New Delhi: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS’s) affiliate magazine The Organiser has accused the global e-commerce giant Amazon of funding Christian conversions in India’s northeast region with an intent to change demography.
The claim formed part of its cover story titled “Amazing Cross Connection” in its latest edition. The nub of allegation is that Amazon has been routing money through “American Baptist Church (ABM)” [originally known as American Baptist Mission or ABM] to run “conversion module” in the region.
However, Amzon India’s spokesperson has denied the allegations, according to Indian Express.
“E-commerce giant Amazon is financing the Christian conversion module run by American Baptist Church (ABM). There is a possibility of a money laundering ring run by multinational companies and ABM to fund India’s huge missionary conversion mission,” Organiser alleged.
It further accused ABM of funding conversions through its frontal outfit in India named All India Mission (AIM). “This is their frontal organisation which has openly claimed on their website that they have converted 25 thousand people to Christianity in North East India,” the RSS mouthpiece said.
Referring to a purported Twitter post of AIM’s funding appeal through Amazon with its AmazonSmile logo attached, the magazine alleged, “Amazon is sponsoring the conversion module of All India Mission by donating money against every purchase by an Indian.”
Denying the allegations the Amazon India spokesperson in a statement told Indian Express, “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.”
Alleged conversions through orphanages
The magazine also claimed that based on its earlier report published in September this year, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had taken cognisance of alleged illegality on the part of AIM through its orphanages, which allegedly run on the funds received from Amazon.
NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo told the news outlet that the they had received a complaint in September from Arunachal Pradesh on conversions being done illegally through orphanages and allegedly funded by Amazon.
Kanoongo said that after carrying out probe, the commission was able to verify 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 added.
This is not the first time that the e-commerce giant has come under the attack of RSS. Earlier, the Hindutva outfit had alleged that the company was into cartelisation of retail market adversely affecting small trader, who form the traditional support base to Sangh Parivar and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In September last year, RSS’s Hindi language magazine Panchjanya carried a story drawing parallels between Amazon and the East India Company due to its alleged corrupt practices and involvement in the funding for Christian organisations in India.
Another affiliate organisation of the RSS, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), in December 2021 came out with a resolution demanding all permissions granted to e-commerce companies like Amazon and Flipkart to operate in India be withdrawn. It had claimed that discounts offered by these firms are “adversely impacting the neighborhood shops and kirana stores”.