For most of Thursday afternoon, #BoycottAmazon was the number one trend on Twitter. The hashtag was populated by angry right-wingers who found out that retail giant Amazon was selling bathroom door mats and toilet covers with pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses printed on them. It was first noticed by Twitter user Anshul Saxena who accused Amazon of hurting the sentiments of Hindus.
What the hell is this Amazon? (@AmazonHelp, @amazon)— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) May 16, 2019
How many times you will hurt the sentiments of Hindus? Why do you do this every year, every time? Till when will this continue? Will it ever stop? pic.twitter.com/XuwlHHu4qY
Soon enough, several Twitter users began tweeting angrily at Amazon, asking them to take down the links to the products immediately. Several others were deleted the application from their phones and shared screenshots.
Others said they would cancel already-placed orders from the e-commerce giant in retaliation to the offending products.
@amazon be serious about people's sentiments. Not everything brings business.— Harshad (@LivLafLuvTwt) May 16, 2019
It's 3rd time u did this and it is intolerable!@iGanesh90#BoycottAmazon @amazonIN pic.twitter.com/wgtwPEelPa pic.twitter.com/1OzvmrKaZ4
And it wasn't just bath mats and toilet seat covers that drew ire. Twitter users also began posting images of shoes and sandals with images of the Indian flag and Mahatma Gandhi on them, with one user saying it hurts "millions of Indians." Such images had previously been flagged on social media.
This is not the first time people have claimed Amazon is hurting religious sentiments in India. In December 2018, the e-commerce giant was criticised by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for the use of pictures of Sri Darbar Sahib on a toilet seat cover. He demanded an “immediate withdrawal of the seat by the company and an apology.” Some also posted images of door mats, rugs and seat covers with images of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The issue also reportedly sparked outrage from prominent Sikh bodies.
As of Thursday evening, Amazon had yet to respond on Twitter to the recent social media uproar.