Mumbai’s famous Karachi Bakery has shut shop months after it was attacked by Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) over its name.
In a tweet earlier this week, the MNS sought to claim credit for Karachi Bakery closing down.
“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,” tweeted MNS leader Haji Saif Shaikh, taking his party chief Raj Thackeray.
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.@RajThackeray Saheb@mnsadhikrut@karachi_bakerypic.twitter.com/67KQ0p30mI
— Haji Saif Shaikh (@mnshajisaif) March 1, 2021
But another MNS leader, Sandeep Despande, said this was not the party’s official line.
Karachi Bakery, one of India’s oldest and most popular cookie-makers, is a Hyderabad-based chain run by a Sindhi Hindu migrant family, the Ramnanis, who moved to India from Karachi. In Mumbai, its branch was in Bandra.
In November, last year, Haji Saif Shaikh had sent a legal notice to the owner saying the word “Karachi” hurt sentiments of ordinary Indians and the Army because it is a Pakistani city.
In November last, the MNS leader had protested outside the shop in Mumbai demanding a name change.
Shiv Sena leader Nitin Nandgaonkar also backed the demand, even though his senior Sanjay Raut denied that this was the official party view.
The owner put up a video on his Facebook page and said the name was iconic and popular and could not be changed.
Reports suggest the bakery had suffered financial difficulties after a drop in business during the coronavirus lockdown last year.
— Prof Shamika Ravi (@ShamikaRavi) March 3, 2021
What? Seriously?? That’s sad. I have countless childhood memories of the wonderful #karachibakery.
— nidhi.shk (@ShkNidhi) March 3, 2021
On social media, many users, especially Mumbaikars, mourned the shop that they said sold the “best-ever fruit biscuits”.