After Amazon withdrew a tri-coloured doormat offensive to Indian sensitivities from its Canadian platform in the face of warnings by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the e-commerce major has now also pulled out flip-flops bearing the picture of Mahatma Gandhi, a senior official said on Thursday.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “We have been in touch with Amazon both in Washington as well as in Delhi and we have had constructive conversations.”
“I am happy to report that the offending item has since been pulled by Amazon and we hope that our engagement will continue to be fruitful,” he added.
“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately,” Swaraj said in a tweet.
“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.
Amazon then wrote to Sushma Swaraj expressing regrets at hurting Indian sensibilities.
“Amazon is committed to respecting Indian laws and customs. To the extend that these items offered by a third-party seller in Canada offended Indian sensibilities, Amazon regrets the same,” it said.
“At no time did we intend or mean to offend Indian sentiments,” it said.
Swarup on Thursday said that the Indian Ambassador in Washington has been instructed to convey to Amazon that while providing a platform for third-party vendors, it should respect Indian sensitivities and sentiments.