Bedspread bearing Swastika symbol infuriates Jews in Mumbai

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Mumbai, Sep 30 (UNI) The launch of a bedspread bearing the name 'NAZI' and Swastika symbol on it has infuriated the 5,000-strong Jewish community in the city.

The bedspread, under a label of 'NAZI' - New Arrival Zone of India - with the brochure carrying two red Swastikas against a black background, was launched here recently.

The city's Jews have threatened legal action against the dealer.

The dealer, however, denied any intention of generating free publicity for the product and said most customers would not make a connection to Nazism with the brand.

Last August, a similar controversy arose over the opening of a new restaurant 'Hitler's Cross' in India's financial hub. It showcased the posters of German leader Adolf Hitler and Nazi Swastikas, and had infuriated the Jewish community.

In Hinduism, one of the most popular and significant symbols is the Swastika. It represents 'well being' or 'good luck' and many temples and religious artefacts are adorned by the right-angled cross. Many religions across the globe, including native Indians and Europeans, have also used the symbol for different purposes.

It was the Nazi party preaching 'Aryan supremacy' and anti- Semitism under Hitler which used the Swastika as its emblem. During World War II, it became a symbol of fear, hate and tyranny as the dreaded Schutzstaffel or the SS, the armed wing of the Nazi party, imprisoned, tortured and killed millions of people, among whom were more than six million Jews.

After World War II, the Swastika became a taboo in the West, where it was associated with Nazism, right wing supremacists and racist beliefs.

In Germany, schoolchildren are regularly taken for field trips to concentration camps, and the swastika, the use of Nazi regime's greeting of 'Heil Hitler' and Hitler's anti-Semitic book 'Mein Kampf' are all banned.

When Prince William, wore a swastika armband for a costume party a few years ago, it caused uproar all over Europe forcing him to meekly tender an apology for his 'poor choice of costume'.


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