Amazon gives in after MEA warning; removes Mahatma Gandhi flip-flops, dog tags

20 January 2017, 01:55 PM
Amazon courted controversy after a Tricolour doormats, Mahatma Gandhi flip-flops and dog tags were spotted on its online store. (Representational Image)
Amazon courted controversy after a Tricolour doormats, Mahatma Gandhi flip-flops and dog tags were spotted on its online store. (Representational Image)

After the Indian flag incident, e-commerce retailer Amazon has been conveyed that while providing a platform for third party vendors, they should respect Indian sensitivities and sentiments, the external affairs ministry has said.

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said Amazon has also removed "offending items" like flip-flops and dog tags with Mahatma Gandhi's image.

"Our Ambassador in Washington had been instructed to convey to Amazon that while providing a platform for third party vendors, they should respect Indian sensitivities and sentiments. We have been in touch with Amazon both in Washington as well as in Delhi and we have had constructive conversations," he said.

Asked about sale of flip-flops and dog tags with Mahatma Gandhi's image on Amazon website, he added, "I am happy to report that the offending items have since been pulled by Amazon and we hope that our engagement will continue to be fruitful."

Last week, after she received a complaint about Amazon Canada selling doormats depicting Indian flag on its site, external affairs minister Sushma 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apology, failing which no official of Amazon will be granted Indian visa and the ones issued earlier will also be rescinded.

Following the stern message, Amazon expressed regret for "offending" Indian sentiments and informed Swaraj about removal of the offensive product from its Canadian website.

First Published: Friday, January 20, 2017 10:31 AM

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