A New Delhi-based online store has been criticised by netizens for “commercialization” of Rohith Vemula’s death after it put on sale T-Shirt’s printed with a picture of deceased Hyderabad Central University Dalit research scholar for Rs 149.
However, as soon as the website started receiving flak for its “product”, it took down the advertisement.
Last week, East of Kailash-based Kranti Store, an online shopping store known for designing customized clothes, put an ad of the T-Shirt on social media and its website that shows Rohith’s face with a line from his suicide note “I am happy dead than being alive” below it.
Exclusive #tshirts only at https://t.co/PGx62QtL5HThe Face of Struggle #RohithVemula.Poet of #revolution #Pash pic.twitter.com/BuTI8vnVEQ— Kranti Store (@krantistore) January 23, 2016
However, with Rohith’s suicide turning into a political firestorm, netizens took to Twitter to vent their anger against the alleged insensitiveness of the store.
Another poster boy? Shame @Krantistore Nothing can be more sadder! *Sigh *#Rohith #RohithVemula #NakedCapitalism pic.twitter.com/WomMKoSf5A— Susmit Isfaq (@SusmitI) January 24, 2016
@krantistore this is just wrong in so many ways. Even disgraceful to business fraternity. pic.twitter.com/XR6ioY0wSF— Nishi (@rawat_nish) January 24, 2016
@bhak_sala @shilpitewari But there is a Krantistore to mint money out of the dead! 😱— தேள் (@Tweets_CS) January 24, 2016
How to cash someone’s death ? Shameless creatures are selling Tshirts with Rohith vemula’s pics https://t.co/rFLYFuvLyu— TheFrustratedIndian (@FrustIndian) January 24, 2016
While confirming the lapse on their part, the store’s co-owner Shahid Khan told ScoopWhoop that their intent was not to “commercialize tragedy” but send a social message to the people of country.
“It was our decision to design and sell the Rohith Vemula T-shirt for a discounted price. Our intention was to bring the face of social discrimination to the people of India, but since we received a lot of messages and comments from our customers criticizing our decision, I ordered my web-development team to make the T-shirt out of stock and remove it from the website,” Khan told ScoopWhoop.
“We apologise for our mistake,” Khan said, adding “they are no longer printing the shirt.”
Pertinent to mention, one of the ads about the T-shirt is still on the official Twitter handle of the website.