US e-tailer Amazon has once again been caught in a controversy. This time it is related to the religious image of a Sikh shrine – Golden Temple being used in products such as doormats, rugs and toilet seat covers.
A Sikh body, called Sikh Coalition, has strongly objected against the selling of such products on Amazon.
Further, the body has requested Amazon that the products be removed while detailing the culturally insensitive problems with the products and the offensive message it sends to Sikhs around the world, it said on its site.
Soon after the objection, the pages showing above-mentioned products, have been removed. Entrackr also visited the Amazon product display pages, which showed unavailability message.
The Coalition requested Amazon to notify sellers and affiliates to refrain from publishing culturally inappropriate and offensive merchandise on its platform. It also asked people to join them in helping to explain it to the e-tailer why the products with images of Golden Temple are offensive to the Sikh community.
Using religious or spiritual imagery on products that come into contact with unhygienic surfaces is offensive to all faiths. The Golden Temple is no exception and should never appear on rugs, bathmats, and toilet seat covers.
“Such items are deeply offensive to Sikhs everywhere and other followers of Eastern religions,” said Sim Singh, Senior Manager of Advocacy & Policy.
This is not the first such incident involving Amazon.
Almost two years ago, the Canadian unit of global e-commerce behemoth was selling doormats carrying the national flag of India. At that time, External Affair Minister, Sushma Swaraj had demanded an apology from Amazon.
In May this year, Amazon had published an inaccurate map of India sans some parts of Jammu and Kashmir in a brochure for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Global Summit. Soon after the reports, which led to a protest by techies, the e-tailer corrected its mistake.
As per the draft Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016, the depiction of India on a map that does not match the government is liable to a fine of up to Rs 100 crore and seven years in jail.
Earlier, social networking giant Facebook apologised for showing J&K as part of China in a map. Recently, the government protested when Twitter showed the geographical location of Kashmir in China and Jammu in Pakistan.