The poster of the movie ‘Kaali’ shared by Madurai-born and Toronto-based filmmaker, Leena Manimekalai stirred a major controversy. The offensive poster that depicted a woman dressed as goddess Kaali and smoking a cigarette invited outrage from social media users and protests from believers of the Hindu faith.
The poster also showed goddess ‘Kaali’ holding an LGBTQ community flag. Leena Manimekalai has been accused of deliberately hurting the sentiments of the community.
The Toronto-based Aga Khan Museum expressed deep regret for “inadvertently causing offence” to members of the Hindu community. The Indian High Commission had asked the organisers of the event, which is supposed to screen the movie, to withdraw the provocative poster. FIRs have been lodged against the filmmaker by the Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations (IFSO) wing and the Uttar Pradesh Police.
CVoter-IndiaTracker conducted a nationwide survey on behalf of IANS to know people’s views about the complaint and action against the filmmaker. According to the survey data, the majority of Indians believe that the filmmaker should be arrested for releasing an offensive poster of goddess Kaali. During the survey, almost 65 per cent of the respondents demanded the arrest of Leena Manimekalai, however, 35 per cent disagreed with the sentiment.
Interestingly, the survey revealed unanimity in the opinions of both the NDA and opposition voters on the issue. During the survey, 66 per cent of NDA voters and 66 per cent of opposition supporters said that the filmmaker should be put behind the bars for hurting the sentiments of the Hindu community.
During the survey, while the majority of most of the social groups, including Muslims demanded the arrest of the filmmaker, views of Scheduled Tribes (ST) were divided on the issue.
According to the survey data, 64 per cent Upper Caste Hindus (UCH), 64 per cent Other Backward Classes (OBC), 60 per cent Scheduled Castes and a whopping 83 per cent Muslims opined that the director of the movie Kaali should be put in jail for offending the religious sentiments. As for the views of ST respondents, while 51 per cent of them wanted to see the arrest of the filmmaker, 49 per cent did not agree with the sentiment.
The survey further revealed that the majority of Indians want the movie Kaali to be banned from screening. During the survey, almost 64 per cent of the respondents demanded a ban on the Kaali, however, 35 per cent of the respondents did not share the sentiment.
Notably, during the survey, the majority of both the NDA voters and opposition supporters expressed their opinion in favour of banning the movie. According to the survey data, 70 per cent of NDA voters and 60 per cent of opposition supporters said that the movie should not be allowed to be released.
Similarly, the majority of both the urban and rural voters demanded a ban on the movie Kaali. During the survey, 68 per cent urban and 62 per cent rural voters said that the government should impose a ban on the movie to stop it from being screened in theatres across the country.