New Delhi: Less than a month after Panchjanya – a journal with roots in the RSS, the ruling BJP’s ideological mentor – attacked Infosys in one of its articles, accusing the information technology giant of an “anti national conspiracy” over repeated glitches in the income tax filing system, e-commerce behemoth Amazon has emerged as the publication’s new target.
A new piece in the magazine refers to allegations Amazon’s legal representatives bribed Indian officials, and asks: “What did it (the company) do wrong it needed to bribe… Why do people consider this company a threat to indigenous entrepreneurship, economic freedom and culture?”
Last week the government said alleged bribery charges involving Amazon would be fully investigated. The US-headquartered company has launched an internal inquiry into the claims.
“Amazon has been spending more than Rs 8,500 crore in legal fees. It’s time to think where all it is going. The whole system seems to work on bribes and that is not the best of business practices,” said government officials, lashing out at Amazon and urging it to punish those breaking the law.
According to a report by website The Morning Context, Amazon has launched an investigation against some of its legal representatives after a whistleblower flagged allegations of bribing Indian government officials. The company’s senior corporate counsel has reportedly been sent on leave.
It is unclear, however, when exactly the alleged acts of bribery took place and in which state.
Both sides have stressed “zero tolerance towards corruption”.
Earlier in September an article in Panchjanya lashed out Infosys – widely seen as one of India’s biggest corporate and information technology stories in the global business community.
The editor of the magazine, Hitesh Shankar, backed the article and said if Infosys had objections “it should present its side by urging for a more thorough investigation”.
The article prompted RSS spokesperson Sunil Ambekar to clarify the group’s public stance; he tweeted that the views expressed in the magazine were not of the RSS but those of the author.
“Panchjanya is not mouthpiece of the RSS and the said article or opinions expressed in it should not be linked with the RSS,” he said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also had to speak out; she called the article and allegations about Infosys “not right”.
With inputs from NDTV