New Delhi: When External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj learned today that there were doormats depicting the Indian flag for sale on the Amazon Canada website, she said Indian visas will no longer be granted to Amazon officials if the company doesn’t tender an unconditional apology and withdraw all such products.
She added that visas already issued to company employees will be rescinded.
Swaraj’s stern warning was response to a tweet sent to her by one Atul Bhobe, with a screenshot of the page listing the products.
“Madam. Amazon Canada must be censured and warned not to sell India flag doormats. Please take action,” the tweet read.
Swaraj shot off a response to the Indian High Commission in Canada: “This is unacceptable. Please take this up with Amazon at the highest level.”
The doormats retailed on Amazon Canada sparked protests from Indians living in the country, and now there’s even an online petition on change.org.
Amazon Canada has removed the page from its site, but it is yet to comply with Swaraj’s directive.
It isn’t the first time Amazon has found itself in hot water for listing products offensive to Indians. Last year, the company enraged many on social media after it came to light that it was selling doormats with pictures of Indian gods and goddesses. That discovery even lead to the creation of the hashtag #BoycottAmazon.
And in 2014, the website was found selling women’s leggings with images of various Hindu gods.