Filmmaker Leena Manimekalai and others have been summoned by a Delhi court in a restraining order for portraying Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette. The plaintiffs allege that the filmmaker allegedly hurt religious sentiments and that the portrayal was against the basic tenets of morality and civility. Earlier this month, Manimekalai shared a poster of his documentary, which shows a woman in the guise of Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette. Holding a trident and a sickle in his hand, the actor playing the role of the goddess is shown holding the glorious flag of the LGBTQ + community.
A number of FIRs have been lodged against the filmmaker for hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus, sparking a wave of outrage across the country. Manimekalai later clarified that his documentary is about a woman walking the streets of Toronto, Canada.
The filmmakers were targeted by a number of right-wing organizations, who objected to the poster and lodged numerous complaints against it across the country. Due to the poster controversy and the ensuing protests, the Aga Khan Museum in Canada withdrew its presentation of the documentary. During the agitation, Lina received death threats. In a tweet, the filmmaker claimed that she would not bow down.
The actress wrote, ‘These trolls are behind my artistic freedom. If I give up my freedom for fear of these mindless right wing mob mafias, I will give freedom to all. So I’ll keep it, no matter what. “
The lawsuit filed against Lina Manimekalai seeks to prevent Devi Kali from portraying herself smoking a cigarette. Further, it demands a permanent and mandatory prohibition order against Manimekalai and others. Moneymake is an Indian filmmaker and poet. His works include five published anthologies and dozens of films in both fiction and non-fiction. The filmmaker has won several awards at national and international film festivals.
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