Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter that visas of Amazon officials would be rescinded, after Amazon Canada was found to be selling doormats featuring the Indian flag.
“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted, ”If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier,” she added.
Roughly four hours after Sushma Swaraj’s tweets, the ‘offensive’ products were removed from Amazon’s catalog with the product pages showing up a ‘page not found’ error, and the said products missing from search results as well. “The item is no longer for sale on the site,”
Earlier, a Twitter user brought to Sushma Swaraj’s attention that Amazon Canada was selling doormats featuring the Indian flag. A simple search on Amazon Canada verified this claim (see screenshot) a few minutes after the tweets, though the products were later removed from Amazon’s catalog.
It’s worth pointing out that Amazon is a marketplace and is not directly involved in selling all goods on its website, and the products in question seem to have been listed by a third-party seller.
The External Affairs Minister also instructed the Indian High Commission in Canada to take up the matter with Amazon.
Note: The story has been updated to add Amazon’s statement and the fact that the products have now been removed from the store.