The Delhi Police has registered a case against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai in connection with a controversial poster of her documentary 'Kaali', officials said on Tuesday.
Police received a complaint from a lawyer, alleging that a poster is circulating on social media in which goddess Kali is shown smoking a cigarette.
From the contents of the complaint and the social media post, prima facie, an offence under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race etc. and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was made out and a case registered against Manimekalai at the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operation (IFSO) unit of the Special Cell, a senior police officer said.
A probe in the matter has been launched, he added.
Under attack for the poster of her documentary 'Kaali' showing the goddess smoking and holding an LGBTQ flag, Manimekalai on Monday said she will continue to use her voice fearlessly till she is alive.
The poster had led to a social media storm with the hashtag #ArrestLeenaManimekalai", alleging that the filmmaker had hurt religious sentiments.
Several Twitter users slammed Manimekalai.
फ़िल्म में मां काली को अत्यंत आपत्तिजनक रूप में सिगरेट पीते हुए दर्शाया गया !!— Vishnu Gupta🕉 (@VishnuGupta_HS) July 4, 2022
बहुत शर्मनाक !! हिंदू सेना @DelhiPolice से @LeenaManimekali के खिलाफ FIR दर्ज करने की मांग करती है pic.twitter.com/l1A2yhpgUC
"The film depicts Maa Kali smoking a cigarette in a very objectionable form!! Very embarrassing!! Hindu Sena demands from @DelhiPolice to register an FIR against @LeenaManimekali," tweeted Hindu Sena national president Vishnu Gupta.
"Arrest those who make fun of religion or reprimand them well...," another user said.
"This is not freedom of speech, this is attack on our culture, our sentiments," read yet another tweet.
In response to the attacks, the filmmaker, based in Canada's Toronto, said she is willing to pay with her life.
“எனக்கு இழப்பதற்கு ஒன்றுமில்லை. இருக்கும் வரை எதற்கும் அஞ்சாமல் நம்புவதைப் பேசும் குரலோடு இருந்துவிட விரும்புகிறேன். அதற்கு விலை என் உயிர் தான் என்றால் தரலாம்” https://t.co/fEU3sWY4HK— Leena Manimekalai (@LeenaManimekali) July 4, 2022
"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 tweet in Tamil in response to an article on the controversy.
The Madurai-born filmmaker had shared the poster of 'Kaali' on the microblogging website on Saturday and said the documentary was part of the 'Rhythms of Canada' segment at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.
Super thrilled to share the launch of my recent film - today at @AgaKhanMuseum as part of its “Rhythms of Canada”— Leena Manimekalai (@LeenaManimekali) July 2, 2022
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
Manimekalai also urged people to watch the documentary to understand the context behind the poster.
[With Inputs From IANS]