An outlet of the Karachi Bakery in India’s Bengaluru covered up the word ‘Karachi’ on its signboard on Friday after a mob protested against the name, Indian media reported.
According to Scroll.in, some people gathered at the Indiranagar outlet of the popular Karachi Bakery on Friday evening to demand that it pull down its signboard. The Bengaluru Police Control Room confirmed to Scroll.in that it had received a distress call on Friday evening in connection with a ruckus at Karachi Bakery in Indiranagar.
Subsequently, photos showing the word “Karachi” covered up on the signboard and an Indian flag displayed at the bakery started making rounds on social media.
Other Bengaluru outlets of the Hyderabad-based company have been receiving threatening calls since February 17 from groups demanding that the firm should change its name or shut down the business, the publication quoted employees as saying.
The incident comes in the wake of the Pulwama bombing in occupied Kashmir on February 14, which killed more than 40 Indian troops. Pakistan and India's relations have been tense since the attack, with the latter blaming the former of being complicit in the attack — a charge Islamabad has denied from the get-go.
On Wednesday, a Pakistani prisoner was allegedly beaten to death by a group of inmates at the Jaipur Central Jail. The incident was reported by the Indian media as part of the aftermath of the Pulwama bombing.
What's in a name
Speaking to The News Minute, the manager of the Karachi Bakery outlet said: "The mob stayed for about half an hour. They demanded us to change the name. The men claimed to know people in the army. They thought we are from Pakistan. But we have been using this name for the last 53 years. The owners are Hindus; only the name is Karachi bakery. To satisfy them, we put up the Indian flag."
According to the website, Karachi Bakery was founded by Khanchand Ramnani, who migrated to India during the partition in 1947. The bakery’s first outlet was opened in Hyderabad and has grown into a nationwide franchise. The bakery is popular for its fruit biscuits.
Following the protests against the bakery in India, people on Twitter shared photos of the popular Bombay Bakery in Pakistan's Hyderabad, highlighting how the word 'Bombay' was very much still there.
PPP Senator Sherry Rehman also joined the conversation on social media, saying: "Bombay Bakery is thriving in Hyderabad [...] Nobody wants to even think of changing their name. Erasing our past or diversity will only lead to myopic exclusions."