Amidst ongoing farmer protests and the latest incident of violence in Lakhimpur Kheri, the presence of Khalistani terrorists and sympathizers in India have become a matter of concern. Recently, a Sikh youth was seen wearing a t-shirt with a portrait of Khalistan terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
Around these concerns, some social media posts have claimed that the e-commerce platform Amazon is selling Bhindranwale and Khalistan t-shirts in India. OpIndia dug into the claims, and here is what we have found.
Does Amazon India sell Bhindranwale t-Shirts?
As a matter of fact, the website does not sell any product with Bhindranwale or Khalistani markings. When we searched Bhindranwale on Amazon.in, we found only books related to the Khalistani terrorist. We will discuss the books later in the report.
The same goes with Khalistan, Jarnail Singh and related keywords. We did not find any product that specifically pointed towards any sign that Amazon India sells such products in India.
The case is different in other countries
So what about the screenshots that were made to the social media platform? These screenshots were of the products that are available on the Amazon US website and stores in other countries. It has to be noted that the products that are available in Indian stores are different from the Amazon store in the US or other locations as they cater for the local sellers on priority to ensure faster deliveries.
Very few products from US stores are available for shipping in India, and Bhindranwale or Khalistan related products are not among them. The brand Punjabi Clothing Co. not only sells Bhindranwale t-shirt but it also sells “Never Forget 1984” merchandise on Amazon US.
Other products related to Bhindranwale, Khalistan etc. include, but not limited to, Khalistani flags, posters and more.
Websites that sell Khalistan or Bhindranwale linked products in India
Though Amazon, Flipkart and similar e-commerce giants do not sell such products in India, some websites openly sell t-shirts with Bhindranwale portraits. Such websites include Punjabi Adda and Desert Cart. Punjabi Adda is run by one 1669 Studios that operates from Punjab.
On the other hand, Desert Cart is a UAE based company that offers products related to Bhindranwale and Khalistan to be imported from the US to India.
US based websites that sell Bhindranwale merchandise outside India
There are countless websites that sell Bhindranwale and Khalistan related merchandise outside India. These websites include, but not limited to, Red Bubble, Zazzle and Tee Public.
The books related to Bhindranwale on Amazon India
There are several books that are available on Bhindranwale on Amazon India. We noticed at least four books in the Indian store that refer to Bhindranwale as a “Sant”. In case these books are removed from Amazon, there will always be a chance that they will be available on other platforms or in book shops. Another problem is, it is quite easy to get books, mugs, posters and other material printed and distributed without any problem in most parts of the country, especially in Punjab, where a section of the Sikh community still sees Bhindranwale as a ‘sant’.
Notably, farmer union leader Rakesh Tikait had recently sided with the young Sikh man wearing a Bhindranwale t-shirt during the Lakhimpur incident. He categorically denied condemning the Sikh youth and said while government think of Bhindranwale as a terrorist, some people see him as a saint.
Verdict: No, Amazon India does not sell Bhindranwale or Khalistan related products in India. The screenshots being shared on social media platforms are from Amazon US and other locations.