Just a day after Sushma Swaraj threatened to deny visas to Amazon’s officials if the company didn’t take doormats depicting the Indian flag off its site, the e-commerce giant has written to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj expressing regret at hurting Indian sensibilities. Amazon finally apologized and has pulled the offending item from its site as demanded by Swaraj.
Here’s the letter the company sent to the minister:
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) January 12, 2017
In a major jolt to global e-commerce giant Amazon, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday has threatened the company to refuse visas to its officials and withdraw visas already given to its employees in India, if the international e-tailer continues 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 receiving a complaint on Twitter.
The minister also sought an unconditional apology and asked the Indian embassy to take up the issue with Amazon Canada.
“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately,” Swaraj tweeted following a complaint that Amazon Canada was advertising doormats in the pattern of the Indian tricolor.
Sushma’s warning came following 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,” tweets Bhobe.
The particular product had also ignited protests from Indians in Canada and an online petition on change.org. was initiated.
Well, this is not first such incident. Amazon had drawn flak in India after doormats with pictures of Indian gods were found on sale on Amazon.com — the US site last year in June. Soon, the online protest turned into a major outrage on Twitter with trends like #BoycottAmazon gaining ground. It was then removed by Amazon from its website.