Pairs of flip flops were recently sold on Amazon. Problem is, these products depicted Mahatma Gandhi’s photo. As a result, citizens of India became absolutely furious. Mahatma Gandhi, known to Indians as the Father of the Nation or “Bapu” (father), played the most significant role in India’s struggle for freedom.
Gandhi: Flip Flops Infuriated Indians
On Sunday, the sale gave rise to fresh outrage in India. The flip flops were still spotted on sale on Amazon U.S. on Sunday morning. However, after a few hours, the displeasing sandals were taken off from the site.
BBC reported that the Indian embassy in Washington was ordered to inform Amazon U.S. to respect Indian feelings. According to the instructions, despite giving platform to third-party vendors, Indian feelings and sentiments must still be respected. “As a follow-up to the matter regarding the sale of doormats with the Indian flag on Amazon, our Ambassador in Washington has been instructed to convey to Amazon that while providing a platform for third party vendors, they should respect Indian sensitivities and sentiments,” spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
The Secretary of Economic Affairs for India, Shaktikanta Das, was among many others who expressed anger on social media. He told Amazon that its disregard to Indian symbols would imperil the company. In addition, he also informed that his comments were made from the standpoint of an Indian citizen, according to India Today.
The customer review section beneath the Amazon listing contained comments from outraged customers. Many showed their disgruntle towards Amazon’s repeated disregard of Indian feelings. An anonymous user wrote that it seemed like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is losing his mind.
Gandhi: Previous Controversy With Indian Flag
Earlier, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj was outraged by Amazon Canada. The site was selling doormats bearing the design of Indian flags. Because of this, Swaraj ordered Amazon to remove these items from the site and put forward an apology.
As previously reported by DDC, these doormats were printed with the tricolors of the Indian national flag. The items were on sale on Amazon Canada for quite a while. However, it was only recently when Sushma Swaraj became aware of the issue.
Indian citizens as well as Indians living in Canada criticized Amazon on Twitter with the hashtag #BoycottAmazon. Surprisingly, Amazon’s official support account stated that they could not see any conflict of interest. This was because, they said, these items were not sold on the portal of Amazon India.
Gandhi flip flops sold on Amazon cause anger in India https://t.co/SDRFUZ28xE
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) January 15, 2017