E-commerce giant Amazon was called “East India Company 2.0” in the controversial latest cover story from Panchjanya – a newspaper with its roots in RSS, the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP.
Panchjanya editor-in-chief Hitesh Shankar tweeted an image of the new cover on Monday, which features Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the headline “#Amazon: East India Company 2.0”.
The cover refers to allegations that Amazon’s legal representatives bribed Indian officials and asks, “What did it (the company) do wrong, it needed to bribe … Why do people see this business as a threat to Indigenous entrepreneurship, economic freedom and culture? “
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– Hitesh Shankar (@hiteshshankar) September 26, 2021
Last week, the government said bribery charges involving Amazon – particularly the questions raised regarding the payment of around Rs 8,500 crore in legal fees – would be fully investigated.
“… it’s time to think about where this is all going … the whole system seems to run on bribes and it’s not the best business practice,” unnamed Indian government officials said.
The US-based company has also launched an internal investigation into allegations that surfaced after a whistleblower reported alleged bribe payments.
The company’s senior legal advisor has reportedly been put on leave.
It is not known when and in what state the alleged acts of corruption took place.
Both sides stressed “zero tolerance for corruption”.
Earlier in September, Panchjanya lashed out at Infosys – an information technology giant widely regarded as one of India’s greatest achievements in the global business community.
The article attacked Infosys over the repeated problems that marked the deployment of the new electronic income tax filing portal; the company was accused of “anti-national conspiracy”.
The attack – in a magazine considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government – also prompted an executive working at a global consulting firm to tell Reuters news agency “everyone is scared”.
Congress chief Jairam Ramesh called the article and its content “absolutely reprehensible”, and said it was in fact the magazine that was “anti-national” for attacking Infosys.
Panchjanya’s article on Infosys came a month after Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal criticized the Tata Group’s $ 106 billion objections to proposed policy changes for e-commerce.
“The frontal attack on iconic elements of Indian businesses has only reinforced the need for companies to ensure that they comply not only with tax matters but also with other government initiatives,” he told Reuters Dilip Cherian, co-founder of a large public relations firm. .
The government has distanced itself from Panchjanya’s article criticizing Infosys; Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called it “not good”.
The RSS also distanced itself from this article; Spokesman Sunil Ambekar said the magazine “is not a spokesperson … and any articles or opinions it contains should not be linked to RSS.”
With the contribution of Reuters