Amazon removed the doormats which were resembling the tri-colour flag from its Canadian website on Wednesday. It was done after Indian Government threat to rescind visas to the U.S. company employees if they didn’t stop selling the product.
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter, “Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately.” She further added, “If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon Official. We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier.”
Doormats desecrating Indian Flag:
Doormat which was sold by a third-party on Amazon’s Canadian portal was appeared to be taken down late on Wednesday. Searches then failed to bring up the item, although it was not confirmed by the e-commerce giant that it removed it.
Amazon’s portal in Canada is selling doormats which are fashioned around other national flags, but under the Indian law any of the desecration of its flag is punishable with fines and imprisonment.
Official twitter account of Amazon on Twitter has responded earlier to angry user comments by saying that mats were not sold on their Indian portal and then concerns were escalated.
Swaraj tweeted that she has asked Indian High Commission in Canada for taking up the issue with Amazon after being brought to attention by Twitter user.
Swaraj is a prolific user of the social media website and hence often responds to the tweets which are directed to her.
Amazon India didn’t immediately responded to the email which was seeking comment. Amazon representatives in Canada and United States were not reachable immediately for comment.
Amazon is taking a huge bet over India and has vowed to invest more than $5 billion as it takes on home-grown Flipkart and Snapdeal over a bigger share of world’s largest growing internet service market.
In an event which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington during last year, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has said that India was the company’s largest growing region.