Kaali movie poster controversy: FIRs have been filed by the Uttar Pradesh Police and Delhi Police's Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations (IFSO) wing against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai for hurting religious sentiments with the depiction of Goddess Kaali in her movie 'Kaali'.
According to the UP Police, she has been booked on charges of criminal conspiracy, offense in place of worship, deliberately hurting religious sentiments and intention to provoke breach of peace.
According to Delhi Police, two complaints were received against the filmmaker. The IFSO, a specialised unit of Delhi Police that manages complicated and sensitive cybercrime cases, has filed an FIR under IPC 153A and 295A. On the second complaint, the police said that a probe is currently underway and necessary action will be taken as per the law.
The Madurai-born, Toronto-based filmmaker is facing flak for a poster of her documentary 'Kaali' showing the goddess smoking and holding an LGBTQ flag. 'Kaali' is yet to be shown to Indian audiences.
The poster has led to a social media storm with the hashtag 'Arrest Leena Manimekalai', allegations that the filmmaker is hurting religious sentiments.
Meanwhile, Manimekalai has said that she will continue to use her voice fearlessly till she is alive.
"I have nothing to lose. Till the time I live, I wish to live with a voice that speaks what I believe without fear. If the price for that is my life, it can be given," Manimekalai wrote in a Twitter post in Tamil in response to the attacks.
Manimekalai had first shared the poster of 'Kaali' on the microblogging site on Saturday and said the film was part of the 'Rhythms of Canada' segment at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.
Manimekalai is not the first filmmaker to find herself in trouble over religious references. In 2017, filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan courted controversy over the title of his Malayalam film 'Sexy Durga', which explored religious divides in the society. The film was later rechristened 'S Durga'.
Last year, Prime Video’s political saga 'Tandav' was at the centre of trouble for a scene depicting Lord Shiva in a college theatre programme. The scene was eventually dropped and the streamer issued an unconditional apology.