Swara Bhasker has found herself in the eye of a storm yet again, and this time even Amazon – for whom she is doing a campaign – has been seemingly adversely affected. The Anaarkali of Aarah was among the first celebrities to take part in an online social campaign against the Kathua and Unnao rape cases that have shaken up the country. Over the past couple of days, many have been tweeting posters and messages with the common hashtag #JusticeForOurChild and its variants, demanding justice for the victims.
Posters in hand — a message reading “I am Hindustan. I am Ashamed. 8 years old. Gangraped. Murdered. In ‘Devi’-sthaan temple. #Kathua” — many celebrities shared their photos online. However, they have been facing the brunt of it as well since there has been some objection to the words/phrases used in the poster, saying it is anti-national and communal.
Days later, after Bhasker tweeted out an endorsement post for Amazon, there was a massive uproar on social media as people not only trolled the actor for her previous tweet, but also started trolling Amazon India for engaging Bhaskar as a campaigner for their “#AjnabiShahatirKiGoogly #ChonkpurCheetahs” campaign. So much so, that after retweeting and responding to the actor’s tweet, the MNC’s social media team deleted their post. Although the official reason for the deletion is unknown, and indianexpress.com has reached out to Amazon for a comment, it is being widely speculated that this step was taken in response to the public backlash against Bhasker, and her association with the brand.
Some even went as far as starting the hashtag #BoycottAmazon, slamming the company for “siding with” an actor who maligned and hurt religious sentiments of Hindus. Tweeple demanded Amazon should not associate with Bhasker and must be removed from brand endorsements or else they would uninstall and boycott the tech giant’s app and services.
In the tweet, Bhasker had written: “When I made the big move to a new city, all I wanted was a swanky music system, music being my passion! No matter how much I hunted for it, couldn’t find anything of my choice. In fact, I only got confused! #AjnabiShaharKiGoogly #ChonkpurCheetahs”.
When I made the big move to a new city, all I wanted was a swanky music system, music being my passion! No matter how much I hunted for it, couldn’t find anything of my choice. In fact, I only got confused! #AjnabiShaharKiGoogly #ChonkpurCheetahs @amazonIN https://t.co/dQcI3z3zww
— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) April 19, 2018
Amazon India retweeted her post, featuring it in one of their campaign tweets. This was later deleted without explanation, but not before people had taken screenshots of it.
Amazon ne Swara Bhaskar ko nikaal diya, delete kar diya.
Har Har Mahadev. 🚩 pic.twitter.com/3NCmc61GRc
— Shivam 🖌 (@shtoons) April 20, 2018
Soon #BoycottAmazon and #UninstallAmazon started trending on the micro-blogging site and people started giving bad reviews to the app.
#BoycottAmazon Bye Amazon, I had bought a new book from Amazon just last month, have bought all my books from Amazon, but it is time to move on. Please don’t associate with people who hurt Hindu religious sentiments. @amazonIN
— Sajith Sasidharan (@SajithSasidhar2) April 22, 2018
#BoycottAmazon been an Amazon custumer since many years.. My I order min. 7-8 a month.But I m uninstalling Amazon until they don’t disassociate themselves from anti Hindu person #swarabhaskar and I am done with these celebrities who live of our money and then abuse my religion.
