‘Hitler’ owners give in to ‘political pressure’, to rename shop

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SummaryThe proprietors of ‘Hitler’ men’s garment store in the posh Vastrapur neighbourhood of the city have decided to change the shop’s name reportedly due to “political pressure” and protest calls from across the world

The proprietors of ‘Hitler’ men’s garment store in the posh Vastrapur neighbourhood of the city have decided to change the shop’s name reportedly due to “political pressure” and protest calls from across the world.

Proprietor Rajesh Shah told The Indian Express that he and his business partner Manish Chandani took the decision on Monday evening because they were “getting political pressure” to do so.

Incidentally, Israeli Consul-General Orna Sagiv was in Gandhinagar on Monday.

Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra, however, said there had been no complaints from the Israeli government although his office did receive several complaints via email.

The proprietors said it may take a few days to change the shop’s board — adorned with the word Hitler. “We received at least 10 calls everyday from the US, the UK, Dubai, Germany and Israel. It was getting very annoying, as many of these people called at odd hours,” said Shah.

Chandani and Shah said they have not received any legal notices, but some men identifying themselves as employees of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) visited the store and showed them printouts of emails sent to municipal commissioner. The emails were all protest mails seeking AMC’s intervention to effect a change of name, they added.

Shah said the registration process for the shop is currently pending with the AMC and the visit by civic officials played a big role in the decision to change the name.

While Mohapatra said he had asked for details and was “exploring whether there are legal provisions for us” to effect a name change, District Collector Vijay Nehra said no complaints regarding the store’s name had come to his notice.

A group of Jews from the local synagogue in Ahmedabad had visited the store on August 26. They had urged Shah to change the name but the latter had disagreed, saying he did not even know the community had a presence in the state and he had not meant to hurt their sentiments in the first place.

—With Tanvir Siddique.

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