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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

After Google, Amazon irks Kannadigas: Bikini with Karnataka flag draws ire

Two days after Google apologised to Kannadigas for 'ugliest language' search result, a bikini featuring Karnataka's emblem and flag colours came up for sale on Amazon Canada. The item was later removed. 

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: June 7, 2021 7:59:42 am
Amazon, Amazon CanadaThe bikini had the colours of unofficial state's flag, in hues of yellow and red, and has the state's emblem 'Gandaberunda', a two-headed mythological bird, which now seems to have been removed by Amazon from its Canada site following uproar | Reuters/File

Two days after a Google search result drew flak from Kannadigas for what they perceived as an insult to their language, a bikini selling on Amazon’s website in Canada has come under fire from people of the state. The bikini, which resembled the Karnataka flag featuring the state emblem and its red and yellow colours, was pulled off sale from the website on Sunday following the backlash.

Reportedly, the bikini was available on Amazon in the United Kingdom, Japan, and Mexico too.

As soon as the issue was brought to light by pro-Kannada organisations, Kannada and culture minister Arvind Limbavali said legal action would be initiated against Amazon Canada.

“The Kannada language, culture and heritage have a history of thousands of years. We strongly condemn any act to hurt the Kannada identity by foreign companies that are ignorant of Kannada’s nobility,” the minister, who called for a boycott of Amazon, noted.

This is a matter of Kannadigas’ self-pride and we will not tolerate the rise in such incidents. Amazon Canada should, therefore, apologise to Kannadigas. Legal action will be taken immediately against them, Limbavalli added in a statement.

Amazon is yet to formally react to the incident.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress urged the state government to initiate a probe. “Who wants to hurt Kannada pride and why? Who has a problem with our resilient people, our great culture and traditions? Hope the Karnataka government will investigate,” state Congress chief DK Shivakumar said.

“Resilient Kannada people will not take such horrendous acts lying down. The recent attempts to humiliate Kannadigas using Amazon and Google raises an important question,” Shivakumar added.

Recently, a Google search on the “ugliest language in India” returned Kannada as the answer. The search engine apologised and removed the search result a few hours after the Karnataka government decided to issue a legal notice.

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