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Films, shows courted controversies for hurting religious sentiments: Kaali, Tandav, Brahmastra & more

Kaali is not the first film to have landed in troubled waters for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. In the past, titles like Tandav, Padmavat, PK, Laxmmi and more have found themselves in similar spaces.

Vaishali Jain Written By: Vaishali Jain New Delhi Updated on: July 05, 2022 19:11 IST
Film posters
Image Source : INSTAGRAM

Film posters

Of late, the poster of film Kaali which shows the Hindu Goddess smoking a cigarette has received much flack on social media. It has escalated to an extent that complaints have been filed against director Leena Manimekalai and there has been a movement of sorts calling for her arrest. A lot is being said and written about the poster, the goddess and how it is allegedly hurting religious sentiments. However, this is not the first time that a film has landed in troubled waters after being accused of disrespecting gods. In the past, titles like Tandav, Padmavat, PK, Laxmmi and more have found themselves in similar spaces. Know more about such titles that courted controversy for allegedly hurting religious sentiments:


A police complaint against Director Leena Manimekalai over a controversial poster of her new documentary. The said controversial poster was shared by Manimekalai on social media on July 2. In the poster, Goddess Kaali has been shown smoking a cigarette. It has sparked off a massive uproar on social media with demands to arrest the director trending on Twitter. Manimekalai clarified saying that the documentary revolves around the events that take place one evening, when Goddess Kali appears and strolls on the streets of Toronto. However, she has been accused of "hurting religious sentiments by showing Goddess Kali smoking."

Khuda Haafiz 2

Members of the Shia community expressed concern that elements of the song 'Haq Hussain' from the film hurt their religious sentiments. Makers extended an apology saying, "Please know that no Shia community member has been captured in the wrong light in the film nor does the film show any person of the Shia community attacking anyone. The song was created with the most pious intent to celebrate the glory of Imam Hussain and the intention was never to hurt religious sentiments. Nonetheless, voluntarily, keeping the sentiments of the Shia sect in mind, we have made the aforementioned changes."

Read | Khuda Haafiz 2 controversy: Makers apologise for hurting religious sentiments with song Haq Hussain


The recent and more serious case was that of "Tandav", which released on Amazon Prime on January 15 this year. "Tandav" makers were accused of portraying Hindu gods as well as the Prime Minister of India in a bad light. Not only was a police FIR filed but the matter was also taken up at the ministerial level. The Amazon team was asked for an explanation by the I&B ministry. Apologies were sought and duly provided. The scenes hurting the sentiments of people were removed.

A Suitable Boy

The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) has sent a legal notice to Netflix and producers of web series 'A Suitable Boy' for intentionally hurting the religious sentiments of Shias by showing desecration of a 'tazia' (replica of Imam Husain's mausoleum) in one of the episodes. The web series has been directed by Mira Nair and distributed by BBC Studios. It is available on Netflix OTT platform. The Board, through its notice, has demanded that the producers should remove the scene from the web series and issue a public apology.


The Akshay Kumar-starrer Laxmmi Bomb was renamed Laxmii after the film received flack/ The makers had reportedly received a legal notice from the Rajasthan-based outfit, Shri Rajput Karni Sena, claiming that the name Laxmmi Bomb was demeaning towards Goddess Laxmi, adding that the title insulted sentiments.


When the Aamir Khan film "PK" released, there was much hue and cry, and violence was feared. The film, people felt, made fun of the Hindu gods. But, to demonstrate tolerance and freedom of expression in the democratic set up, the government offered police protection to cinema halls screening the film.


A particular scene in Brahmastra trailer where Ranbir Kapoor is seen wearing shoes while ringing a bell, which people assumed was inside a temple received flak on social media. The filmmaker gave clarification on this. Ayan Mukerji wrote, "We had some people in our community, upset because of one shot in our Trailer - Ranbir's character wearing shoes as he rings a Bell. As the Creator of this film (and a devotee), I wanted to humbly address what happened here. In our movie, Ranbir is not entering a temple, but a Durga Puja Pandal. My own family has been organising a similar kind of Durga Puja Celebration for... 75 years! One, which I have been a part of since my childhood. In my experience, we only take off our shoes, right on the stage where the Goddess is, and not when you enter the Pandal."

"It is personally important for me to reach out to anyone who may have been upset with this image... because above all, Brahmastra is created as a movie experience which pays respect to, and celebrates - Indian culture, traditions and history. That is at the heart of why I made this movie, so it is very important to me that this feeling, reaches every Indian who is watching Brahmastra!" added Ayan.

Don't miss these:

Kaali poster controversy: Leena Manimekalai says 'will continue to use voice fearlessly till alive'

Goddess Kaali smoking cigarette on film poster sparks massive uproar on Internet, complaint filed

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