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Amazon faces backlash in India for selling toilet seats, shoes with images of Hindu gods

Thousands of Twitter users backed the call for the boycott, with some tagging Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and urging her to take action against the world’s biggest online retailer.

india Updated: May 16, 2019 18:33 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Mumbai
Amazon,India news,Hindu gods
Amazon.com faced a social media backlash in India on Thursday after toilet seat covers and other items with images of Hindu gods were spotted on the U.S. retailer’s website.(Ramegowda Bopaiah/Mint photo)

Amazon.com faced a social media backlash in India on Thursday after toilet seat covers and other items with images of Hindu gods were spotted on the U.S. retailer’s website, making #BoycottAmazon the country’s top trending topic on Twitter.

Thousands of Twitter users backed the call for the boycott, with some tagging Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and urging her to take action against the world’s biggest online retailer.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The episode is reminiscent of an incident in 2017 when New Delhi took the Seattle, Washington-based company to task after its Canadian website was spotted selling doormats resembling India’s flag.

Swaraj at the time threatened to rescind visas of Amazon employees if the doormats were not removed from its site.

Reuters found several listings of toilet seat covers, yoga mats, sneakers, rugs and other items depicting Hindu gods, or sacred Hindu symbols, on Amazon’s U.S. website.

Some of the items were no longer available for purchase, suggesting that Amazon may have been withdrawing some of the items, as it did in 2017.

“Until you hit these Hinduphobics Business hard they will keep on insulting your gods, your beliefs & your entire civilization,” tweeted Sumit Kandel, whose profile describes him as a film trade analyst.

(The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text, only the headline has been changed)

First Published: May 16, 2019 18:24 IST