Amazon Faces Legal Notice From SGPC for Selling Sacred Sikh Texts Online

Amazon was sent a legal notice by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for selling copies of holy books Guru Granth Sahib and Gutka Sahib, an office bearer said Thursday.

SGPC chief secretary Harjinder Singh Dhami said there is “outrage” over the sale online of the Gutka Sahib, a collection of sacred verses.

He said the Amazon practice went against the principles of the Sikh religion.

“There is huge devotion and respect for the Gurbani in the minds of the Sikh community and there is outrage among the Sikhs over the sale of the Gutka Sahib online by Amazon,” he said.

Dhami asked Amazon to immediately remove the two holy books from its website and warned of legal action if the company failed to do so.

Back in February, the e-commerce giant was reported to offer preferential treatment to a small group of sellers on its India platform, publicly misrepresent its ties with the sellers, and use them to circumvent increasingly tough foreign investment rules that affect e-commerce, as per internal company documents.

The documents, dated between 2012 and 2019, are reported here for the first time. They provide an inside look at the cat-and-mouse game Amazon has played with the Indian government, adjusting its corporate structures each time the government imposed new restrictions aimed at protecting small traders.

With Amazon facing increasing scrutiny by regulators, news of the strategy detailed in the documents could deepen the risks for the company in one of its key growth markets. Indian traders, who are a crucial part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support base, have long alleged that Amazon’s platform largely benefits a few big sellers and that the e-commerce giant engages in predatory pricing that harms their businesses.

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