The clothing outlet, which sells Western men’s wear, opened 2 weeks ago in Ahmedabad city in the western state of Gujarat with “Hitler” written in big letters over the front and with a Nazi swastika as the dot on the “i”. Hitler and Nazi swastika for commercial purposes stirred big row in India.
Proprietor Rajesh Shah claimed he was unaware that the name might cause offence as it derived from a nickname given to his business partner’s grandfather.
“We had put up a cloth banner for over a month saying ‘Hitler opening shortly,’ no one objected to the name then,” Shah told The Times of India.
“I didn’t know how much the name would disturb people,” he told AFP by telephone from Ahmedabad. “It was only when the store opened I learnt Hitler had killed six million people.”
But local Jews disagree and say the owners knew exactly what the name meant. A member of the Jewish community visited the store last week and told the newspaper that the pair had researched the dictator “right from the dress to his cufflinks”.
“I will change it (the name) if people want to compensate me for the money we have spent — the logo, the hoarding, the business cards, the brand,” Rajesh Shah told AFP.
He estimates total costs around 150,000 rupees ($2,700).
Hitler’s leadership and charisma fascinate India’s young people, scholars told BBC.
A café called “Hitler’s Cross” opened in 2006 and last year Bollywood released a movie called “Gandhi to Hitler” about India’s move away from British colonial rule.