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India's 'Hitler' clothing store to change name

Published Sep 04, 2012 12:46pm


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One of the two Indian owners of the Hitler clothing store - Rajesh Shah poses in a t-shirt adorned with an image of Indian freedom icon Mahatma Gandhi in front of his shop in Ahmedabad. –Photo by AFP

AHMEDABAD: The owner of an Indian store called “Hitler” said he had agreed to drop the Nazi dictator's name and re-brand his shop following protests from the Jewish community and the government.

The shop, which sells Western menswear, opened in Ahmedabad city in the western state of Gujarat last month with “Hitler” spelled out in large white letters above the storefront, complete with a Swastika as the dot on the “i”.

Members of the tiny Jewish community in Ahmedabad condemned the store's name, while a senior Israeli official raised the matter with the state government.

“I plan to change the store's name very soon. There is tremendous pressure from the government and the Jewish community to drop the name,” Manish Chandani, co-owner of the store, told AFP.

Chandani said he had not anticipated the shop would draw international attention and protests and that he had no intention of glorifying the German dictator.

The shop's name was chosen as a tribute to his grandfather, who was nicknamed Hitler for being a “very strict man,” he explained.

“I will have to spend money from my pocket for re-branding the entire store. The logo, the hoarding and the business cards will be changed,” he said.

“I was not aware of Hitler being responsible for the killings of six million people before the shop's inauguration. This time I will choose a non- controversial name.” The row evoked memories of a controversy six years ago when a Mumbai restaurant owner called his cafe “Hitler's Cross” and put a swastika on the hoarding, claiming Hitler was a “catchy” name.

The restaurant owner eventually agreed to change the name after protests by the Israeli embassy, Germany and the US Anti-Defamation League.

Hitler attracts an unusual degree of interest in some parts of India, with his book “Mein Kampf” a popular title in bookshops and on street stalls.

Some Indians express private admiration for a leader seen as strong and decisive, while knowledge of the Holocaust and the other atrocities during the Third Reich is often patchy.

Gujarat schoolbooks issued by the Hindu nationalist state government were criticised a few years ago for praising Hitler as someone who gave “dignity and prestige” to the German government.


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Comments (21) Closed

virat Sep 05, 2012 07:45pm
Only sensible comment in this blog
malik Sep 06, 2012 12:34am
What a clever way to get international publicity and attention. For your very mediocre clothing store. And then plead ignorance...
SAK Sep 05, 2012 04:40pm
Freedom of speech!?
freddyboss Sep 05, 2012 11:29am
Hilter-is an Indian slang for a difficult boss or for someone who is difficult to get along with. Now this name is 'Jan-ko-Hitler' for Chandani's.
p r sharma Sep 05, 2012 07:04pm
there is a popular show named HITLER Didi is presently aired on an Indian TV channel. and no objection raised there against.( Hitler in India, is synonym for a strong and arrogant person.)
HINDU Sep 05, 2012 01:31pm
Indian school history books don't give the detailed study of concentration camps of nazi,i.e. people thought that Hitler was bad only for world wars, and one thing is sure for Indian is that he was the most most strict person in the world history.
hassan Sep 05, 2012 02:10pm
Well said Owais
Sajjad Ali Gopang Sep 05, 2012 03:11am
They were aware about "Hitler" or not but one thing is clear that now they have gotten Popularity.
NASAH (USA) Sep 04, 2012 04:25pm
It is no surprise that in the land of Narendre Modi a clothing store is named after Hitler. No wonder the Desis in the US are called DIs -Dumb Indians.
omar Sep 06, 2012 01:08am
He's not a fool. He puts a swastika as a dot for letter "i". He is certainly looking for a lot of publicity for his business. Now everyone knows about his shop.Mission accomplished.
Nadeem Sep 05, 2012 12:51pm
The new name of the shop should be 'Free Palestine'
Omar. Sep 07, 2012 02:54am
Spot on Omar.
Owais Sep 05, 2012 01:17pm
Pakistan also treat minorities fairly, Look at india what they did in Gujrat with muslims, what they are doing in Kashmir with muslims even what they are doing with low cast hindu. So first look at your side then raise finger on muslmis and Pakis. As far as 50 jews are concerned, their voice has been given importance only due to their power which is running even USA so keep it up.
Hitesh Sep 05, 2012 04:44am
The point worth praising in this episode for the people of Muslim World and especially Pakistan is, concern of a very tiny minority may be at the most ten families(50 person) in 5 million population of Ahmedabad is attended and government act to decisively to promote mutual harmony. How you treat your minorities and how should you treat them should be learnt from this episode.
malik Sep 06, 2012 12:40am
Do Indian history books also advise, not to look up information on the internet. Maybe just google the name. He is clever enough to put the swastika in the name. Named after Grand father, Oh give me a break ...LOL
Nazli Siddiqui Sep 04, 2012 02:00pm
Didn't know what Hitler was responsible for???? Business and ignorance don't mix. I will still boycott the merchandise from the re-branded "Hitler"
Noble Lucifer Sep 06, 2012 02:39am
Keep lying to yourself
Nature Lover Sep 04, 2012 02:05pm
Don't tell me he has not heard of Hitler.
sja Sep 06, 2012 12:44am
That is all hype and business advertising ---- he could have a better name simple like ---- HI---- tailor. The owner had spend a lot as he said so he should be a HI class tailor, so why not change it to simple HI---- Tailor. Sometimes they say easy does and in this case easy may not it. LOL
Syed Sep 06, 2012 12:35am
Well said.
shovonc Sep 05, 2012 02:53am
Only in Gujarat.