Guwahati: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) recently raised a pertinent issue at the backdrop of a controversial documentary film poster that features Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette. Addressing the media during the three-day Akhil Bharatiya Prant Pracharaks’ meet (7-9 July 2022) at Jhunjhunu of Rajasthan, it asserted that no one should offend religious sensibilities.

Sunil Ambekar, RSS’s Akhil Bhartiya Prachar Pramukh, commented that creative freedom has been a tradition in India, but no one should hurt anyone’s religious sentiments. Everyone should be careful about that, he added. He also commented on the prevailing situation on Kanhaiya Lal’s murder and the Islamist controversy involving Nupur Sharma besides the latest controversy arising because of the Kali poster of Leena Manimekalai’s documentary.

The poster depicts Hindu Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette and holding the LGBTQ+ community’s pride flag in hand. Several cases have been registered against the director (Leena Manimekalai) for hurting religious sentiments of Hindus across the world. The matter went even bigger when the Trinamool Congress Parliamentarian Mahua Moitra made insulting remarks about Goddess Kali while addressing queries about the controversy around the poster.

In 2025, the RSS will mark its existence for the hundredth year. The Jhunjhunu meet, which was graced by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat along with Dattatreya Hosabale, Manmohan Vaidya, Arun Kumar, Krishan Gopal, CR Mukund, etc discussed various strategies for the growth in coming years. Ambekar in his address added that the RSS sets a target for its expansion in the run-up to Shatabdi Varsh effectively.