Leena Manimekalai tweeted that trolls are after her artistic freedom, and she won’t give it away, because that would mean giving away everyone’s freedom. Leena faces online backlash and an FIR, for her movie poster, Kali† The poster showed the Hindu goddess Kaali smoking a cigarette. A flag of the LGBT community can be seen in the background. †Also Read: Kaali Film Organizers Apologize After Outrage Over ‘Offensive’ Poster

She shared a tweet from author Mira Kamdar, writing: “These trolls are looking for my artistic freedom. If I give away my freedom for fear of this mindless right-wing mafia mafia, I will give away everyone’s freedom. So I’ll keep it, what also happens.”

A poster for a documentary by Leena provoked strong reactions and she is accused of hurting religious feelings. Leena was born in Madurai in Tamil Nadu and is based in Toronto.

Speaking to The Guardian, Leena also said: “It feels like the entire nation – now deteriorated from the greatest democracy to the greatest hate machine – wants to censor me. I don’t feel safe anywhere right now.”

She also defended her poster against t, saying, ‘In rural Tamil Nadu, the state I come from, Kaali is believed to be a pagan goddess. She eats meat cooked in goat’s blood, drinks arrack, smokes beedi [cigarettes] and dances wildly… that’s the Kaali I had embodied for the film. I have every right to take back my culture, traditions and lyrics from the fundamentalist elements,” she said. “These trolls have nothing to do with religion or belief.”

The poster has been removed by Twitter India. Commenting on the development, Leena had tweeted: “This is hilarious. Will @TwitterIndia withhold the tweets of the 200,000 hate mongers?! These lowlife trolls tweeted and distributed the very same poster they find objectionable. Kaali cannot be lynched. Kaali cannot be raped. Kaali cannot be destroyed. She is the goddess of death.”


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