'What's in a name,' Shakespeare had said. But, there's a lot in a name especially if it catches the fancy of people in power. One of Mumbai oldest bakeries, Karachi Bakery, was embroiled in a controversy owning to its name — Karachi is a city in Pakistan.
On Monday, the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) claimed that Karachi Bakery was forced to shut its only shop in Mumbai owing to a protest over its name.
Taking to Twitter, Vice President of MNS Haji Saif Shaikh, wrote, "After massive protest on Karachi Bakery for its name #Karachi led by Vice President of MNS - @mnshajisaif karachi bakery finally closes its only shop in Mumbai."
But, on Wednesday (March 3), Mumbai North Central District Forum said MNS is spreading false information and Karachi Bakery has shut its store due to lack of business. "False spreading of information! The Karachi Bakery has shut its store due to lack of business and not because of @mnshajisaif, nothing more then an failed attempt to mislead citizens. Please note!," tweeted Mumbai North Central District Forum.
In November last year, Haji Saif Shaikh had sent a legal notice to the owner saying that the word Karachi hurts the sentiments of Indians and the Indian Army because it is a Pakistani city name. The bakery should be renamed and the signboard should be in Marathi, he had demanded.
In its response to the legal notice, the owner of Karachi Bakery in suburban Bandra said that the bakery's founder was a victim of Partition, and its name cannot hurt Indian sentiments.
The bakery owner said it was established by a Sindhi-Hindu family who migrated from Pakistan, and the brand is now recognized globally.
They did not use the name Karachi to hurt the feelings of Indians. In fact, bakery founder Khanchand Ramani had experienced violence by pro-Pakistan elements during Partition, it said.
Being a "victim of violence espoused by Pakistan", they can never make any statement or do anything that can hurt the feelings of fellow Indians, the bakery said.
"It is incorrect to suggest that my client (bakery owner) has disrespected the sacrifice of our soldiers. The bakery has always been Indian and will continue to do so. Therefore, every allegation questioning my client's loyalty towards India is incorrect and unwarranted," the reply said.
(With inputs from PTI)