Amazon faces backlash for hurting Hindu sentiments yet again

Amazon has done it again. The e-commerce major has faced Twitter backlash in India with growing calls for #BoycottAmazon. The reason – listing of toilet seat covers, doormats and other products featuring images of Hindu Gods for sale on Amazon’s US website. This has hurt the sentiments of Hindus all over the world and Twitter has become a major platform for Indians to vent their ire against the insensitivity of Amazon. 

This is not the first time that Amazon has faced fire for hurting the sentiments of Indians. In 2016, the e-commerce player had faced flak for retailing doormats featuring Hindu Gods. In 2017, the Canadian website of Amazon was found selling doormats featuring the Indian flag. At that time External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had stepped in to take action and warned that the visas of Amazon’s employees would be cancelled if the offensive articles were not removed from its website. This time, too, several Twitterattis have tagged the Minister and urged her to take action against Amazon. 

In the past, doormats and other articles featuring the images of Jesus Christ and the Holy Quran have also made their way to Amazon’s website. 

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While Amazon directly doesn’t sell these items, which is done by third party vendors on the website, there is need to introduce stricter monitoring to remove offensive products or products that hurt religious and national sentiments before they cause a furore. 

In the past, Amazon has been quick to remove the offending items from its website, but beyond that there has been no action taken and the furore has usually died down after a few days. It is time to tackle the issue head-on and tighten the guidelines, though this could prove to be an uphill task.


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