08072022-LSTL-01.qxd 7/7/2022 11:59 PM Page 1 c m y b GETTING READY FOR ACTION After making her debut in Samrat Prithviraj, Manushi Chhillar has reportedly signed another big-ticket film. This time it’s an action flick that will be shot in Europe. A source says, “Manushi will now train hard to impress everyone in this project. This will be the third film in her filmography.” TRIBUNE Coming soon Life The comedy-drama Janhit Mein Jaari is set for its digital premiere on July 15 on ZEE5. The film revolves around Manokamna Tripathi, played by Nushrratt Bharuccha, a condom salesgirl. LUDHIANA | FRIDAY | 8 JULY 2022 Creativity up in smoke? Mona As the Kaali controversy gets murkier with trolls baying for Leena Manimekalai’s blood and the filmmaker defending her stance, artistes give their take on the issue L EENA Manimekalai’s Kaali row got another twist on Thursday morning. The Toronto-based filmmaker posted a I feel it is photograph of two peralright to show sons dressed as Lord mythological Shiva and Goddess Parfigures in different forms of art as vati smoking on a road. long as it is not hurting the For the unversed, the sentiments of people or a controversy began last week when the actorparticular community. If imagination director shared a poster and creativity are not crossing the that showed a woman line, we are good. dressed as Goddess Gauri Minocha Kaali and smoking on social media. A flag representing the LGBTQI+ made Under the Tent and its accomit to the background. This was panying social media post for the launch of her film have inadvertently caused Kaali at the Aga Khan Muse- offence to members of the um for the Rhythms of Cana- Hindu and other faith comda festival at Toronto. The munities,” read its statement. poster was called out for hurtManimekalai’s tweet ing religious sentiments of the accompanying the poster was Hindus. Multiple police com- removed by Twitter as well. plaints were filed in Delhi, Meanwhile, the filmmaker Mumbai, Lucknow, Bhopal, alleged that she, her family Ratlam and other places. and collaborators have The Indian High Commis- received threats from more sion requested Canadian than 2,00,000 accounts authorities to withdraw the online. Self restraint versus poster. The Toronto-based creative liberty, we ask Aga Khan Museum artistes and filmmakers on expressed regret while taking how to walk this tightrope. down the poster. “The museum deeply regrets that one of Not at the cost of unrest the 18 short videos from Award winning filmmaker Rahul Mittra says, “Whilst I am all for creative liberty in order to show the reality but not at the cost of unrest. I don’t believe in showing unnecessary nudity, engaging in blasphemy or using cuss words just to evoke controversy or hurting religious sentiments. We filmmakers should feel confident about the content we create and it should have the capability of entertaining the audiences without giving it a religious spin.” As for his journey, Mittra adds, “I have steered clear of any such move in my films and condemn disrespectful depiction of Gods in cinema.” However, this is not the first time that such a controversy has happened. Before this Brahmastra, Laxmmi, Tandav, Padmavat, PK and A Suitable Boy – different films and shows have come on the radar for hurting religious sentiments. figures in different forms of art as long as it is not hurting the sentiments of people or a particular community. As long as imagination and creativity are not crossing the line, we are good,” says Gauri Minocha. Why target Gods? Merely an image In a world ever so sensitive, how does one navigate? “In my view any misrepresentation of Gods is totally unacceptable and why always target Hindu Gods?” asks singer Uvie. “In the name of creativity why target Gods? It means the director is not confident of the art and is depending upon the controversy to gain popularity,” he says. “I feel it is alright to show mythological Film director, writer and producer Madhureeta Anand stands for an artiste’s vision. “Life is the source of inspiration for everything that filmmakers, writers and artists do. And since Gods are such a predominant part of all cultures worldwide, it is absolutely impossible to keep them out. Again and again artistes have invoked the image of Jesus and all charac- c m y b In my view any misrepresentation of Gods is totally unacceptable and why always target Hindu Gods? And in the name of creativity why target Gods? It means the director is not confident of the art and is banking upon the controversy to gain popularity. — Uvie ters from the Bible in various ways and not all of them reverential. This has, in fact, led to all of us learning about Christianity more than anything else,” she points out. “The fact is that when talking about Gods or Goddesses it is merely their image that they are using to create. So, why should one be offended? It’s not really Kaali there you know. And even raising the point of restraint is antithetical to how art works. Restraint is the last thing anyone should use while creating art otherwise it wouldn’t really be art now would it? Can one imagine Mira Bai sitting and thinking about restraint while talking about Krishna as her beloved? However, time and again people have been forced to censor or hide what they actually want to say due to the fear of backlash. This is a loss and extremely sad for the society where this happens,” she puts. Who is Leena Manimekalai? Manimekalai’s Twitter bio reads her as a ‘Poet, Film Maker, MFA (Film) GFAD Fellow - YorkU, Toronto’. Born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, she started as a filmmaker in 2002 with docu-fiction Mathamma which reportedly deals with the Arundhatiyar community in Mangattucheri, Tamil Nadu. Her subsequent works deal with issues of the marginalised. Sengadal, 2011 talks of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka. Currently, Manimekalai is finishing her master’s degree in film at York University in Toronto. Through this uproar, Manimekalai has stood by her stance, “These trolls are after my artistic freedom. If I give away my freedom fearing this mindless rightwing mob mafia, I will give away everyone’s freedom. She shared a tweet by author Mira Kamdar on Thursday. FURORE IN FRAMES ■ Khuda Haafiz: Chapter 2- Agni Pariksha’s song Haq Hussain was changed to Junoon Hai after the Shia community raised objections about the lyrics. ■ Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt’s trilogy film Brahmastra’s trailer sparked a controversy as it shows the hero entering a temple with shoes on. Director Ayan Mukerji clarified on Twitter that Ranbir was entering a Durga Puja pandal and assured shoes are taken off only before the idol not whilst entering it. ■ Tandav, starting Saif Ali Khan, was in the headlines for the wrong reasons as it featured Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub as Lord Shiva mouthing lines about ‘azaadi. ■ Mira Nair’s directorial, A Suitable Boy, was put to test by The All-India Shia Personal Law Board as they sent a legal notice to makers and Netflix for showing desecration of a tazia and dishonouring it. It was followed by other FIRs alleging love jihad.
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).