Social media users in the US and India expressed anger at e-commerce giant Amazon last week for selling underwear and doormats with Hindu sacred symbols on its overseas websites. As #BoycottAmazon trended on Twitter, the parent company Amazon.com Inc., issued a statement saying it had taken down the product listings from its websites. “All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action including potential removal of their account,” said Amazon.
“We are taking down the products in question,” the website was quoted as saying.
But social media users continued to share screenshots of doormats and underwear emblazoned with various insignia of Hinduism, according to a Reuters report. BJP spokesperson Gaurav Goel also took to Twitter, saying, “We too have religious sentiments. Don’t violate Section 295A. The section says that any person deliberately and maliciously intended to outrage religious feelings can be punished for the term prescribed or extended up to 3 years.”
Earlier an online campaign was started against the sale of such products. “Amazon USA is selling doormats with pictures of Hindu God in various God forms and Goddesses. We deeply condemn it. We ask Amazon to take them down all such products from their store immediately and publicly apologize – or face a global boycott among the Hindu community particularly in US and in India. The billion plus Hindu community at this point is deeply hurt at this gesture by Amazon and demand apology. Hindus are a peace-loving faith and believe in mutual respect. But here they feel disrespected and humiliated by Amazon,” the petition said. “We request Amazon to do whatever is required to restore back faith in the community among members of the community worldwide.”
Some of these products included briefs and shorts with Lord Ganesha’s image printed on it. Doormats with the image of ‘om’ were also being sold.
This is, however, not the first time that Amazon drew flak. In 2019, netizens threatened to boycott Amazon for selling toilet seat covers and other items with images of Hindu gods on them. In 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi government took the e-commerce giant to task for selling doormats resembling India’s flag.