Two months after it accused Amazon of running fronts whose founders defamed India and the centre, RSS mouthpiece Organiser has now alleged that the e-commerce giant is funding religious conversions in the Northeast, according to the .
Amazon has denied all allegations. However, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights is probing the matter, according to the report.
This is not the first time the company has been targeted by a Sangh Parivar mouthpiece or organisation. In September 2021, Panchjanya published a cover story equating Amazon with the East India Company for alleged corrupt practices and accusing it of involvement in funding Christian organisations. In December 2021, Swadeshi Jagran Manch passed a resolution demanding that all permissions granted to e-commerce firms like Amazon and Flipkart to operate in India be withdrawn. The Manch claimed that discounts offered by these firms are “adversely impacting the neighborhood shops and kirana stores”.
In its latest issue, the Organiser accused Amazon of funding the American Baptist Church, whose “frontal organisation” All India Mission, the magazine said, “has openly claimed on their website that they have converted 25,000 people to Christianity in North East India”.
Citing a purported Twitter post of AIM’s funding appeal through Amazon, with an AmazonSmile logo, the magazine said, “Amazon is sponsoring the conversion module of All India Mission by donating money against every purchase by an Indian.”
When contacted by the Indian Express, an Amazon spokesperson said, “Amazon India does not have any relationship with All India Mission or its affiliates nor does the AmazonSmile program operate on the Amazon India marketplace. Where the AmazonSmile program does operate, customers can choose to donate to a charity they prefer from multiple non-profits that register themselves under the program. The AmazonSmile program does not endorse the views of any charity participating in the program.”
The Organiser also claimed that the NCPCR took cognizance of the issue after its September report which alleged that the AIM had two fronts in Jharkhand and that its founders were running campaigns to defame India and the centre.
NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo told the Indian Express that “we instantly took cognizance of the matter and sent Amazon a notice” after receiving a complaint in September from Arunachal Pradesh about Amazon allegedly funding conversions. “But Amazon did not respond…Then I issued a summons to Amazon in October, and met three Amazon India officials at the Commission office on November 1,” he said.
“The Amazon representatives told us that there is no connection between Amazon India and All India Mission and that no money goes from Amazon India to the NGO. They checked with Amazon America and reverted back to us in the first week of November… Amazon India said that Amazon America has given some money to the All India Mission. They have also given us an address for All India Mission, which seems to be located abroad. We will now be investigating the All India Mission further,” Kanoongo said.
Kanoongo said that during the NCPCR’s inquiry, the Commission ascertained that “All India Mission has been running orphanages in India illegally” and that “they are carrying out religious conversion of children through these orphanages”. “We have tried investigating the All India Mission but they didn’t seem to have an address. When we started investigating the site, the site was blocked, and we had to stop the inquiry,” he said.
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