After jewellery brand Tanishq, e-commerce website, Amazon has found itself offending the Hindu community and they want to boycott Amazon.
The Twitterati was in an uproar after seeing a few products on Amazon with images of Hindu gods and goddesses used on swimwear products. The posts were flooded with rage against Amazon for promoting brands that offend the Hindu community. Several tweets demanded that they respect religious sentiments and were quick to ask if products that violated Christian and Muslim sentiments would be allowed on the platform.
Untill they sell a doormat with "cross" or with "Crescent & Star" we will not take this bullshit by any of the brand/organisation which tries to defame "Sanatan dharm" through their platform#BoycottAmazon @KapilMishra_IND @Rajput_Ramesh @VertigoWarrior pic.twitter.com/ExGElccHt1— Mukul Gaur Official (@imukulofficial) November 10, 2020
Another post found a doormat with the Hindu religious symbol Om printed on it and demanded why such sellers have not been reprimanded by Amazon. The rage has varied from boycotting the brand to uninstalling the app completely.
Only a few days back, fire-cracker companies selling a particular type of firecracker—Laxmi Bomb- had offended Hindu sentiments for using the image of Hindu goddess Laxmi on their firecrackers. The significance of goddess Laxmi on Diwali is attached to bringing prosperity and wealth to homes.
#BoycottAmazon This is really Famous banne ki Ninja Technique, bcos They are the same People who burst Firecrackers with Laxmi Mata photo on ( #LaxmiBomb ) it and let the trash Left on the Road after they get orgasm by burning cracker ( Joke ) so where is Hinduism there ? pic.twitter.com/sLI96yDwC7— Maj. GD Bakshi (@rahul_ranjan786) November 10, 2020
One Twitter user wanted Amazon to use Charlie Hebdo caricatures on their products and if not demanded an explanation defaming a single religion. In 2015, after the publication of caricatures that offended the Muslim sentiments, 7 staff members of French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris were killed in a shooting.
Even recently, a teacher was beheaded in France for showing cartoons of Prophet Mohammad cartoons in the classroom. One Twitter user urged everyone to stay calm and just opt for local.
During the pandemic and the lockdown that followed, Amazon played a quintessential part in both aiding people and monopolising the market. Its ability to quickly adapt to changing scenarios allowed for the development of ‘No-contact delivery system’; which is by far the safest means to purchase goods. Under their advancement, local retail shops and sellers suffered huge losses as customers were afraid of contracting the virus and retails were unable to meet the new requirements of home delivery.
While Amazon might have been insensitive on this issue, it begs the question of what type of religious representations on products is acceptable. While swimwear and doormats have already been categorized as offensive products for representation, one must wonder if there are other products that require monitoring.
The trend of finding content offensive and demanding a take-down of it could completely disrupt the free-market model built by these e-commerce websites. While religion seems to be the unfavourable topic now, the structure of this mentality could be extended to all things under the universe— unravelling the fabric of e-commerce platforms.
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