Rajesh Shah, owner of the “Hitler” store in India, wanted a “good, catchy” name for his menswear business. Well, he definitely accomplished that goal given all the controversy his shop has incited. Interestingly, Shah apparently doesn’t think the name is that bad. It seems the travesty of the Holocaust, and the concept that Hitler was an evil man, is sometimes lost in translation in India. His store is one of many in India named after the German dictator — but it’s done more for shock value than admiration.
“None of the other people are complaining, only a few Jewish families,” Shah said. “I have not hurt any sentiments of the majority Hindu community. If he did something in Germany, is that our concern?”
Shah said he named the shop after his business partner’s grandfather, who got the nickname because he was a strict man. Apparently, in India, “Hitler” is a nickname given to people who have a tough demeanor.
In fact, Shah said he only found out after he opened his shop that Hitler had killed six million people. As for changing the name, he said he has spent too much on branding at this point, and would only be open to altering it if the Jewish community is willing to pay for it.
I think it’s ridiculous that Shah didn’t know that Hitler was behind the Holocaust — after all, he knows enough to put the Swastika sign in the logo. But I wonder if in India, the word “Hitler” is used in a similar way to how Americans use the term “nazi” colloquially to describe people who have a disciplinarian attitude.