Read the captioned story in the Times of India today- politics of war mongering can be such a disruptive influence on ordinary lives. In Pakistan, we have shops and businesses named as Bombay restaurant, Bombay cloth house and even a Bombay sweet house. And of course Hyderabad’s premier bakery – the Bombay bakery as reminded by Kazim. I am posting an image of the Hyderabad outlet during my recent, fleeting  visit to the city.

Deep down, the links continue despite 61 years of turbulence…

MUMBAI: Karachi Sweets in Mulund is not the only business establishment that bears the name of a Pakistani city. TOI came across at least seven shops, offices, halls and restaurants named after Karachi, Peshawar, Multan, Sindh and Lahore-most of the owners probably could never forget their hometowns that they had to leave during Partition.

“How can the MNS ban shop names like Karachi, Lahore or Sindh as most of the owners are refugees from Pakistan?” said a shop owner in Bandra. “Even my shop is named after a Pakistani city and we have been running this business for the past 100 years. A lot of sentiment is attached to the name.” He added that it was unfair to target innocent shop owners who have settled down in India and are patriotic. “We just carry a Pakistani city’s name on our signboard. We are true Indians and not Pakistanis.”

The owner of a business house involved in exports had to face trouble during 1993 riots. “The word Lahore appears in my firm’s name and some Hindu rioters presumed that we were Muslim. They came to ransack my office, but I had a picture of Ganesh in my office. They saw it and spared my office,” he said.

Another businessman, whose family had migrated from Pakistan, said, “We are into fashion jewellery business. We cannot change our brand name, which is named after a Pakistani city, just because the MNS wants us to.” His plea to Raj Thackeray was to spare Sindhi and Punjabi refugees. A south Mumbai shop owner said, “If there is a law banning all names involving Pakistan, then we will gladly change the names of our shops and offices. Till then, we should not be troubled.”


The BMC’s shops and establishments department does not raise Nostalgic shop owners refuse to change nameobjections on names given to shops. It checks that shop owners follow basic rules, like ensuring that the establishments use proper font size of names on signboards. “The names should be properly visible from a certain distance. Also, the names should be in the local language. The third point we check is the kind of lighting used on the signboard and last, the name on the board should match with that on the licence,” a civic official said.

22 Responses to Bombay – Nostalgic shop owners refuse to change name

  1. Raza bhai — you forgot to mention Hyderabad’s premier Bombay Bakery 🙂

  2. RR says:

    Kazim – you are absolutely right
    thanks for pointing out – I was there and will post a picture too

  3. Avinash says:

    Standing By ‘Karachi’ Shop Owner

    I read with utter disgust and anger the news report wherein the MNS has asked the owner of the `Karachi Sweets’ to change its name. It is very unfortunate that MNS is targeting the shop with the name ‘Karachi Sweets’. The family of the shop owner, a Sindhi, migrated from Karachi at the time of the unfortunate, regrettable partition of the country. The attachment to the place is natural and it is his right if he wishes to use the name on his shop.

    The reaction of MNS is an exaggeration of their self-styled patriotic sentiment. The national identity for almost every one of those who migrated to India at the time of partition was what it used to be, the undivided India. Those who are taking objection to the name were not even born then. It is beyond their comprehension to understand the loss of a homeland and the slaughter of the nationhood. All that remains today with these migrants is the memory, the last of the things with them of what once was their home. Their memories transcend these boundaries even as they accept their fate in the disfigured nation.

    But for the MNS, who would not even accept the north-Indians in Maharashtra for the sake of their political existence, it is too much to grasp. It was the narrow sectarian politics of exactly the same people like the MNS that ruined the Indian nation in 1947. The memories of these people is one of the last links to that larger nation, it must not only be preserved but nurtured for rebuilding India and Pakistan into a cohesive entity.

    Every right thinking Indian should come forward to resist such careless, involuntary whimsical acts by small-minded people who damage the national interest for their petty petty ends. It is time for every right thinking Indian to stand by the Karachi Sweet shop, before it is too late.

    People’s Federation

  4. Indscribe says:

    Nice post. Yeah, Raza bhai, in India we still have shops preserving old names like that of Lyallpur that got changed.

    When I first visited Hyderabad Deccan (India), I saw the Karachi Bakery, the most famous bakery shop. Aap Hyderabad Deccan gaye haiN?

  5. Dr.Daniyal Nagi says:

    To all Indian Visitors,just to let you know,In Lahore,the old names are still preserved and are still in use, cosmopoliten nature of lahoris refuse to make or accept a change.Examples are Krishan Nagar,Ramnagar,Sunnatnagar,ramgarh,hota singh road,munghia street,Hindu Camp,Nehru Park,Gandhi Square,kotcha chela ram,chepat ram road,ganga ram mansion,,dyal singh masion,lakshmi mansion,lakshmi chowk,dinga singh building,dhani ram road,ganga ram hospital.ghulab devi hospital,jhanki devi hospital,Ahata Mool chand,,ahata moti saghar,anand road,dev samaj road,bharat building and much more.The list is exhautive and these are few names I remember from the top of head.
    We in lahore have an open mind ,and strongly believe that ONCE A LAHORIA ALWAYS A LAHORIA.We are not narrow minded like Indian Politician Mr.Bal Thakeray who call Indian Muslims,their own citizens as Cancer..
    Dr.Daniyal Nagi

  6. Vandana says:

    MNS acts should not be seen as representing that of an entire nation or population….MNS is a desperate organistaion and its chief is locked in a do or die attempt to be seen as the main regional party.He is trying to win that mantle from the party run by his uncle,Bala Sahib Thackeray.
    India is dotted with names that are of Pakistani cities and towns.
    And how is MNS ever going to rename our Punjabi signature dish Pindi chholey that is served with pride in restaurants with names like Pind Balochi (in Delhi) :))

  7. Naveed Siraj says:

    Raza bhai, thank you for the post and more importantly for me as i read you blog, thanks to you, getting to know people like Avinash & Vandana in all this gloom following the Mumbai tragedy

    Dr. Nagi, I think it is the same in Sindh

    the renaming has taken place mainly, perhaps with British names only ie., Lyall, Montegomery (Sahiwal) etc

  8. Faraaz says:

    How idiotic is this?? Even Dhaka has shops named after Bombay..we share a common history..any attempts to tamper with that is despicable.

  9. Sidhusaaheb says:

    In Delhi, there are several localities named after places in Pakistan. These names were chosen by the earliest settlers, who were mostly migrants from West Punjab (during partition). So, one can find a Mianwali as well as a Gujranwala Town within Delhi, among others.

  10. Vandana says:

    Just read this post on that incident of Raj asking a sweet shop owner to change its name.

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