Online retail giant Amazon has been slammed by many Sikh bodies. Amazon has reportedly been selling doormats and toilet seat covers bearing the image of the highly-revered Golden Temple (the Darbar Sahib), Amritsar. Amazon was asked to remove these products from their site as it hurts the religious sentiments of Sikhs Worldwide.
It is very understandable why Amazon is facing such alleged charges. The Golden Temple is the holiest of Gurudwaras (Sikh Temples) all around the globe and the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism.
Amazon v/s Sikhs
The Sikh Coalition, prominent community body in the US said in a statement that they were alerted to Amazon selling doormats, rugs, and toilet covers with the Golden Temple’s pictures on it. These products were on display at Amazon’s site.
One of the most historically significant Sikh sites – the Darbar Sahib – is not a doormat. We will not tolerate this product being sold by @amazon. More updates coming soon.https://t.co/lqk7ibhmes pic.twitter.com/e13C4G9pov
— Sikh Coalition (@sikh_coalition) December 18, 2018
Rightly Amazon was informed about the products being sold and about its implications. How the Golden Temple is a shrine and retailing these products sent an offensive message to Sikhs all-round the globe.
Another statement was issued by NGO United Sikhs, asking Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos to do the same as even they had received numerous complaints about the site. These complaints were also regarding the rugs and doormats and the toilet seat covers displaying the Golden Temple.
United Sikhs offered Amazon staff Sikh awareness training, in an effort to educate Amazon’s staff with the Sikh culture and its relevance. This was put forward so that Amazon prevents similar anti-Sikh products being sold on their site. They also reached out to the manufactures of these products to demand a seize in the production of these items.
The civil and legal rights organization said that in the hours since, through community outreach, several pages have been removed from the website. And running a search for such items results in a blank page that says that “Sorry, we couldn’t find that page”.
It was pointed by many that the use of religious or spiritual imagery on items that frequently come in contact with unhygienic surfaces is considered offensive in most faiths originating in the East.
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.
The group also asked individuals to write to Amazon to remove such products from their site and also to make sure no similar items are ever sold there. They also requested Amazon to advise its sellers and retailers to refrain from selling or displaying these products.