CEO issues ‘unconditional’ apology to Catholics for Goregaon Social fiasco

CEO issues 'unconditional' apology to Catholics for Goregaon Social fiasco
Goregaon Social interior (inset: CEO Riyaaz Amlani)

Riyaaz Amlani, CEO of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt Ltd, which owns Goregaon Social, has issued an unconditional apology to the Catholic community for hurting their religious sentiments.

The pub, located at Oberoi Mall in Goregaon, had got into trouble earlier this week for the “outrageous depiction of various Saints and religious items from the Holy Bible” in its interior.

After learning about the depiction of Catholic symbols in the pub, Watchdog Foundation NGO filed a complaint with Dindoshi police station, following which they registered an FIR against the pub’s owners under Section 295A of Indian Penal Code.

The Archdiocese of Bombay also issued an official press statement condemning the restaurant for hurting religious sentiments.

Amlani, who is reportedly outside India, later responded by issuing an unconditional apology to the community.

“I have just learnt that the decor of Goregaon Social has offended the religious sentiments of Catholics. For this error, I offer a complete and unconditional apology on behalf of our group. 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 . On the contrary , it is a call to move away from the pursuit of material things and instead focus on the spiritual pursuits. The intended message is that money and things cannot buy you happiness,” Amlani wrote.

“We have already removed all the imagery that the Watchdog Foundation considered offensive and further commit to ensure that we do all we can to ensure that no one’s sentiments are offended. I once again apologize for any hurt we have caused and accept full responsibility for the same. If there is anything at all we can do to show our commitment towards making amends please do let me know,” he added.

The Watchdog Foundation had earlier claimed that the pub’s management has “done this deliberate and malicious act with an intent to outrage the religious feelings of the Christian community by insulting its religion and our religious beliefs”.

“For instance Jesus is holding a leather bag, Mother Mary having a Chain in her hand (instead of Rosary), Moses holding a Computer Tablet, St. Anthony is shown wearing Glasses, etc. Similarly Tabernacle where Eucharist is stored or reserved is instead shown in the said pub having some liquor bottles with inscription of Holy Cross on the container resembling the Tabernacle, which is considered most Holy by Christians,” their statement read.

By Wednesday night, thousands of Catholics had taken to social media to protest against Goregaon Social and signed a petition demanding the arrest of the pub’s owner and cancellation of their licenses.

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