Amazon.com are you vetting your sellers? Despite the Change.Org petition, no action was taken against the Product / Seller. Since the petition has gained lots of positive traction it's likely the products are being removed. We did investigate yesterday, some links were still showing up.
However, the question is not about taking the product down and taking action against the seller because of a petition but the inability of Amazon to approach Indian culture and Hindu religion with the dignity that it deserves. Considering Amazon has laid big bets in India on the business front, the least expectation from this organization is a bit of cultural sensitivity in one of its biggest markets and not to cut and commercialize pieces of Indian culture for crass consumption and cultural misappropriation.
We are not trying to be cultural or religious custodians, because Culture and Religion is not anyone's private property. Symbols of other cultures are always appreciated by those who get exposed to them. If someone wants to appreciate your culture or religion, be gracious and compliment. We believe in that, but being disrespectful towards someone's belief is downright cheap.
There are people who have been treated differently and marginalized because of their culture and religious beliefs and they were forced to align themselves with unconscious limiting beliefs of how their culture and religion need to be represented. Frankly, this isn't the way they would like their culture and religion to be represented i.e. on toilet seat covers and bathroom mats.
Many designers have had a fascination with the Hindu Gods. While there is no harm in art and fashion fusion; the problem only arises when the lines of decency and aesthetics are “blurred” to create unnecessary hype and sensationalism at the cost of other people’s belief. A lot of intellectuals consider this intolerance (of raising one's voice against the depiction of religious motifs/ images of gods and goddesses in artwork or designer wear) – against the right to a designer’s/ artist’s freedom of expression. No, being intolerant is one thing and asking someone to be aesthetic about their expressionism is another.
There has been a lot of hoo-hah about reporting intolerance of the masses in the media and how this expressionism has become a subject of ridicule and fodder to ignite religious fanaticism. In fact, we might get heavily trolled for writing this piece on our blog.
Every coin has two sides, hence, the viewpoints and opinions also differ. Personally, we don’t propagate intolerance. We absolutely hate it. We love and support freedom to express. But here, we are propagating – “aestheticism”.
Depicting religious motifs of gods and goddesses and sacred texts and taking a leaf from Hindu scriptures that millions worldwide revere on toilet seat covers, bathroom mats is not good and to most Hindus - unacceptable! Thank you!
I think PM was enough powerful to debar Amazon market place from India. This issue is pretty old . USA has interiors of similar nature . Why cant we just boycott them from India. I guess Indians are rightful to be extremist when it comes to our God and our Culture . If not proud atleast be selfish enough to understand that our unique culture is the only thing which is making us powerful against test of the world. Do not lose thay.ReplyDelete
Thanks. I've been trolled for this post especially on LinkedIn people have left insensitive comments, so your comment is really sweet and thoughtful. I couldn't agree more with you. But I also don't see asking Amazon to have stringent checks on what content is shown on their platform as "extremism" We Indians or at least devout Hindus just need our spirituality not taken for granted and disrespected in the manner it's being commercialised on Amazon.Delete