New Delhi: E-retail giant Amazon faced flak from a prominent Sikh body for selling products such as doormats, rugs and toilet seat covers with the image of the Golden Temple. The Sikh body demanded the prohibition of sales that are culturally inappropriate and offensive. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also joined the outrage and condemned the image of Golden Temple appearing on doormats and rugs that were reportedly sold on Amazon. Also Read - Punjab CM Writes to MEA, Seeks Help For Release of Indian Youth From Malaysian Jail
In a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Senior Vice President & General Counsel David Zapolsky, the Sikh Coalition’s Senior Manager of Advocacy & Policy Sim Singh said “It has come to our attention that several sellers are posting products onto your platform that culturally appropriates the imagery of the Golden Temple and spiritual imagery of other eastern cultures.” Also Read - Emotional Chidambaram Appeals Rahul Not to Resign, Says Cadre in South Will Commit Suicide
Within hours after the report of the products, through community outreach, Amazon removed them from its website with a message that read: “Sorry, we couldn’t find that page”, stated the civil and legal rights organisation. Also Read - Amarinder Singh Casts Doubt Over Accuracy of LS Elections 2019 Exit Polls, Believes Congress Will do Much Better
Amarinder Singh said that the use of religious or spiritual imagery on products that come into contact with unhygienic surfaces is offensive to all followers of Eastern religions.
The Golden Temple is no such exception and should never appear on rugs, bathmats, and toilet seat covers.
The Sikh Coalition asked Amazon that the objectionable items be permanently prohibited from sale and hoped that Amazon will do more to ensure similar products do not appear on its platform.
“We request that you notify your sellers and affiliates to refrain from publishing culturally inappropriate and offensive merchandise on your platforms,” Singh said.
The group also asked individuals to send a direct message to Amazon explaining why these products are offensive to the Sikh community.
(With PTI inputs)