— s k (@imsmitakhare) April 22, 2018
— विजेश जैसवाल (@vijesh21) April 22, 2018
— Pankaj Pandey (@iampandey2668) April 22, 2018
Hey @amazonIN I am one of your Prime customer Honestly speaking i love purchasing from @amazonIN I am uninstalling amazon app @SwaraBhaskar who has disrespected my reigion as well as my country. So I Boycott Amazone#BoycottAmazon #BoycottDalalBollywood
This is my contribution😠 pic.twitter.com/LOfzBBF48S
— Deepak tiwari (@Deepu2200) April 22, 2018
— Shaan (@Jarvisirish) April 22, 2018
@amazonIN I am going to remove your services from my phone , my friends phone , friends of friends phone if you work with @ReallySwara . Take a step against these type of anti social elements . We don’t deal with those who spread controversy in our india .#BoycottAmazon
— Amit Saroha INDIA (@Mitti_Cric10) April 22, 2018
@ReallySwara I don’t have an @amazonIN app installed, but I refuse to buy anything from Amazon till it stops associating with activist-for-hire @ReallySwara, who insulted my country and my temples! #BoycottAmazon
— Kaushal Mishra (@mishrakaushal71) April 22, 2018
— Sanjib Ghosh🔥সঞ্জীব (@sampadscales) April 22, 2018
Hey @amazonIN, I am one of your Prime customer, with at least 5 purchases every month. I am shocked that your are using enemies of my civilisation like Swara for promotion. I will have to boycott you.@ReallySwara#BoycottAmazon pic.twitter.com/aUPFM1BHAs
— Ajeet Gupta (@GuptaAjeet5) April 21, 2018
But not everyone joined forces against Bhasker, as many even expressed shock over how could it be logical to break association with someone who was condemning a heinous crime as child rape.
People are #BoycottAmazon b/c they hired a woman who spoke out against the rape + murder of an 8 yr old girl. Regardless of religion, gender, race, this is never acceptable. Hey @amazon don’t worry, we got your back! #Amazon
— akathisia (@Akathisia11) April 21, 2018
You guys are disgusting for boycotting Amazon for supporting a woman who spoke out against child rape. You are too blinded by your love for your country to truly recognize the flaws of it.
— MONSTER (@11DreamKiller11) April 21, 2018
Let the PseudoNationalist boycott you #Amazon. They did the same with snapdeal on Amir Khan. What happened to Snapdeal after Boycott & Snapdeal cutting off Amir Khan?? Snapdeal is on the brink of a closure. These are spineless people playing on sentiments #BoycottAmazon
— shahzad (@arian290360) April 22, 2018
— samik (@slamsam18) April 21, 2018
“Such is the lunacy in India these days that Hindutva gang are targetting Swara Bhaskar en masse (and boycotting Amazon of which shes apparently a brand ambassador) for speaking up AGAINST child rape.” #NotMyIndia
— Reema Asnani (@RAsnani) April 22, 2018
@amazon I’m disappointed in you. Why do you care so much about angering those who do not care about the rape and murder of a child????? Instead of deleting things, maybe take a look at yourself.
— Julianne Perry (@julianne_perry) April 22, 2018
Nice. How can a person and that to a women have a voice in the society. And how can she speak on rape. OMG. And how can Amazon sign her? All western influence. Time to boycott Amazon
— Bala Yogesh (@Yo_Bala) April 21, 2018
I’m confused, you are mad at Amazon for a spoke persons comments condemning the brutal rape of a young girl?? Please explain to me how this hurts any religion?!
— Vickie (@vickievignon) April 21, 2018
— alim (@alimhcu) April 21, 2018
If Amazon drops @ReallySwara
& bows to rape apologists, it drops me as a customer. Will not stand by those who stand by paedophile rapists & murderers. Do the right thing, @amazonIN . https://t.co/YaUkKh8VNp
— Sabina Basha (@SabinaBasha) April 21, 2018
Those asking for boycott of Amazon for their association with Swara @ReallySwara are supporting Child rape and murder.
— Tushar (@TusharG) April 22, 2018
Hello @AmazonIN if you drop @ReallySwara over rape apologists bullying her for taking a stand over a rape that is being justified by the state, I don’t see a reason why I should be loyal to you either. Frankly, I find the idea of shopping with you repulsive.
— Vidyut #DestroyTheAadhaar (@Vidyut) April 21, 2018
For Bhasker, though, such controversy is not new, as she was at the receiving end of a lot of flak just a couple of weeks back when she wrote an open letter to film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali after watching his movie Padmaavat.