Mumbai: Shiv Sena functionary orders Karachi Sweets owner to change shop’s name
When the owner tried to explain that the shop has nothing to do with Pakistan, Nandgaonkar told him that he was ready to give him as much time as he wants to make the change, but he had to do it as soon as possibleUpdated: Nov 20, 2020, 00:05 IST
A video of Shiv Sena functionary Nitin Nandgaonkar ordering the owner of Karachi Sweets, a shop in Bandra, to rename the premises and remove Karachi from the name has gone viral on social media, creating a stir. The party, however, has distanced itself from Nandgaonkar’s actions.
In the video clip, Nandgaonkar is seen telling the owner that he has to rename the shop, and when the owner tries to explain that the shop has nothing to do with Pakistan, Nandgaonkar is heard saying he is ready to give him as much time as he wants to make the change, but he has to do it as soon as possible. “We are giving you time to change the name. You can name the shop after anything you want. You can name it after your ancestors, but not Karachi. Write the name in Marathi, and change it on the signboard as well as the shop registration papers,” he said in the video.
After Nandgaonkar’s visit, the shop’s name has been covered with newspapers.
Sena, meanwhile, said the shop had nothing to do with Pakistan. Party chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut tweeted, “Karachi bakery and Karachi sweets have been in Mumbai for last 60 years. 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.”
A senior Shiv Sena leader said Nandgaonkar acted on his own accord. “So far there is no decision whether to take any action against him or issue a show-cause [notice] to him. But when a senior leader issues a statement, it is a message to the person to not overstep the line,” the leader said, on condition of anonymity.
When asked about the party’s stand, Nandgaonkar said it was a “spontaneous” decision to confront the shop owner. “So far I have not been asked to explain my action. I am a proud Shiv Sainik and a follower of Balasaheb. I will stand by my action. I was shopping in Bandra on Wednesday and was unaware that a shop with such a name exists. I politely went to him and asked him to change the name, and he had agreed as well,” Nandgaonkar said.
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam slammed Nandgaonkar’s actions and said chief minister Uddhav Thackeray should protect the shop owner. “Like Chinese food in Indian restaurants has no connection with China, similarly Karachi Sweets in Bandra has nothing to do with Pakistan. When will the unintelligent Shiv Sena workers understand this? Threatening to change the name of a 70-year-old shop is wrong. The chief minister should merely see this spectacle, but must help him,” tweeted Nirupam.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), too, slammed the Sena for blatant “dadagiri” and asked Mumbai Police to take cognisance of the threat by Nandgaonkar. “Nitin Nandgaonkar must apologise immediately. Mumbai Police should take cognisance and act as per law. The Shiv Sena leadership resorting to this vigilantism during a pandemic speaks volumes of its misplaced priorities,” said AAP leader Preeti Sharma Menon in a statement.
In a tweet, Nirupam said, “Like Chinese food in Indian restaurants has no connection with China, similarly Karachi Sweets in Bandra has nothing to do with Pakistan. When will the unintelligent Shiv Sena workers under this? Threatening to change the name of a 70-year-old shop is wrong. The chief minister should not merely see this spectacle, but must help him.”