TAKING STRONG objection to Amazon Canada selling doormats depicting the Indian flag, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday asked the online retailer to withdraw the products and tender an unconditional apology.
She warned that if Amazon did not apologise, none of its “officials” would be granted Indian visas, and the visas issued earlier would also be rescinded.
“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately… 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 tweeted.
“Indian High Commission in Canada: This is unacceptable. Please take this up with Amazon at the highest level,” tweeted the minister, who is recuperating after her kidney transplant surgery.
The issue was brought to her notice by a Twitter user, Atul Bhobe, who posted a screenshot of the products. “@SushmaSwaraj Madam. Amazon Canada must be censured and warned not to sell India flag doormats. Please take action,” Bhobe tweeted.
Indian High Commission in Canada : This is unacceptable. Please take this up with Amazon at the highest level. http://t.co/L4yI3gLk3h
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) January 11, 2017
While Amazon is yet to issue an official response, it responded to those who raised the issue on Twitter. “These products were never sold on Amazon.in. We have escalated this to our concerned teams and are working on the issue,” @AmazonHelp tweeted.
Amazon’s Canada portal also has doormats depicting the Canadian, American and British flags. Its portals in the US, UK, France and Germany also have doormats depicting the American and British flags.
In August last year, Amazon came under attack for selling doormats with images of Hindu gods and goddesses. The doormats were later removed.
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, who has met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at least twice in the last two-and-a-half years — in October 2014 and June 2016, had announced $ 3 billion investment in India during his 2016 visit.