What's in a Name? Karachi Sweets in Mumbai is Under Attack but it's Not the First Time

Buzz Staff
·3-min read

Days after a Shiv Sena leader created controversy in Mumbai, Maharashtra, after he demanded that owners of a shop named 'Karachi Sweets' to "something else", the comment continues to spur a political slugfest.

In a video that went viral, Shiv Sena's Nithin Madhukar Nandgaonkar can be seen haranguing with the owner of the famous sweet shop in Bandra and asking him to change the word Karachi from the shop's name and replace it with something in Marathi, or anything else. His issue was with the use of the word Karachi, the name of a city in Pakistan, despite the owner telling him that the name was to honour his parents who had fled from Karachi at the time of Partition.

Following outrage against the video, Sena leader Sanjay Raut distanced the party from the comment, claiming that Nandgaonkar did not represent the opinions of the whole party. However, the store owners of Karachi Sweets have left their name and shop logo covered since the incident.

This, however, is not the first time that a shop or restaurant has been forced to change its name after mobs or particular persons protested against the use of certain words in its name.

[q]Karachi Bakery, Bengaluru, 2019[/q]

[ans]In February last year, several persons protested against Bengaluru's Karachi Bakery, demanding it changes its name due to its connection to Pakistan. At the time, viral videos have shown angry protesters demanding that the store owners take down the name of the store.[/ans]

[q]Karachi Bakery, Hyderabad, 2019[/q]

[ans]Karachi Bakery's Hyderabad branch also received threats in February with angry protesters demanding a change to the name due to its connection to Pakistan. The threats to the Karachi bakery branches in both Bengaluru and Hyderabad followed the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama which resulted in the deaths of 40 soldiers of the Indian Army.[/ans]

[q]Hitler Clothings store, Ahmedabad, 2012[/q]

[ans]In 2012, a clothing shop in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, received complaints and protests from the Jewish community, which objected to the rather specific name of the shop: Hitler. Following protests, store owners decided to change the name of the shop, adding that they were unaware of the symbolic significance of the name since they claimed they did not know who Hitler was. The shop's logo also contained the Nazi swastika symbol.[/ans]

Following the controversy, Raut tweeted Karachi Bakery and Karachi Sweets had been in India for 60 years and that they had nothing to do with Pakistan.

On Saturday, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis added fuel to fire by claiming that the Pakistani city of Karachi will soon be a part of India.