‘Biased & agenda-driven’: PM Modi’s party takes aim at Bezos-owned WaPo as Indian shopkeepers rise up against Amazon
The Washington Post has taken heat from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, whose official lamented its coverage as local traders voiced outrage over perceived aggression by another Bezos venture, Amazon.
There’s “a lot of problems” in how the newspaper is reporting from India, Vijay Chauthaiwale, chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) foreign affairs department, told Reuters.
“The Washington Post’s editorial policy is highly biased and agenda driven,” the official explained, without highlighting any examples.
He previously complained about foreign coverage of Indian-controlled Kashmir which was recently stripped of its decades-long autonomy, alleging blatant bias against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The swipe at the newspaper nearly coincided with Bezos’ trip to India. The founder of Amazon – who also owns the Washington Post – has been trying to aggressively pivot to India’s burgeoning online retail market.Also on rt.com Amazon’s billion-dollar investment pledge isn’t doing India any favours – commerce minister
Amazon already employs over 60,000 staff in India and has pledged to invest $5.5 billion. The retail giant has also committed to building a giant “campus” in Hyderabad – a hi-tech hub – that would accommodate over 15,000 employees.
But Indians from all walks of life – from the elite to those making a living from small businesses – have been unappreciative of Amazon’s plans. The firm “is not doing a favor to India,” Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal asserted this week.
Meanwhile, dozens of small shop owners took to the streets of New Delhi during Bezos’ visit, claiming that Amazon was already hammering their business by lowering prices and working with large retailers.
Some likened Amazon’s strategy to that of the notorious East India Company which paved the way for the British conquest of India. They claimed that huge online companies like Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart have indulged in “predatory pricing,” describing Bezos as an “economic terrorist.”
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