Update: Following angry outbursts received by its social media platform and the tough stand taken by the Indian government, Amazon has halted the sale of the offending doormats.
Speaking with Reuters, a Amazon spokeswomen said,
The item is no longer available for sale on the site.
Previously: Indian Externals Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has asked Amazon to tender an unconditional apology for being an instrument in the insult rendered to the Indian national flag. She has also warned that the government will stop issuing visas to Amazon officials — and rescind existing ones — unless the conditions are met.
The issue surfaced after a Twitter user forwarded a picture to the External Affairs minister. The image showed doormats with the Indian National Flag stamped on them, being made available for purchase through the Amazon Canada website by vendors Mayers Flag Doormats and XLYL.
The minister, who is known for being extremely active on Twitter and has solved many a grievances received through the social media took instant action. Apart from asking the Indian High Commission in Canada to take the matter up with the multinational company, she also warned of serious consequences if the demands of the governments were not met and the national flag not accorded its proper respect.
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.
Well, that is one tough, no-nonsense stance of the government on the issue of the respect should be accorded to the symbols of a nation. Meanwhile, the chances of Amazon risking the loss of a market like India over an apology where they would appear to be at fault, are very slim. Let’s see how the company responds to the government’s demands for an apology.