'Hitler' Store Agrees to Name Change Following Global Protests
The “Hitler” garment store located in Vastrapur, India has agreed to change its name due to “political pressure” and protests from both the local and international community.
The shop owners stated on Monday evening that they would soon come up with a new name.
Orna Sagiv, consul general of Israel at Mumbai, had met senior state government officials on Monday and stressed that the shop's name had greatly upset the Jewish community, both in India and around the world, The Times of India reported.
The owner of the shop, Rajeshbhai (Rajesh Shah) claimed, when the story first broke at the end of August, that he was unaware that Hitler was the name of the ruthless Nazi dictator. "Hitler was a nickname given to my business partner Manish Chandani's grandfather because of his strict nature. Frankly, until the time we applied for the trademark permission, I had only heard that Hitler was a strict man. It was only recently that we read about Hitler on the Internet,” he said at the time.
"In the city of Mahatma Gandhi and non-violence, how can anyone celebrate a person like Hitler who is known to have murdered millions of unarmed ordinary civilians? We as a community had represented our concerns to the proprietors and we do not think they agree with us," Nikitin Contractor of the Friends of Israel organization told The Times.
The Anti-Defamation League had issued a statement urging the proprietors to change the store’s name saying, "It is a perverse abuse of the history of the Holocaust to name a business after one of the world's most notorious mass murders and anti-Semites," said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.
"Hitler's name is seeping into India's popular culture without any appropriate context. Clearly, there's a need for more education in India about the history of World War II and the rampant anti-Semitism that led to the mass murder of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust," Foxman added.
Menashe Solomon, honorary secretary of Magen Abraham synagogue in the city said that he wanted to thank the owners of the shop for agreeing to change the store’s name.
"We are happy that the name change did take place. The support we have got from all the residents and international community is overwhelming," he told The Times.