New Delhi : Following a stern message by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj over sale of doormats depicting the tricolour, Amazon Thursday expressed regret for “offending” Indian sentiments and informed her about removal of the product from its Canadian website.
In a letter to Swaraj, Vice President and Country Manager of Amazon India Amit Agarwal 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.”
He also said Amazon remains steadfastly committed to India, as evident by CEO Jeff Bezos’ announcement last year of company’s plans to invest USD five billion in India.
“We value immensely our relationship with the Indian government, the country’s entrepreneurs and innovators, an most importantly our Indian customers and employees,” Agarwal said.
Yesterday, after she received a complaint about Amazon Canada selling doormats depicting Indian flag on its site, Swaraj reacted sharply and asked the e-retailer to withdraw the products and tender an unconditional apology, failing which no official of Amazon will be granted Indian visa and the ones issued earlier will also be rescinded.
The minister had also asked the Indian Embassy to take up the matter with Amazon Canada.
After the strong protests, the e-retail giant today removed the offensive article from its Canadian website.
In a series of tweets, Swaraj had expressed her anger at the sale of such an offensive doormat by Amazon, which is seeking a big presence in India.
“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately.
“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 had said in her tweets.
Tweeting Agarwal’s response to Swaraj, the MEA Spokesperson said, “In response to EAM @SushmaSwaraj’s tweet, @amazon writes to her, expresses regret at hurting Indian sensibilities, pulls offending item.”
In his letter, Agarwal also explained that a third-party seller, not Amazon, had listed these products for sale in Canada.
“These products were not available in India. After learning of the products’ listing, we immediately removed them from the Canadian website and implemented measures to ensure that these products could not be sold on any of our other marketplaces or websites,” he further said.
Agarwal also offered to meet Swaraj to discuss the issue and Amazon’s broader relationship with India.
Source : Zee News
Amazon disrespects Indian Flag by selling Indian Flag doormats
January 4, 2017
Amazon just did the unthinkable by selling Indian flag doormats and disrespecting the national symbol of India. These personalised tri-coloured door mats were made available on the e-commerce website with ample pictures and description. The Indian flag has been a symbol of pride for us and is respected by every Indian, whether there are in India or settled abroad. However, this product listed on Amazon Canada caught our attention and immediately made us question the intention of both makers and the internet-based retail. The product which has an image of a rugged looking Indian flag is enough to make every patriot’s blood boil. Highly offensive in nature, the pictures will enrage everyone on the social media.
International online shopping portal, Amazon Canada was recently selling the Indian Flag doormat on their site. The description for this personalised item read: “doormat indian flag Personalized Durable Machine-Washable Indoor/Outdoor Door Mat Welcome Doormat.” Indian Flag which is no less than a crown for the countrymen is sold as a mere trivial house décor, precisely a doormat placed at the house entrance. This highly enraging item was further described as – “17.99 Oz. Designed for indoors / outdoors use. Durable heat-resistant non-woven fabric top. Backed with a neoprene rubber non-slip backing. Sized in 23.6″(L) x 15.7″(W).Dry wet feet, grab dirt, dust and grime. Machine washable, easy to clean.”
One fails to understand the lack of sensitivity on the product makers and Amazon Canada’s part to display this Indian flag doormat. It is widely known that Canada has major Indian-origin population. Such an act would face a severe backlash from the Indian community both living in Canada, in India and across the world. Despite the product being highly offending and for the right reasons, Amazon chose to go ahead with the sales. The product is currently unavailable, which makes us wonder if it is due to being out of stock or removed after the fear of potential adverse reactions.
Amazon previously came under the radar for selling door mats that bore the name of “Allah” which hurt the sentiments of Muslims all over the world. The e-commerce giant’s British hand was selling doormats with the words “Allah” embroidered on it in Arabic. Various Muslims took to Twitter to get these mats from Amazon by explaining how it is demeaning their religion and an insult to their eternal one. These mats were sold by manufacturers Dragon one and Trendy Mats. When complaints poured in, Amazon finally took these mats of their site and stopped their sale. Well, high time Amazon did their basic research on cultural studies and understood individual’s background.
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Source : India.com