Church themed decor in Social pub in Goregaon has Christians fuming over

Goregaon,Nov3:The Mumbai police have registered a case against popular pub Goregaon Social, which has outlets across the nation, for hurting religious sentiments following a complaint from an NGO about its ambience.

Activists of Watchdog Foundation, Nicholas Almeida, and Godfrey Pimenta, on Wednesday, approached the Dindoshi police to register a formal complaint against the pub owner. The activists issued a statement that said, “There are stained-glass pictures of saints with funny names written thereunder. The bar area has a backdrop of a Tabernacle set up. Even the seating arrangement in the bar is church Pews. The messages inscribed on the benches are from the Holy Bible.”

The pub has depictions of Jesus holding a leather bag, Mother Mary having a chain in her hand instead of a rosary, while Moses is holding a computer tablet, the activists told the police.

The NGO likened the depictions in the pub to be “outrageous” and “nothing short of blasphemy to Christianity.”

Almeida said he has registered a complaint against the pub owner.

Impresario Handmade Restaurants  owns the pub chain. However, a representative said, “Mr. Vinod Pandey, who would issue the statement is not available. There will not be a comment from the company today.”

“The pub management has done this deliberate and malicious act with intent to outrage the religious feelings of the Christian community by insulting its religion and our religious beliefs,” the activists stated, demanding a case under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code against the pub owner.

The activists also threatened to “agitate” outside Oberoi Mall where the pub is located if its trade license, liquor permit, health license and property are not confiscated within a 24-hour period.

Father Nigel Barrett, spokesperson, Archdiocese of Bombay, said they received an apology email from the owner of the social group on Wednesday evening.

The Archdiocese of Bombay supported the stand of the activists who also demanded that the pub shut down. A FIR against the pub owner was also lodged in Dindoshi police station against unknown persons under Section 295A (hurting religious sentiments).

The Busride Design Studio has designed the Goregaon Social. The studio offered an unconditional apology on its Facebook page, adding, “All steps to ensure the removal of the offensive graphics and images are being taken by the Social management.”

SOCIAL’S STATEMENT

We have been notified that the interiors of #GoregaonSocial have hurt the sentiments of a large number of our beloved patrons. We sincerely apologize. Goregaon Social’s design was meant as a satirical statement against the ever growing trend of overt consumerism and the culture of advertising where people are made to feel inadequate and unhappy unless they buy more and more things. In no way was there any intent on part of Social to disrespect or hurt sentiments that are sacred to any community… The intended message is that money and things cannot buy you happiness.

We have already removed all the imagery that was considered offensive in front of the Police and other legal officials, and we further commit to ensuring that we do all we can to ensure that no one’s sentiments are offended.

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