Change the name to something in Marathi: Shiv Sena threatens Karachi shop owner, party distances itself after controversy

The owner of ‘Karachi sweets’ in Mumbai’s Bandra West is the latest person to face the diktats of the ruling Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. In a video which surfaced on Thursday, Shiv Sena leader Nitin Nandgaonkar is seen threatening the owner of the shop to change its name from Karachi sweets to something “Marathi.”

Nandgaonkar can be heard as saying that he has a problem with the word ‘Karachi’ because the place is in Pakistan. “I hate the name Karachi because it is the place of terrorists. There should be no business with the word Karachi,” the Shiv Sena leader said further.

“You have to change the name…we are giving you time,” he added in threatening tone while leaving.

The owner of the shop was later forced to cover the name of his shop with newspapers. However by evening, Shiv Sena sought to distance itself from the diktat as it snowballed into a major controversy.

“Karachi Bakery and Karachi Sweets have been in Mumbai and in the rest of the country for over 60 years. They have nothing to do with Pakistan. This is a business started by the exiled Sindhi Punjabi brothers. The demand to change the name of the tax bakery is futile,” tweeted Raut, adding: “This is not the official stand of Shiv Sena.”

This is not the first time when shops with name of ‘Karachi’ in Mumbai have come under attack. In January 2009, the Mumbai Police had arrested six Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) members for sending a warning letter to the owner of Mulund-based Karachi Sweets. The MNS had asked the owner to change the name of the shop.