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Sunday, August 27, 2006

All’s in a name, if it’s Hitler’s Cross - Faithwise Review of the Week

  • All’s in a name, if it’s Hitler’s Cross - Jews frown on restaurant ‘gimmick’, The Telegraph, August 24, 2006
    Playing with Hitler is like playing with fire, and the owners of Hitler’s Cross should have known it.

    The multi-cuisine restaurant-cum-coffee bar that last week threw its doors open in Kharghar in Navi Mumbai is in the centre of a controversy with the small Jewish population furious because it was promoted with posters of Hitler and Nazi swastikas.

    No, Nuremburg noodles or Auschwitz soup or Mauser pizzas are not on the menu here or anything that could offend your sensibilities. But the Israeli mission in India today asked Mumbai authorities to change the restaurant’s name.

    “We hope Indian authorities will ensure that Hitler being such a mass murderer does not get any rehabilitation,” Israel’s consul general in Mumbai, Daniel Zohar Zonshine, told Reuters.

    “There is a limit to gimmick. In India, we believe, if something like this hurts the sentiments of a community, it can be treated as a criminal offence.”

    Those who run the 1,000 sq ft restaurant have removed a poster of Hitler and the swastika pasted in the restaurant following the outrage from the Jews. But they are refusing to bend further and change its name.

    “I have no sympathy for Adolf Hitler. The name was just chosen because it seemed so radically different from any other restaurant name. I don’t understand why no one has raised objections to at least a dozen such brand names,” 26-year-old managing director Punit Sabhlok said.

    Furiously rattling off the names of kid’s fashion labels, liquor brands and tobacco products bearing Hitler’s name, Sabhlok said similar standards would have to be applied to everybody.

    “I don’t wish to change the name of my restaurant, but if they insist, I would want them to change the names of all these other brands as well. Why only me?”

    Shakeer Siddiqui, a managing partner of Hitler’s Cross which serves pizzas, salads, coffee, Indian grub and hookahs in the Indian-styled seating section, felt likewise.

    “Hitler is just a German surname. I can understand if somebody’s sentiments are hurt if we say Adolf Hitler’s Cross or have a name which glorifies Hitler in any way. The swastika is also a holy Indian symbol.”

    If nothing else, the sound and fury have generated good business at Hitler’s Cross. Today, hundreds poured into the restaurant, most of them students from nearby educational institutions. continue reading...

  • Letters to God
    is a new series of 13 half-hour programs, and will air on Vision TV in Canada, and on the Faith and Values channel in the US early next year...
    Be on our new TV series! PTV Productions
  • Woman Deliberately Burns to Death at Husband's Funeral
    A woman in central India has died after apparently engaging in self immolation, or the deliberate setting of one's self on fire. She was attending the funeral of her late husband, who was being cremated on a pyre.
  • Hindu judge is Pakistan's acting chief justice
    Islamabad, Aug 23 (IANS) Justice Rana Bhagwandas, a Hindu, took oath here Wednesday as acting chief justice of Pakistan in the absence of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry who left on a foreign tour. TeluguPortal.Net

    Anonymous said...

    Dear Taher,
    It is sad that it has become a fashion and quite a profitable one too, to do something very ordinary and even routine in a controversial way. That is why we see occurences like this and this trend also explains why our films, books, paintings and TV programmes so often depict something offensive to some section of society and end up getting publicity and public attention for free.While we should discourage this dirty tactic we should all work to ensure that as groups, religious, racial or ethnic we never get worked up over these irritations and allow our social unity and harmony to suffer.
    Dr.K.Javeed Nayeem,MD, Mysore, India

    Mohamed Taher said...

    Dear Javeed
    Thanks for the comments.
    Keep visiting and continue leaving your impressions (or visual signatures).

    Best, Taher

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