Amazon removes Indian flag doormat from sales catalog after being horified by Sushma Swaraj’s visa threat

Amazon removes Indian flag doormat from sales catalog after being horified by Sushma Swaraj's visa threat.

New Delhi, January 12: Amazon.com removed doormats with the replica design of the Indian tri-colour flag from its Canadian website on Wednesday, after it received certain bold ultimatum from our External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Sushma Swaraj has threatened to rescind visas of the US based company’s employees if they did not stop selling the product.

Taking strong objection to selling of doormats featuring Indian flags on Amazon, Canada, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday warned the e-retailer company to withdraw all products “insulting national flag immediately”, adding that non-compliance of the order would lead to non issuance of Indian visa to any Amazon official.

Sushma has also directed the Indian High Commission in Canada to take up the matter immediately.
In a series of tweets she said, “Indian High Commission in Canada: This is unacceptable. Please take this up with Amazon at the highest level.” “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 added.

Roughly four hours after Sushma Swaraj’s tweets, the ‘offensive’ products were removed from Amazon’s catalog with the product pages showing up a ‘page not found’ error, and the said products missing from search results as well. “The item is no longer for sale on the site,” an Amazon representative told Gadgets 360.

Earlier, a Twitter user brought to Sushma Swaraj’s attention that Amazon Canada was selling doormats featuring the Indian flag. A simple search on Amazon Canada by Gadgets 360 verified this claim (see screenshot) a few minutes after the tweets, though the products were later removed from Amazon’s catalog. It’s worth pointing out that Amazon is a marketplace and is not directly involved in selling all goods on its website, and the products in question seem to have been listed by a third-party seller. The External Affairs Minister also instructed the Indian High Commission in Canada to take up the matter with Amazon.

Two vendors, namely Mayers Flag Doormats and XLYL, have been selling Indian flag themed doormats.
However, the product ticked off many as it was ‘disrespectful’ and violates various laws of the Flag Code of India.
A petition has been filed with Change.org, which called for the product’s removal since it hurt the sentiments of over one billion Indians. (ANI)

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