NEW DELHI: Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday threatened to refuse visas to Amazon officials and withdraw visas already given to Amazon employees in India, if the global e-tailer did not stop selling doormats with the Indian flag on them. "If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official.
We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier," Swaraj said in a series of tweets after she received a complaint on Twitter.
While seeking an unconditional apology, the minister also asked the Indian embassy to take up the matter with Amazon Canada.
"Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately," Swaraj tweeted after it was pointed out to her that Amazon Canada was advertising doormats in the pattern of the Indian tricolor. An email sent to Amazon spokesperson for a reaction to the minister's comments did not elicit any response. Sushma's warning came after Atul Bhobe posted screenshots of the products on sale on Amazon Canada's website. "@SushmaSwaraj Madam. Amazon Canada must be censured and warned not to sell India flag doormats. Please take action," Bhobe tweeted. The doormats had invited protests from Indians in Canada, even leading to an online petition on change.org.
"Indian High Commission in Canada: This is unacceptable. Please take this up with Amazon at the highest level," read another of the minister's angry tweet. The company has removed the page from its site, but it is yet to comply with the minister's directive.
Last year in June, Amazon had drawn flak in India after doormats with images of Indian gods were found to be on sale on Amazon.com -- the US site. The Indian portal of Amazon is Amazon.in. The online protest soon turned into a major outrage on Twitter with trends such as #BoycottAmazon gaining ground
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