"I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks."
A Karachi Bakery outlet in Bengaluru witnessed a mob gathering in front of it protesting against the reference to Pakistan, following which the bakery had to cover up the word ‘Karachi’ on its name board. This comes days after the Kashmir’s Pulwama terror attack in which as many as 40 CRPF jawans were martyred.
At around 8 PM to 8:30 PM on Friday, February 22, 20-25 men gathered before the bakery on 100 Feet Road in Indiranagar, raising slogans and insisting that the bakery’s name be changed. Refusing to identify themselves, the mob forced the staff to cover the word ‘Karachi’ on the bakery’s main name board.
Although there was no evidence of damage to property or any kind of violence, the staff, fearing the consequences that could follow, covered the portion in the name board and also put up the national flag of India on their building, The News Minute reported. The bakery, however, operated until its scheduled closing time, which is 11 PM. For employees and customers of the Karachi Bakery outlet, the experience was unnerving.
“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,” said the manager of the establishment.
A Facebook video showed the mob waiting as the word ‘Karachi’ is covered with a banner.
Nandini Rao ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಶುಕ್ರವಾರ, ಫೆಬ್ರವರಿ 22, 2019
On Sunday, February 24, the bakery got its name back as the covers were removed from the word ‘Karachi’, hours after nine men were arrested for threatening to vandalise the bakery if its name was not changed.
Based on CCTV footages from the bakery, the arrests of nine people were made. The miscreants have been identified as identified as Babaji, Srihari, Praveen, Sreeyappa, Shivakumar, Gunashekar, Lakshman, Sanjay and Naveen. They are from Ulsoor and are aged between 30-35, reported The Times Of India.
Police sources said that active in pro-Hindutva outfits, some of the miscreants decided to barge in the establishment and threaten the staff to get its name changed. The accused, however, described what they did as “patriotic” and refused to admit that they had done anything wrong, and been booked under IPC sections 146 (rioting) and 504 (breach of peace). Five Karachi Bakery outlets in the city have been provided with security by the police.
Khanchand Ramnani, who migrated to India during the 1947 partition, is the founder of Karachi Bakery. The bakery, which has now grown into a nationwide franchise, had its first outlet opened in Hyderabad.
— Karachi Bakery (@KarachiBakery) February 23, 2019
Soon after the Pulwama terror attack, several traders and students from Kashmir in many parts of the country were harassed by mobs, including Dehradun, Jodhpur, Ambala, Panchkula, Delhi and Patna.
On the same day when the Karachi Bakery attack took place, the central and state governments were ordered by Supreme Court to take action against the attack on Kashmiris who are in other states for work or studies, and the boycott Kashmiri establishments across the country. On Saturday, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed that a nodal officer from the Union Ministry should be there in order to address such concerns.
In 2016 too, Karachi Bakery had faced a boycott campaign, reportedly for selling Israeli dates as Ramadan gift hampers. According to several social media users, as Israel is perceived to be an aggressor in the ongoing occupation of Palestine, the sentiments of several Muslims were hurt.
The incident was also reported by Pakistan media, with Pakistan Daily reporting it with the headline “Mob forces ‘Karachi Bakery’ in India to cover up ‘Karachi’ on signboard.”
Karachi Bakery has been serving its customers for years now, and those who are thinking rationally have one question in their minds: after all, what’s in a name?
The Pulwama attack on the CRPF jawans is undoubtedly being condemned by all, but is blaming the entire country, harassing Kashmiris, and attacking and boycotting establishments with references of Pakistan going to solve the problem?
Even if people do not have in mind an immediate way to deal with terrorism, violence as an answer to violence and spreading communal hatred is surely not the solution, whatever the stance may be. Hating an entire nation because of the foolishness of only some people who choose terrorism over rationality is not the solution to an issue.
Instead, why not treat a bakery as a bakery, and Kashmiris as human beings? Why not treat Pakistan as just another nation, from which only some people have chosen to become terrorists? Being reasonable, perhaps, is always the best solution to any problem.
Thank you for subscribing.
We have sent you a confirmation email.