the Delhi Police. Under sections 153A and 295A of the IPC, a FIR has been lodged. On the second complaint, however, the police stated that an investigation is ongoing and appropriate action will be taken.

Mahua Moitra’s comments on the movie poster

Mahua Moitra, a member of the Trinamool Congress, issued a statement on the “Kaali” scandal on Tuesday, which heightened the fury already present. She was there at the summit in Kolkata when the politician claimed that each person’s perspective of their gods is personal. Added she, “Deity Kali is a meat-eating, alcohol-accepting goddess in my opinion. Additionally, you’ll notice sadhus smoking if you visit Tarapith. That is the Kali that people revere. Being a follower of Kali in Hinduism, I have the freedom to think of Kali in that way “.

TMC denounced her statement after she said it and separated itself from the remarks. After this, Mahua even stopped following TMC on Twitter. She “never backed any film and poster or mentioned the term smoking,” the Krishnanagar MP clarified.

People’s review about the poster

Regarding the “Kaali” scandal and the Aga Khan Museum’s apologies, Canadian member of parliament Chandra Arya tweeted that both were welcome and appreciated.

Kathuri Shankar, an Indian actress, referred to it as a “publicity stunt” in a tweet.

The criticism over the “Kaali” poster is growing every day. On social media, hashtags calling for the filmmaker Leena Manimekalai’s imprisonment are trending. The recent Nupur Sharma controversy is being linked to this one as well. While some are in favour of Leena, others are accusing her of disrespecting the right to freedom of speech and expression.