Documentary director, Leena Maniumekalai’s recent venture received enormous flak with the release of its poster, with the social media consensus targeting the director for hurting religious sentiments.

The venom spewed through the entirety of the world of the Indian Twitterati has been fairly intoxicated with general hate aligning itself in the form of concern for the Hindu majority. The narrative of “Hindu Khatre Mein Hain”, has provided easy fodder for the conservative few who are still of the opinion that the common Hindu is still under threat of persecution by the minority. 

The state of affairs, in essence, provides us with a proverbial mirror into our society and the many facets that enable it to operate upon. The reasons behind such backlash is as unwarranted as it is fairly rudimentary in a country that wants itself to evolve alongside its counterparts, in harmony.

What Is The Backlash All About?

Earlier this week, the Totonto-based Tamil director had teased a poster of her latest venture which was to premiere at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto. Being a part of the ‘Rhythms of Cananda’ segment, Maniumekalai celebrated the honour by going on to Twitter and revealing the poster to her audience base, stating;

“Super thrilled to share the launch of my recent film – today at @AgaKhanMuseumas part of its ‘Rhythms of Canada’. Feeling pumped with my CREW.”

The poster featured a woman draped in the colours of the Hindu Goddess Kali with the documentary’s title hailing itself as the Goddess’ namesake in the same breath. The depiction portrayed the said woman in the burnt blue colour of the Goddess, smoking a cigarette with a final touch of a peek-a-boo LGBTQIA+ rainbow flag in the background.

This caused a certain section of the society to come up with their pitchforks and torches on the digital platform, baying for Maniumekalai’s blood.

With the hashtag, #ArrestLeenaManiumekalai trending on Twitter, the wide flurry of tweets has been egregious as much as they have been quintessentially sprinkled with a dash of a sense of insecurity.

“Leena Manimekalai a filmmaker portraying Hindu God as cigarettes smokers. She is Insulting Maa Kaali.”

Some took the onus upon themselves to irk the Tamil Nadu government enough to make them formulate an extradition plan to get Leena back to India.

I demand the arrest of leena Manimekalai.We won’t tolerate the disrespect of our GODDESS KAALI MAA.We all the way of tamil government this time.@beingarun28@TheDeepak2022#ArrestLeenaManimekalai.”

Also Read: Complaint Against NRI Documentary Director Showing Goddess Kaali In Poster

How Did Leena Respond To The Hounding Twitterati?

Upon receiving the said backlash from a wide flurry of Twitter users from in and around the country, it was only expected of Manimekalai to not be able to stay silent for much longer.

Having restricted comments on Instagram to control the flooding of her Instagram handle, she took to her mother tongue to convey a final message to the many naysayers and harassers. Thus, in Tamil, she wrote on Twitter;

“The film revolves around the events that take place one evening when Kali appears and strolls the streets of Toronto. If you see the picture, don’t put the hashtag “arrest Leena manimekalai” but put the hashtag “love you Leena manimekalai”.”

How Does This Sense Of Hostility Affect Us As Indians?

Much of the entirety of the Western World alongside their entertainment industry has grown alongside their society, and most times, vice versa.

However, the scenario concerning India has been a tad bit different wherein the entertainment industry has, proverbially, evolved way too early into the future while the society drags itself along at a snail’s pace. With little working in the way of slight nudges or pushes, the state of the Indian society has almost always stayed the same since the start of the 21st century.

The joy of being able to laugh at oneself and the ability to take the many faults of our culture with a grain of salt is a fact that gets lost in the eternal white noise of religious hostility.

With the recent tandem concerning Nupur Sharma’s comments reaching great heights, the fact that the general populace tends to misconstrue and often overlook is the fact that Sharma is not a Muslim herself.

The general ideal of a dignified and more culturally upstanding country lies in being able to laugh at ourselves and not at the expense of others. If we are to point out faults, then the best place to start, more often than not, is our home.

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: Economic Times, India TV, Times of India

Connect with the blogger: @kushan257

This post is tagged under: Kaali movie poster, Kaali movie poster controversy, hindu goddess, hindu goddess kali, Kaali movie poster smoking, smoking kaali, smoking kaali poster, kaali movie documentary, Kaali documentary film, Leena Manimekalai, Leena Manimekalai director, Leena Manimekalai kaali movie, Leena Manimekalai kaali movie director

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