Amazon Under Fire for Selling Doormats With Indian Flag Design

Amazon Under Fire for Selling Doormats With Indian Flag Design Amazon from Thomas Cloer/FLICKR with CC BY-SA 2.0

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has blasted Amazon Canada for selling doormats carrying the design of Indian flags on them. She has demanded Amazon to not only remove the concerned items from their website but also issue an unconditional apology.

Doormats printed with the tricolors of the Indian national flag have been on sale on the Canadian version of Amazon for quite a while. But only recently has it been drawn to the attention of Sushma Swaraj.

Amazon Incurs Outrage From Indians

The petition for the removal of the item was filed on by angry Indians living in Canada. Incidentally, they have the rights to do so, because according to Indian constitution, any attempts made to desecrate the Indian flag is punishable by law.

Indians, both in their native country as well as Canada, criticized Amazon on Twitter with #BoycottAmazon. Afterwards, Amazon’s official support account responded by stating that they see no necessary conflict of interest, since the items were not sold on the portal of Amazon India.

One Twitter user, Atul Bhobe, posted a screenshot of the item in question, tagging Sushma Swaraj on Twitter. “@SushmaSwaraj Madam. Amazon Canada must be censured and warned not to sell India flag doormats. Please take action,” Bhobe tweeted, reported the Times Of India.

Would Amazon Consider Apologizing?

Minister Swaraj, who is very active on social media, immediately reached out to Amazon Canada. She demanded the company to stop the sale of Indian flag-patterned doormats and issue an unconditional apology for the disrespect incurred.

“If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier,” she threatened.

Amazon, the e-marketing giant, partially complied with the foreign minister’s demands. It has taken down the third-party item from its Canadian portal. But it has not issued an apology yet. Indian embassy has been ordered to refer on the matter with Amazon Canada.

Amazon might want to reconsider issuing the apology ASAP. It is looking to invest $5 billion in expanding business in India, reported Reuters.

It had invoked the wrath of the Indian community once before. Back then, it was deemed insensitive for selling doormats carrying the emblem of Indian gods and goddesses on its U.S. portal.

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