The Karachi Bakery name controversy made the national headlines over its "Pakistani" name and now a branch of Hyderabad-based chain in Bandra has pulled down its shutters permanently. The iconic landmark in Mumbai was embroiled in controversy sparked by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers. The news of Karachi Bakery's shut down was shared by MNS VP, claiming credit for it, but the party itself is of a different opinion.
Although MNS workers had protested against Karachi Bakery, demanding they change their name or at least the spelling of it. The protests were led by MNS VP Haji Saif Shaikh, who said in a tweet on Wednesday that "After massive protest on Karachi Bakery for its name Karachi led by Vice President of MNS - Haji Saif Shaikh, Karachi bakery finally closes its only shop in Mumbai."
Shaikh had even sent a legal notice to Karachi Bakery in November last year, asking the shop owner to change the name as they felt it was anti-national and unpatriotic. Shaikh had demanded the bakery's new signboard be put up in Marathi.
Reacting to the news of the shutdown, Shaikh said: "I did not ask Karachi Bakery to shut business. But our soldiers are being killed on the border. Every day we receive news of skirmishes with Pakistan. So I gave a 15-day ultimatum to either change the name, or the spelling. I said spell it Karachee. They replied saying the name reflects their age-old ties to their native city. Today I am happy."
Why Karachi Bakery shut shop?
Even though MNS VP claimed credit for the closing of Karachi Bakery in Mumbai, the truth is far from it. Speaking to TOI, the bakery's manager Rameshwar Waghmare said: "We shut shop after the old lease agreement lapsed. Our landlord had been demanding a higher sum as rent which was unviable for us. The lockdown had already caused business volumes to drop. There was no reason to capitulate by changing our name. The bakery was a legitimate business with all valid licences and approvals. Our decision is based on business factors. Let others take credit for it if they wish."
MNS distances from VP
MNS also reacted to Shaikh's status, claiming credit for the closure of Karachi Bakery, saying it is not the party's stand. Shaikh hasn't responded to the party's reaction nor withdrawn his standpoint as of this writing.