While lashing out at e-commerce giant Amazon, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said in a tweet on Sunday that the company must stop “being flippant about Indian symbols and icons”, as images of flip-flops surfaced with Mahatma Gandhi’s picture on it for sale.
Later, the top official clarified that he had commented, “as a citizen of India.”
Last week, the e-tailing giant had apologized for Indian flag doormats sold on its Canadian website after foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s threat to refuse to give visas of its officials.
Shaktikanta Das’ comment was a reaction to another item that may hurt Indian sentiment, being sold on their website. “Amazon, better behave. Desist from being flippant about Indian symbols and icons. Indifference will be at your own peril,” reads the another tweet of the minister.
Amazon,better behave. Desist from being flippant about Indian symbols & icons. Indifference will be at your own peril.
— Shaktikanta Das (@DasShaktikanta) January 15, 2017
The comment was “as a citizen of India as I felt strongly about it. Nothing more should be read into it,” said the top officer in a clarification.
“Remain committed to economic reform, ease of doing business and open trade. Sometimes (sic) get touchy when our icons are involved,” he also tweeted.
Recently, Amazon removed flag doormats from its Canadian website after an enraged Sushma Swaraj sought an apology and threatened to cancel visas of Amazon officials after her attention was drawn to the issue thorough tweets.
“As a follow up to the matter regarding the sale of doormats with the Indian flag on Amazon, our Ambassador in Washington has been instructed to convey to Amazon that while providing a platform for third party vendors, they should respect Indian sensitivities and sentiments,” foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.