Both Uttar Pradesh Police and Delhi Police registered FIRs against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai for her movie Kaali, which several complainants alleged had disrespectful depiction of Hindu gods. The UP Police charges were registered on criminal conspiracy, offence in the place of worship, deliberately hurting religious sentiments, and intention to provoke breach of peace. The Delhi Police IFSO unit filed the FIR under IPC sections 153A and 295A.
Manimekalai, however, said that she will continue to use her voice fearlessly till she is alive. The poster has led to a social media storm with the hashtag 'Arrest Leena Manimekalai', allegations that the filmmaker is hurting religious sentiments and a member of a group going by the name 'Gau Mahasabha' saying he has filed a complaint with Delhi Police.
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.
The Madurai-born filmmaker had shared the poster of Kaali on the microblogging site on Saturday and said the film was part of the 'Rhythms of Canada' segment at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. Manimekalai also urged people to watch the film to understand the context behind the poster. "The film is about the events during Kaali's strolls through the streets of Toronto city one fine evening. If they watch the movie, they will put the hashtag 'love you Leena Manimekalai' rather than 'Arrest Leena Manimekalai'," she added in reply to another article.
Ajay Gautam, a member of the 'Gau Mahasabha', sent reporters a copy of his police complaint against the filmmaker for allegedly presenting the goddess in a "derogatory and offensive manner" thereby hurting "religious sentiments of millions of devotees including the complainant".