Hitler shop prompts outrage

2012-09-02 14:07
Adolf Hitler (File)

Adolf Hitler (File)

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New Delhi - The owner of a menswear shop in western India controversially named "Hitler" said on Sunday he would consider changing its name after it triggered protests from the local Jewish community and the Israeli mission.

The shop opened in Gujarat state's Ahmedabad city last month. It features the word "Hitler" in bold letters and a Nazi swastika dotting the letter "i" on its hoarding.

Its owner, Rajesh Shas, says Ahmedabad's small Jewish community, which numbers less than 500, had approached him demanding that it be renamed.

"Our intention is not to hurt anyone. We will decide on renaming the store after my business partner returns from a trip abroad in a day or two," Shah said in a telephone interview.

"But I have consulted my lawyer, who said no offence is made under Indian laws," he said.

Shah claims he did not know who Adolf Hitler was, saying the shop was named after his business partner's grandfather, who was dubbed "Hitler" for being very strict.

"It was a catchy name .. Our store is doing good business."

But Israel's consul-general in Mumbai, Orna Sagiv, was not amused, telling the BBC she was "shocked" by the "insensitive name".

Many Indians have also launched an online petition demanding that the shop's license be revoked. Nikitin Contractor of India's Friends of Israel condemned the "attempt to celebrate a mass murderer, in Gujarat, the birthplace of non-violence icon Mahatma Gandhi."

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