Row after RSS-backed magazine accuses Amazon of religious conversion

Photo used for representation purposes only. | Photo credit: K. Murali Kumar

Diving into the controversy that erupted over the recent coverage of Organizera magazine supported by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, on the alleged financing of conversion activities in the northeastern states by the e-commerce giant Amazon, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, another offshoot of RSS, demanded that central agencies are investigating the company’s business model in India and its ties to organizations that pose a “threat to national security”.

Manch national co-organizer Ashwani Mahajan said Amazon’s “conversion racket” was also growing rapidly in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The Manch argued that e-commerce platforms are hurting small businesses nationwide.

“It has been a longstanding request from SJM that the government look into the business model of these e-commerce giants. Comments from various places suggest that Amazon is also engaging in business malfeasance to propel conversion, which could pose a threat to our national security,” Mahajan added, demanding that central agencies investigate the rapid growth. of e-commerce. giant in India.

Last year, Union Trade Minister Piyush Goyal slammed e-commerce giants in parliament, pointing out they wield influence to harm domestic small businesses, traders and even consumers in the long run.

In the past, the head of the BJP’s foreign affairs department, Vijay Chauthaiwale, had also criticized the editorial policy of the Washington Post owned by Jeff Bezos who is also the owner of Amazon.

In one of his tweets, Mr Chauthaiwale said there were ‘problems’ with the newspaper’s coverage of India, where Mr Bezos claimed to be growing fast by taking part in the ‘Make In India’ programme. .

In the story, titled ‘Amazing Cross Connection’, the Organizer detailed on the repression of foreign Christian missionaries in the northeastern states. He added that the crackdown exposed the sinister designs, visa violations and corporate connection in changing the demographics of the region.

“Amazon E-commerce funds the Christian Conversion module operated by American Baptist Mission (ABM). There is a possibility that a money laundering network is run by multinational corporations and ABM to fund India’s huge missionary conversion mission,” the article said.

He added that the Social Justice Forum of Arunachal Pradesh alleged that Amazon “continuously funds the All India Mission (AIM), ABM’s front organization, through its Amazon Smile Foundation.”

“Amazon sponsors All India Mission’s conversion module by donating money for every purchase made by an Indian,” the magazine claimed, adding that AIM had openly claimed on its website that it had converted 25,000 people. to Christianity in northeastern India. alleged story.

This isn’t the first time the magazine has gone after Amazon. He claimed that based on its previous report released in September, the National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (NCPCR) became aware of alleged irregularities committed by AIM through its orphanages, which allegedly run on funds received from Amazon.

In a statement to The Hindu, Amazon said Amazon India has no relationship with All India Mission, its affiliates, and the AmazonSmile program does not operate in the Amazon India marketplace.

“Where the AmazonSmile program operates, customers can choose to donate to a charity they prefer from among several nonprofit organizations that enroll in the program. The AmazonSmile program does not endorse the opinions of any charity participating in the program,” he added.

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