Amazon India Head Amit Agarwal has reportedly apologised to Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on the issue of selling Indian flag themed doormats in Canada.
Apparently, the ecommerce retailer has also pulled down the product from its Canadian unit.
In his letter to Swaraj, Amit said, “I am writing in connection with the products that carried the Indian flag, as referred to in your tweet. Amazon India is committed to respecting Indian laws and customs. To the extent that these items offered by a third- party seller in Canada offended Indian sensibilities, Amazon regrets the same. At no time did we intend or mean to offend Indian sentiments.”
Vikas Swarup, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs also confirmed the development via a tweet, also sharing the letter wrote by the company to Swaraj.
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) January 12, 2017
The issue came to light after a Twitter user shared that the company’s Canadian unit was selling doormats bearing the likeness of the Indian flag. Soon after receiving the information, Sushma Swaraj asked the company to apologise and pulled down the products from the website with immediate effect. In case of failure, she also threatened to stop issuing visas to the company’s employees and cancel those already granted.
Disrespect to the national flag is a punishable offence in India and involves a three-year jail term and a fine or both. However, it is common in countries like the US and one can find their national flag printed on cups, t-shirts, towels, etc.
[The development was reported by TOI.]