Movie poster showing goddess Kaali smoking sparks controversy

A section of social media users demand arrest of the director


The poster of a 'performance documentary' titled Kaali, directed by Leena Manimekalai landed in controversy over its poster which showed goddess with a cigarette on her lips.

The poster has upset a section of social media users who claimed that it insults the goddess and hurt their religious sentiments. They have also demanded the arrest of the director.

Launching the poster on Twitter, the Madurai-born, Toronto-based filmmaker had said she was "Super thrilled to share the launch of my recent film - today at @AgaKhanMuseum as part of its “Rhythms of Canada”

The poster also has a rainbow flag of the LGBTQ+ community in its background.

Every day H!ndu religion is mocked, Is govt. testing our patience, wrote a Twitter user and sought action against the filmmaker.

This is blasphemy and hurts Hindu religious sentiment, said another.

"Why does Hindu society has so many such people who want to mock their own God/sentiments," wondered another user.

There were some who said the goddess will punish the filmmaker. "One day when the darkness of your own soul envelops you, she will show you what Kaali means."

However, these were also some who found the poster inspiring. "Thats creative! Kaali standing for freedom / liberalism instead of locking one's self in a set of stupid rules made by social pressure. 'BE YOU' is the message from this Kaali, I take," wrote a user.

In response to the attacks, the Toronto-based director hit back to say she was willing to pay with her life.

"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 an article on the controversy.