Sushma Swaraj well within her right to attack Amazon on national flag issue

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lashing out against Amazon for selling Indian national flag-emblazoned doormats on its Canada website has triggered extreme reactions on social media.

Written by Kanishka Singh | New Delhi | Updated: January 16, 2017 3:08 pm
sailors stranded, indian sailors stranded, indian sailors, sailors in uae, sailors in dubai, sushma swaraj sailors help, sailors sos, india news External Affairs Minster Sushma Swaraj. (File Photo)

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lashing out against Amazon for selling Indian national flag-emblazoned doormats on its Canada website has triggered extreme reactions on social media. But, she did have a strong case to act in the manner that she did, even if it bypassed normally followed bureaucratic processes.

Swaraj’s warning to Amazon forced the e-tailer to remove the product from its list. Stark reactions were thrown at Swaraj along with allegations that she overdid the ‘threat’ and that too over social media. It is another matter that this same Twitter engagement has allowed greater interaction and quicker response time to citizens’ issues from government ministries. If the country is advancing, why can’t a minister choose how to run his/her ministry and reach out to millions of people?

WATCH VIDEO | After Sushma Swaraj, Economic Affairs Secretary Slams Amazon For Selling Indian Flag Doormats

Meanwhile, many people can dismiss Swaraj’s reaction by terming it hypernationalism. However, it is preposterous to think that any Indian will find it appropriate for someone to rub their shoes on their national flag–which was apparently being sold by a business house that  wants to expand in India. In the past there have been incidents where people have been forced to show their nationalism by court order or government decree like standing up for the national anthem in cinema halls. In such cases the orders were in fact harsh and unreasonable.

But, some institutions deserve respect and if a citizen, a foreign minister for that matter, is attacking a foreign entity for disrespecting our national flag then she would be well in her right to do so. Even if she were not a minister, a citizen can show outrage when a symbol of their national identity is run to the ground.

Granted that where the incident took place such instances may be within legal boundaries, but we can’t judge to what extent someone can go with our national flag based on foreign laws and their legal liberties.

Isn’t Amazon responsible for the products that are sold on its platform. It is common sense that anything involving another nation’s symbols and identities should be treated with sensitivity according to prevailing values and sentiments in the country in question.

Questions arise from some quarters that whether national flag, national anthem, and other such institutions are so weak or small that we have to defend them on each such incident? Are they maligned by an act by ill-informed or even ill-meaning individuals? The answer is no. That doesn’t mean it gives someone a free hand to take absolute liberties in such matters. The national flag, national anthem, the Constitution, all represent the spirit of sovereign India.

By such questions, people expose themselves to other arguments that whether it is right to do so? Is this validation of insult in our society? Or do we practice different standards in our own case and in the case of our country and its institutions.

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  1. I
    indian
    Jan 13, 2017 at 12:25 am
    I think it's great she stood up for India!
    Reply
    1. A
      Ashok
      Jan 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm
      Bury these pseudo nationalists who criticised our Sushma most noble lady.
      Reply
      1. H
        Haradhan Mandal
        Jan 12, 2017 at 12:48 pm
        Well within her right -or limit - to feel offended or to react ? IT is a CULTURE issue and MBA students better know it in their MBA degree before they start their international marketing career. lt;br/gt;I read elsewhere that it is OK to print USA and UK flag etc on carpets, lingerie, doormat, shoes etc and sell it in their countries (so long it is not a use and throw item - what an exception). lt;br/gt;One CULTURE does not allow 'cartoon' (not caricature - but Children's illustration in their story books- imaginary but to help the children to visualize), it causes upheaval in 1/3rd of the world. We understand each other better now! :)
        Reply
        1. I
          IML sood
          Jan 12, 2017 at 6:59 pm
          Fake citizen,no name person and likes are not be taken seriously as they are deprived of any human dignity.
          Reply
          1. M
            Meaw
            Jan 12, 2017 at 11:01 am
            Can I wear a national flag bra
            Reply
            1. M
              Meaw
              Jan 12, 2017 at 11:45 am
              This Moron Modi making every one fear. All H1 folks are coming back Madam Foreign Minister. Please create jobs for them
              Reply
              1. K
                khodsal
                Jan 12, 2017 at 11:54 am
                You are fit only to meow, you have written nothing relevant to the topic. Please talk sense.
                Reply
                1. K
                  khodsal
                  Jan 12, 2017 at 12:02 pm
                  have your spouse's and children picture on your doormat, by all means you can have that
                  Reply
                  1. K
                    khodsal
                    Jan 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm
                    Well said Anon, then India will cease to exist, all these folks will be slaves in other countries, like door mats.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Achayan
                      Jan 12, 2017 at 11:49 am
                      Standing for national anthem in cinemas should be rethought. But wiping your feet on a national flag is a no no. Sushma Swaraj did right in pulling up Amazon.
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Rajiv
                        Jan 13, 2017 at 2:28 am
                        Fully Support Sushma Swaraj ! lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;She has done the right thing in a very bold manner !
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          ASBHASKAR
                          Jan 12, 2017 at 8:51 pm
                          I am against BJP. But this act is not to think against / for BJP. I am 100% with BJP ans Shushma Swaraj on this issue.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Anon
                            Jan 12, 2017 at 11:24 am
                            This is so foolish. lt;br/gt;Being nationalistic should be banned. lt;br/gt;We should all take dumps on our flag daily
                            Reply
                            1. M
                              Manny Costanza
                              Jan 12, 2017 at 2:08 pm
                              Who the heck does she think has been buying those doormats in Canada, Canadians?
                              Reply
                              1. D
                                dd
                                Jan 12, 2017 at 7:26 pm
                                IE editor chose not to give this news a headlines... Good going IE congress / AAP mouthpiece.
                                Reply
                                1. G
                                  Green
                                  Jan 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm
                                  "Same way, why Indians have to follow western norms?"lt;br/gt;and just after:lt;br/gt;"And the world has to follow."lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Hypocrisy much?lt;br/gt;Plus it's not about laws there, more about what is important and what is silly. Minister time used on such petty non issues is appalling, pathetic.lt;br/gt;What a bunch of thin skinned crybabies ffs.
                                  Reply
                                  1. G
                                    Green
                                    Jan 12, 2017 at 12:41 pm
                                    At least you know how to copy paste, you might find a job with that.
                                    Reply
                                    1. G
                                      Green
                                      Jan 12, 2017 at 12:07 pm
                                      Belief in god and nationalism are strong indicators of stupidity. Well done.
                                      Reply
                                      1. G
                                        Green
                                        Jan 12, 2017 at 11:21 am
                                        I suppose most Indians don't realize how foolish and ridiculous this kind of stuff make India look in the world.lt;br/gt;A minister who has nothing better to do with her time than complaining about doormats?lt;br/gt;How pathetic and ridiculous. Way to go India, way to go...
                                        Reply
                                        1. G
                                          Green
                                          Jan 12, 2017 at 12:12 pm
                                          I wouldn't give a flying f because I'm not a silly child with deeply rooted insecurity.
                                          Reply
                                          1. G
                                            Green
                                            Jan 12, 2017 at 12:40 pm
                                            What about you learn to speak in english before doing it?lt;br/gt;Outrage over doormats is not self respect, it's foolish insecurity that inspires nothing but laughs and pity from the civilized world.lt;br/gt;Grow the f up and stop making fools of yourselves before the w world.
                                            Reply
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