Ahmedabad’s ‘Hitler’ store to be renamedThursday, 06 September 2012
After protests from the Jewish community and
the government the owners of Ahmedabad’s now infamous ‘Hitler’ store has decided to rename and rebrand the store. The shop selling western wear for men had open doors last month. The store named ‘Hitler’ also has swastika as the dot on the ‘i’ for Hitler. It maybe noted that an Israeli diplomat in India had decided to ask Gujarat’s chief minister, Narendra Modi to put pressure upon the owners of ‘Hitler’ to change the name of their venture. Orna Sagiv, the Israeli Consul General based in Mumbai had said that she was shocked that the owner of an apparel shop would name his shop after Hitler and have the swastika as one of its emblems on the shop banner. She said its “totally unacceptable” and “insulting” to the Jewish community, not just in India but across the world.
"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," said Manish Chandani, co-owner of the store. He said he had not expected to rake up this kind of controversy and protests and that he had no intention of glorifying the German dictator. In fact, he had chosen the name as a tribute to his grandfather, who was nicknamed Hitler for being a "very strict man," he explained.
It may be noted that after the clothing store ‘Hitler’ hit headlines, the Anti-Defamation League in New York, an organization that fights anti-Semitism, called on the owners to “heed the concerns of the local Jewish community and the voices of others from around the world by immediately changing the store’s name from ‘Hitler’.” In a press release, it called Shah’s decision to use the name “an affront to the memory of the millions of Hitler’s victims... It is a perverse abuse of the history of the Holocaust to name a business after one of the world’s most notorious mass murderers and anti-Semites,” Abraham H Foxman, the ADL’s National Firector and a Holocaust survivor, said in the press release.
According to Sagiv, the attitude reflects “deep ignorance and insensitivity in an otherwise tolerant society,” one where the Jewish community had never suffered any discrimination, even when anti-Semitism was at its peak in the rest of the world.