Leena Manimekalai comes under sharp attack for showing Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette
New Delhi/ Toronto: After the University of Toronto has expressed regret for hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus and even the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto has issued a statement offering regret over a poster of a documentary by Leena Manimekalai that shows a woman dressed up as Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Tuesday 5 June 2022 flared up the controversy by stating in categorial terms that she has every right as an individual to imagine Goddess Kali as a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess while addressing the India Today Conclave East held in Kolkata.
The Hinduphobic director of the controvesial film Leena Manimekalai had earlier announced the release of her documentary “KAALI” in Torento Metropolitan University in Canada. The film was to be shown at “Under the Tent” project at the Aga Khan Museum and was organized by Toronto metropolitan university’s Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration or CERC Migration.
We recognize the short film has caused sensitivities and have no plans to show it again at this time – CERC Migration, in response to a WION question.
A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra in Bhopal, the capital of the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh over her remark. The FIR has been lodged by the crime branch in Bhopal under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code which relates to outraging religious feelings.
Statement by High Commission of India – Ottawa
We have received complaints from leaders of the Hindu community in Canada about disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods on the poster of a film showcased as part of the ‘Under the Tent’ project at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto.
Our Consulate General in Toronto has conveyed these concerns to the organizers of the event.
We are also informed that several Hindu groups have approached authorities in Canada to take action.
We urge the Canadian authorities and the event organizers to withdraw all such provocative material.
Agha Khan Museum Statement
“Toronto Metropolitan University brought together works from students of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, each student exploring their individual sense of belonging as part of Canadian multiculturalism for the project ‘Under the Tent.’
“Toronto Metropolitan University’s project presentation was hosted once at the Aga Khan Museum on July 2, 2022 in the context of the Museum’s mission to foster intercultural understanding and dialogue through the arts. Respect for diverse religious expressions and faith communities forms an integral part of that mission. The presentation is no longer being shown at the Museum.“
“The Museum deeply regrets that one of the 18 short videos from ‘Under the Tent’ and its accompanying social media post have inadvertently caused offence to members of the Hindu and other faith communities.”