Kaali poster controversy: Defaming any religion or their God and Goddess can never be a progressive idea, says producer Chitra Vakil Sharma

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Recently the poster of the film Kaali sparked outrage as it depicted a girl, dressed as the goddess, smoking. Multiple FIRs have been filed against the filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, for hurting religious sentiments.

Agreeing with the outroar, producer Chitra Vakil Sharma, known for her web series Tandoor and Raktanchal as well as YouTube channel called Jupiter Hub, says that filmmakers need to be careful. “In our country everyone has their own freedom of expression. Whether it’s about expressing their views through their creativity or just simply by words, they are completely free to express themselves. But that doesn’t mean one also has the freedom to hurt other religious sentiments. The topic itself becomes all the more awful when such illogical things are being tried to justified with tags of a creativity and feminism. Even the uneducated ones can understand that this is not cool at all,” she says.

She adds, “Films are made for two reasons, first is definitely entertainment and the second is to convey any strong particular message to the mass. What kind of message does such films try to convey by hurting the religious sentiments and when the religious sentiments are being hurt, is it even entertaining any more? Defaming any religion or their God and Goddess can never be a progressive idea. In fact, it is the most unpleasant thing one can ever do. Creativity is never obligated to the humiliation of any religion or beliefs.”

Of course, she says it’s important to understand the intention behind the poster. “It is very important to understand where this ideology comes from? Are these instances happening because people want to look cool or is it been purposely done to insult a particular religion? Hurting religious sentiments through the medium of films might not be something that has been planned or done on purpose. It might have happened in a flow, without the makers understanding the serious damage it can cause to the mindset of a particular sect or maybe, it has been purposely done to get quick attention. Whatever it is, I believe sensible filmmakers can never do such a thing,” she says.

She adds, “Every filmmaker should understand this very important thing. Filmmaking, indeed, is a great responsibility. One single film has the power to change perception and lives in so many ways. You need to be very mature and sensible in terms of choosing your content and material for your film.”

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