As the video of a Shiv Sena leader telling the owner of Mumbai snack shop Karachi Sweets to change the name of his store drew criticism on social media, party leader Sanjay Raut said that this was not an official demand by his organisation.
In the video posted on politician Nitin Nandgaonkar’s Facebook page, he is seen speaking to the owner of the store in Bandra West. “Your ancestors are from Pakistan,” Nandgaonkar said. “You came from the country during the Partition, and you are welcome. I hate the name Karachi. The city in Pakistan is a hub of terrorists.”
The Sena leader asked the sweet shop owner to change the store’s name to “something in Marathi”.
“You can name your ancestors in the banner,” he said. “I pay my respects to them. You came from Pakistan but this is your home. You’ll have to do it [change the name]. We will help you with the business. I will give you time...”
Nandgaonkar added that he would visit the store again in 15 days, and claimed that he would help the store owner with the formalities. It is unclear when the video was shot.
The store has reportedly covered its name with newspaper after Nandgaonkar’s visit. “I don’t want any trouble over this issue,” the owner told India Today. “I have consulted my lawyers and in the days to come I might or might not change the name ‘Karachi’ from the signboards.”
Raut on Wednesday clarified that this was not the party’s official stand. “Karachi Bakery and Karachi Sweets have been in Mumbai since last 60 years,” he tweeted. “They have nothing to do with Pakistan. It makes no sense to ask for changing their names now. Demand for changing their name is not Shiv Sena’s official stance.”