‘Kaali’ poster row: Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum says it ‘deeply regrets’ offence caused to Hindus; FIR filed

A classic example of the intersection between multiculturalism and religion, when the more conservative and fundamentalist elements are all too quick to take offence.

I was posted to Iran during the Rushdie Satanic Verses affair, the classic and extreme example of religious intolerance of contemporary culture:

Days after the poster of the documentary film ‘Kaali’ created an uproar in India and abroad, Aga Khan Museum where the film was screened issued a statement. The museum has said that it deeply regretted the offence caused to the members of the Hindu community. The documentary helmed by NRI film-maker Leena Manimekalai was being showcased at the museum in Toronto in the ‘Under The Tent’ section.

“The museum deeply regrets that one of the 18 short videos from ‘Under The Tent’ and its accompanying social media post have inadvertently caused an offence to the members of the Hindu and other faith communities,” read the statement that was posted on the museum’s website.

The statement further said that the Toronto Metropolitan University brought together works of students of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, each student exploring their individual sense of belonging as part of Canadian multiculturalism for the ‘Under the Tent’ project. The university’s presentation was hosted by Aga Khan Museum with a view to fostering an intercultural understanding and dialogue through arts.

FIR Against Film-maker
Meanwhile, the controversy surrounding the poster continues to rage closer to home. On Tuesday, an FIR was filed against Leena Manimekalai and others for hurting religious sentiments. The FIR was filed in Uttar Pradesh and DCP Central Lucknow, Aparna Kaushik, said that an investigation was underway.

Earlier this week, the Indian High Commission in Canada issued a statement urging the Canadian authorities to take action. The High Commission said in its statement that it has received numerous complaints from the leaders of the Hindu community in Canada.
“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,” read the release.

Filmmaker Manimekalai took to Twitter on Sunday to share a poster of her upcoming film ‘Kaali’ that depicted goddess Kali as smoking with an LGBTQ+ flag in the backdrop. The poster created an uproar on social media demanding the arrest of the NRI film-maker.

Source: ‘Kaali’ poster row: Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum says it ‘deeply regrets’ offence caused to Hindus; FIR filed

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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