Shop Hitler, Vastrapur

“The owners of the shop say it was innocently named after one of their grandfathers, who was nicknamed ‘Hitler’ due to his strict nature” –

.In The Indian Express

AHMEDABAD, INDIA—Tuesday September 04 2012—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.

“Supervillain name” –

.In Daily News & Analysis (Bombay) –

‘Hitler’ forced to rechristen itself, finally
For the Bard, who had written a long time back, What’s in a name?, a moniker may have been just a part of an individual’s overall identity. But ask Manish Chandani and Rajesh Shah, owners of the garment shop, Hitler, what it means to understand the pain a name can bring. Both swear they literally revisited the concentration camps thereafter. Even though ‘Hitler’ replete with a nazi swastika in Vastrapur attracted huge footfalls, they have decided to end the week-long pain by changing shop’s name. Chandani shares at length with DNA about the controversy raised by Jews and how the state government too is pressuring him to rechristen his shop.
So you’re changing the name…
I and my partner have decided and promised the state government as well as the Jews community that we will change the name. We are left with no option but the change the name as we were scared because of the odd phone calls as well as external pressures. On Monday, two personnel (identities not revealed) came to the shop and asked me to change the name or else threatened of not leaving the shop till we relent. I also got calls from Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to change the name or else they will cancel all kind of registration and certificates given to us.
And the new name is …
The process will take a few days more. A consultancy firm has suggested a few names and we are yet to finalise. ‘Hitler’ was a catchy name and it was named after my grandfather, a collector. Being very strict, he was known dubbed the Hitler by his friends. So my father suggested me to name the shop, Hitler, after him. We are looking out for similar catchy moniker.
Did ‘Hitler’ bring business?
In the last one month, footfalls doubled, just because customers were curious to know what ‘Hitler’ sells. We found out that not only walk-in customers, but even vehicles passing by took a u-turn to know what the store sells. My business surely doubled.
Who else objected?
The Germans, who came, took pictures of the store and said that I have made a joke of the name by not selling a single German brand. But on August 27, for first time, a Jewish uncle had come and complained about the name. From then on, every day we got calls as well as people from the Jewish community meeting and even threatening us to drop the name. Interestingly, amid the rising controversy which crossed international boundary, I got calls from UK and the US saying that they liked the name. They also said that they are supporting me and asked me not to change the name. But, I will always have a complaint: Not a single Indian stood by me supporting me on this issue.
Any compensation?
The two men who sat in my shop for hours on Monday, said that they will consider to compensate the cost. I am expecting the name change to cost me at least Rs1.5 to Rs2 lakh. The cost of board itself is around Rs60,000. Apart from that, we have also printed banners, posters, visiting cards as well as spent a lot on branding of the name. I hope to get compensated for changing the name.




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