It was to be a star-studded fashion event, to be held in the hallowed hallways of the heritage Bhau Daji Lad museum in Byculla, Mumbai. Actress Kareena Kapoor was to be the show-stopper for the closing show by fashion designer Anamika Khanna for the recently-concluded Lakme Fashion Week.
But after a series of protests by Raj Thackeray's political party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), the event was shifted from the museum, and finally took place at the Palladium Hotel.
“Yes, the venue of for the Lakme Fashion Week's Grand Finale was changed from Bhau Daji Laad Museum to Palladium Hotel. But I cannot comment on the reason for the change of venue,” a public relations executive told The Hindu late last night.
"They are trying to intimidate us and behave like the moral police. Fashion shows are held at museums all around the world. This was supposed to be a traditional fashion show, and not provocative," Tasneem Mehta, a managing trustee and honorary director of the museum, told The Times of India.
ToI reported that people claiming to be from the MNS, rushed into the museum, tearing banners and curtains, shouting that holding a fashion show inside was a mockery and insult of the museum. "People were terrified. On the spot, we decided not to hold the show here," an organiser of the fashion show told ToI.
"A three-member committee consisting of members of the Mumbai Corporation, a social worker and a private trust has been formed to preserve the museum. But the space is being lent out for events like shows, parties. This is not right and we are going to complain against this," The Hindu published a statement issued by Sanjay Naik, MNS leader.