'Panchjanya' says Amazon is East India Co. 2.0
New Delhi, September 27, 2021
After levelling bribery charges against IT services major Infosys, Panchjanya, a journal with RSS leanings, has now opened an attack on Jeff Bezos-founded Amazon, with a cover story calling it the second generation of the East India Company that entered India with business interests but ended up colonising the country for 200 years.
The cover story with a picture of Bezos accuses Amazon of indulging in corrupt practices after allegations of bribery surfaced against it.
Panchjanya has also accused Amazon insfulting Hindu values through Prime Videos movies and content.
"Amazon too wants to have sole rights on the Indian market. For this it has started taking steps to encircle the political, economic and individual freedom of people here. It is accused of floating shell companies to capture the e-market platform, of bribing to have policies in its favour, and of airing programmes opposed to Indian culture through Prime Videos," the Panchjanya says in a gist of its cover story.
The cover refers to allegations Amazon's legal representatives bribed Indian officials, and questions: "What did it do wrong that it needed to bribe... Why do people consider this company a threat to indigenous entrepreneurship, economic freedom and culture?"
The report said Amazon invested in India with a promise to help small traders get a larger platform to sell products, it actually floated its own companies to do the same. "The company floated supplier entities such as Cloudtail and Apiria in which it had significant stake and indirect control," it said.
Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, has initiated an investigation into the conduct of its legal representatives in India, The Morning Context reported.
This investigation comes on the back of a whistleblower complaint alleging that certain monies paid by Amazon in legal fees have been funnelled into bribes by one or more of its legal representatives.
Two people who work closely with Amazon's in-house legal team confirmed that Rahul Sundaram, senior corporate counsel at Amazon, has been sent on leave. The Morning Context reached out to Sundaram for comment. In a text message, he said, "Sorry I cannot speak with the press.'
Responding to a detailed set of questions, an Amazon spokesperson said: "We have zero tolerance for corruption. We take allegations of improper actions seriously, investigate them fully, and take appropriate action. We are not commenting on specific allegations or the status of any investigation at this time."