Indian nationalists claim victory as Mumbai’s famous Karachi Bakery shuttered

MUMBAI: The famous Karachi Bakery based in Indian city Mumbai, which was earlier besieged by angry Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers for its “Pakistani” name, has shuttered down recently.

The bakery is part of the famous Hyderabad-based chain, run by Sindhi migrants from Karachi in Pakistan, reported Indian local media.

In November 2020, Haji Saif Shaikh, vice president of the MNS, had caused a ruckus outside the bakery premises urging the Sindhi shop owner to change the name, which they felt was “unpatriotic”.

MNS workers targeted Khar’s Karachi Bakery Shaikh posted a victorious tweet saying, “After massive protest on Karachi Bakery for its name #Karachi led by the Vice President of MNS, karachi bakery finally closes its only shop in Mumbai.”

However, the manager of the bakery, Rameshwar Waghmare, said the closure was not provoked by the renaming controversy.

“We shut shop after the old lease agreement lapsed. Our landlord had been demanding a higher sum as rent which was unviable for us,” he said.

He added, “The Covid-19 lockdown had already caused business volumes to drop. We did stave off closure for a few months but finally decided to close.”
An ice cream parlour has opened in its place.

The historic confectionery that has branches in several cities nationwide is owned by the Sindhi Hindu Ramnani family, which migrated to India after Partition.

Waghmare said it is they who will determine the next course of action, whether to rent a new space or allow the brand to lapse in Mumbai.

He said, “There was no reason to capitulate by changing our name. The bakery was a legitimate business with all valid licences and approvals granted by government authorities.

Our decision is based on business factors. Let others take credit for it if they wish.”
Waghmare and a few employees who have now been rendered jobless are Maharashtrian, some others are South Indian.