A prominent Sikh body on Tuesday lashed out at Amazon after they realised that doormats and rugs with the image of the Golden Temple were reportedly being sold on the e-commerce website. In a notice issued to them, the online retail giant was immediately asked to prohibit sale of culturally inappropriate and offensive merchandise.
The Sikh Coalition in a statement told PTI that it was alerted to the images of historically significant Sikh sites imprinted on products such as doormats, rugs and toilet seat covers, were being sold by some sellers on Amazon.
“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,” The Sikh Coalition’s Senior Manager of Advocacy & Policy Sim Singh said in a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Senior Vice President & General Counsel David Zapolsky.
Singh said that “using religious or spiritual imagery on products that come into contact with unhygienic surfaces is offensive to all faiths that originated in the East. The Golden Temple is no such 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.”
The civil and legal rights organisation said that in hours since the letter, through community outreach, several pages have been removed from the website. The products seem to have been removed from the e-commerce website as it now displays a message, “Sorry, we couldn’t find that page” appearing on search for those items.
The body has asked Amazon to permanently prohibit the sale of such objectionable items hoping 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 requested people to send the e-commerce giant direct messages explaining why they found such products culturally offensive.