Tricolour doormats: No visas, Sushma Swaraj warns Amazon

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did not apologise, none of its “officials” would be granted Indian visas, and the visas issued earlier would also be rescinded.

Written by Shubhajit Roy , Pranav Mukul | New Delhi | Published:January 12, 2017 3:52 am
amazon, sushma swaraj, sushma amazon, swaraj, amazon.com, tricolour doormats, india flag doormats, doormat sale, amazon canada, visa, indian visa, swaraj cancel vis, visa cancelled, indian express news, india news The issue was brought to her notice by a Twitter user, Atul Bhobe, who posted a screenshot of the products.

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did not apologise, none of its “officials” would be granted Indian visas, and the visas issued earlier would also be rescinded.

Read | Amazon removes Indian flag doormat link after visa threat

“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.

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.

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  1. N
    Nana
    Jan 12, 2017 at 3:12 am
    I need 100000of them. Any suppliers?
    Reply
    1. M
      Meaw
      Jan 12, 2017 at 2:36 am
      These are made in India, Gujarat...Not kidding
      Reply
      1. R
        Ravinder singh
        Jan 12, 2017 at 6:38 am
        It's good step by her. Thanks. I wish other people also understand any countries flags don't use for this things..flag means pride. Thanks shushma g
        Reply
        1. S
          Shakri
          Jan 12, 2017 at 2:27 am
          This isn't d way to deal diplomatic affairs . Creative ruckus on internet by ministerial head of diplomats . Those people wear even inners of their flag design . Mere req letter was enough to TC of such issues to not happen .
          Reply
          1. B
            bala Raja
            Jan 12, 2017 at 3:13 am
            One needs to understand that some people take pride in having their flag colors on everything. This doesn't mean disrespect. In fact, it's the opposite. India has the most restrictive and thin-skinned interpretation of everything related to the so-called national symbols. The law here treats everything with suion and paranoia, and even simple mistakes like flying the flag upside down is considered an offense. Ironically, murder, m molestation and deep corruption are not insults to the country. Yeah, you don't like someone putting the tricolor on certain things. It's not illegal elsewhere. And the intent is also not to disrespect but show an attachment. Put this in perspective and grow a thicker skin about these things. Also, I don't think it's necessary for the hyper active Sushma to have gotten engaged in this. A consumer level resistence to the product would have sufficed.
            Reply
            1. B
              bala Raja
              Jan 12, 2017 at 3:16 am
              Relax man.
              Reply
              1. W
                wahabi
                Jan 12, 2017 at 3:45 am
                What is the big deal, they sell American , British flag doormat also. And the way Sushma ji handled the matter , it seems having a ms appeal is more important to her than deft diplomacy. Loose statements can't be accepted . This crazy symbolism and nationalism is of no good.
                Reply
                1. J
                  Jinesh Balakrishnan
                  Jan 12, 2017 at 10:59 am
                  For an Indian, this is highly insulting. In India, we leave footwear outside the house when visiting people - why? We garland people or their photos with shoes to show contempt. We hurl shoes at people to show disrespect. In such a culture, having your flag on a doormat, on which you wipe your shoes - or have others wipe their shoes - is extremely insulting.lt;br/gt;You can call it thin-skinned or whatever - but it is not only bad manners, it is truly an insulting slap on our face, and I think Sushmaji did the right thing to convey that we take offense for this act.
                  Reply
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