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Romeo, Frankenstein and Hitler running for election in India

| Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 9:48 p.m.

GAUHATI, India — Adolf Hitler is running for election in India. So is Frankenstein.

India's tiny northeast city in the state of Meghalaya has a special fascination for interesting and sometimes controversial names — and the ballot for state elections on Saturday is proof.

Among the 345 contestants running for the state assembly are Frankenstein Momin; Billykid Sangma; Field Marshal Mawphniang; and Romeo Rani. Some, such as Kenedy Marak, Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem and Jhim Carter Sangma, are clearly hoping for the electoral success of their namesake American presidents.

Then there is Hitler.

This 54-year-old father of three has won three elections to the state assembly with little controversy over being named after the Nazi dictator.

His father worked with the British army, but apparently developed enough of a fascination with Great Britain's archenemy to name his son Adolf Hitler — though he also gave him the middle name Lu, said Hitler.

“I am aware at one point of time Adolf Hitler was the most hated person on Earth for the genocide of the Jews. But my father added ‘Lu' in between, naming me Adolf Lu Hitler, and that's why I am different,” Hitler said.

Hitler said his name hasn't stopped him from traveling the world, including to the United States and Germany.

“I never had problems obtaining a visa, but I was asked many times during immigration as to why I should have such a name. I told the immigration staff I possibly didn't have a role in my naming,” he said.

India played hardly any role in World War II, and many Indians view Hitler not as the personification of evil but as a figure of fascination. Hitler's book “Mein Kampf” is prominently displayed in many bookstores.

Musfika Haq, a teacher in Meghalaya's capital of Shillong, said such names are common in the state.

“Parents obviously get fascinated by names of well-known or great leaders, but must be unaware that some of them, like Hitler, had been highly controversial,” he said.

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