Amazon withdraws offensive products against Hindu gods
The US-based e-commerce global giant, Amazon was forced to withdraw online sale of products with offensive images of Hindu gods after it received a severe backlash from the Hindu community worldwide. Amazon was the platform on which Hindu-haters were selling toilet seats, toilet papers and various other offensive products with imprints of Hindu gods on it.
The images of Lord Shiva on toilet seat, cover and a mat caused a worldwide horror. In one of Amazon’s display, a person was shown standing over the image of much revered Lord Ganesha and the tag-line unabashedly goes on like this, “Kitchen rugs and Runner set..”
What apparently has forced Amazon’s hands is the uproar on social media platforms as well as the news that tens of hundreds of users were un-installing their App from their mobile phones/ desktop/ laptops etc. The fact that India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had also been approached by Netizens left them with no option.
Hindus took to twitter with the hashtag #BoycottAmazon which zoomed up as one of the top trends worldwide in no time with over 24,000 tweets outpouring their anger and disgust.
Protests was reportedly lodged against Amazon on different planks of social media, including twitter. A feeling of hurt, anguish and insult to the Hindu gods revered by more than a billion people, swiftly made its point. Spearheading the movement at social media, twitteratti Anshul Saxena @AskAnshul tweeted, “How many times you will hurt the sentiments of Hindus? Why do you do this every year, every time? Till when will this continue? Will it ever stop?”
Not commenting on why the controversial products got clearance for online trading in the first place, the Amazon spokesperson said, “The products in question are being removed from our store. All the sellers must follow the company’s selling guidelines and those who do not comply, will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account.”. Though the controversial products are traded and sold in Amazon.com, which is mostly confined to USA markets, the company’s Indian arm Amazon.in also faced the brunt of ire.
Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, based in Reno, Nevada, USA, had set the pitch for a massive Hindu protest against Amazon.com in USA. Zed urged Hindus worldwide to lodge their protests urging Amazon.com to immediately withdraw the product from its list of products. Calling it highly inappropriate Rajan Zed said, “Lord Shiva is highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home temples and not to adorn a toilet cover or put your feet on. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or symbols or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the faithful.”
Zed, who is credited with as a first Hindu to conduct an official (Hindu) prayer in the Senate on July 12, 2007, urged Amazon.com and its President Jeffrey P. Bezos to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing the Lord Shiva toilet cover set.
However, Amazon.com is not a first time offender.
A few years back, Amazon.com tried to trivialize the Sikh religious sentiments with doormats, rugs and toilet seat covers with the image of one the most historically significant Sikh sites, the Golden Temple, being sold on its platform.