I hold an Indian passport and live in India. I am planning to go to Croatia through France and then to Germany and go back to India through France again. A double or mutiple entry Schengen Visa is required for Croatia. Is it easier to get a Double entry Schengen visa than a multiple entry Schengen Visa for a first time tourist?
Double-entry visas are created exactly for itineraries like the one you describe, and is probably what you will get issued when you apply. You can always try checking the box for requesting multiple entries, but it's unlikely you will get that as a first-time traveler -- unless you have an extremely good story why you would need to make frequent and repeated visits to the Schengen area in the future.
(Be aware that since you're planning to spend the longest time in Italy, you must apply for the visa at the Italian consulate, even though you're entering and leaving through France).