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Image: @LeenaManimekalai/Twitter
India-born Canadian parliamentarian Chandra Arya welcomed the apology from the Toronto-based museum and said it was “painful” to see the poster of the documentary titled ‘Kaali’ and noted how in the past few years, “traditional anti-Hindu and anti-India groups in Canada have joined forces”. It has further resulted in articles against the Hindu community and attacks on Hindu temples, Arya said. 
Painful to see Kaali poster by filmmaker Leena Manimekalai.
Past few years, traditional anti-Hindu and anti-India groups in Canada have joined forces resulting in Hinduphobic articles in media & attacks on our Hindu temples.
Apology from @AgaKhanMuseum is welcome & appreciated
Meanwhile, amid intense backlash over the poster depicting the Hindu Goddess smoking, the Toronto-based Aga Khan Museum at the centre of the scrutiny for the inappropriate depiction of the Hindu God, has expressed deep regret for “inadvertently causing offence” to members of the Hindu and other faiths. It also stressed that the project was aimed to ‘foster intercultural understanding’.
In a statement, the museum noted Toronto Metropolitan University converged works from several students of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in line with Canadian multiculturalism. The museum also acknowledged that it’s one of the 18 short videos from ‘Under the Tent’ and its social media post had ‘inadvertently’ offended the Hindu community, ANI reported.
“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. Respect for diverse religious expressions and faith communities forms an integral part of that mission,” the statement read.
“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,” it added.
Aga Khan Museum’s apology came just a day after Indian High Commission on Monday called on Canadian authorities to retract the disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods which was included in the ‘Under the Tent’ project. In a statement, the Indian High Commission in Canada noted, “We urge the Canadian authorities and the event organizers to withdraw all such provocative material”.
Please see a Press Released issued by @HCI_Ottawa @MEAIndia @IndianDiplomacy @PIB_India @DDNewslive @IndiainToronto @cgivancouver
A widespread backlash was triggered after the poster for the documentary ‘Kaali’, directed by filmmaker Leena Manumekalai was shared on social media for hurting religious sentiments. The Madurai-born, Toronto-based filmmaker, had earlier taken to Twitter to share a poster of her film showing a woman dressed in a costume portraying the Goddess and smoking. The flag of the LGBTQ+ community can also be seen in the background. 
The filmmaker now also has legal troubles to face as a police complaint was filed against her for hurting religious sentiments through the poster of her documentary. Social media users, hurt by the depiction of the Hindu God in the poster, started demanding strict action against Manumekalai under the hashtag #ArrestLeenaManimekal.


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