Published: Thu, January 12, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Sushma Swaraj Warns Amazon: Apologise or We Cancel Visas

"We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier", she said.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was informed recently that the Amazon Canada website is selling doormats featuring India's flag.

Doormats with the U.S. and United Kingdom flags also listed. Amazon must tender an unconditional apology.

She has asked Amazon Canada to withdraw the product featuring Indian national flag immediately.

"We will also rescind the visas issued earlier", Sushma added.

The vendor, who was identified as one Hana Houdek, was quick to give in to protests and take down the controversial doormats, but unfortunately for her, and for Amazon, that wasn't going to cut it given that the issue had by then sparked widespread outrage. A quick search on Amazon Canada no longer shows any Indian flag doormats.

Amazon learned that the hard way Wednesday, when India's foreign minister threatened to ban company employees after the site's Canadian portal offered for sale a doormat with the Indian flag on it.

Although selling of doormats with designs of flags, including the United States national flag, is neither illegal nor offensive in the USA, selling of such an item is illegal in India.

Different cultures and nations seem to have varying attitudes towards flags and other national symbols. They sell items like towels, various clothing, bikinis and even door mats with American and Canadian flags featured on them and Amazon Canada site showcases such products. The company claimed that Amazon illegally used the former's brand name as a keyword to drive traffic to its own website. "They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately", she had said.

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