Canadian museum issues apology over ‘Kaali’ poster

Toronto, July 6 (Representative) Amid widespread criticism over a poster of the documentary film ‘Kaali’, the Toronto-based Aga Khan Museum on Tuesday issued a statement saying that they deeply regret the offence caused to the members of the Hindu and other faith communities by the social media post. In a statement, the museum said: Toronto Metropolitan University brought together works from students of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, each student exploring their individual sense of belonging as part of Canadian multiculturalism for the project ‘Under the Tent.’

“The Museum deeply regrets that one of the 18 short videos from ‘Under the Tent’ and its accompanying social media post have inadvertently caused offence to members of the Hindu and other faith communities,” the statement said. Toronto Metropolitan University’s project presentation was hosted at the Aga Khan Museum in the context of the Museum’s mission to foster intercultural understanding and dialogue through the arts, the statement said, adding that, “Respect for diverse religious expressions and faith communities forms an integral part of that mission.” The Indian High Commission in Canada on Monday had urged the Canadian authorities and the event organizers to withdraw “all such provocative material”.

The High Commission, in a statement, said that they have received complaints from leaders of the Hindu community in Canada about the “disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods on the poster of a film showcased as part of the ‘Under the Tent’ project at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto.” Controversy erupted after filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, who was born in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai and is based in Toronto, shared the poster of her film on Saturday. The poster shows a woman dressed like Goddess Kali and smoking.