TMC MP Mahua Moitra responded to the movie poster depicting Hindu Goddess Kaali smoking a cigarette and holding the rainbow flag of the LGBTQI community on Tuesday by saying the goddess Kaali is “meat-eating, alcohol-accepting.”
“Kaali to me, is a meat-eating, alcohol-accepting goddess. You have the freedom to imagine your goddess. There are some places where whiskey is offered to gods and in some other places it would be blasphemy,” Moitra said on the second day of India Today Conclave East 2022.
Being from West Bengal, where the Hindu deity is highly revered, Moitra was requested to weigh in on the issue over a documentary poster created by director Leena Manimekalai.
However, Moitra’s party, the Trinamool Congress, denounced her remarks and stated that the party did not support them.
The party stated that, “The comments made by @MahuaMoitra at the #IndiaTodayConclaveEast2022 and her views expressed on Goddess Kali have been made in her personal capacity and are NOT ENDORSED BY THE PARTY in ANY MANNER OR FORM. All India Trinamool Congress strongly condemns such comments.”
Hindu goddess Kaali is shown in the poster of the documentary. She may be seen smoking a cigarette while holding the Pride flag for the LGBTQI community. It generated a lot of ire and went viral on social media. Many said that the poster offended the Hindu community and wounded religious sensibilities in the process.
A charge has been filed against the director by the Delhi Police in relation to the controversial poster, and many others have also asked for Manimekalai’s arrest.
The complaint has been filed under IPC sections 295A (performing actions injurious to maintaining harmony) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion, race, etc). (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs).
Following the backlash, the director had said she was willing to pay with her life and said she had nothing to lose.
“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 on Twitter in Tamil.
The Indian High Commission requested Canadian authorities to stop using the project’s “disrespectful representation of Hindu gods” on Monday. According to a press release from the Indian high commission, “We urge the Canadian authorities and the event organisers to withdraw all such provocative material.”