After Swaraj, commerce secretary Shaktikanta Das warns Amazon against sacrilege

16 Jan 2017


A day after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj raised the issue of e-commerce major Amazon demeaning the Indian national flag by selling floor mats painted with the Tricolour, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das on Sunday asked Amazon to desist from being flippant about Indian symbols and icons.

He also warned the company that this indifference will be at its own peril.

"Amazon, better behave. Desist from being flippant about Indian symbols & icons. Indifference will be at your own peril," Das said in a tweet.

In another tweet, however, he added: "Comment on Amazon was as a citizen of India as I felt strongly about it. Nothing more should be read into it."

At the same time, Das said India remained committed to open and free trade –  "Remain committed to economic reforms, ease of doing business & open trade. Sometimes get touchy when our icons are involved."

Das's warning follows external affairs strong protest over Amazon selling doormats depicting Indian flag - the e-retail giant removed the offensive article from its Canadian website since then.

Seattle-based Amazon had told The Washington Post that the doormat was no longer for sale on its website.

Swaraj had also received several complaints of Amazon selling flip-flops with Mahatma Gandhi's image. Some Twitter users have tagged Swaraj in their tweets complaining that the beach sandals with Gandhi's image were being sold on the Amazon US site.

Reports quoting external affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said while follow-up action has been taken, there was no specific mention of the issue.

"As a follow up to the matter regarding the sale of doormats with the Indian flag on Amazon, our Ambassador in Washington has been instructed to convey to Amazon that while providing a platform for third party vendors, they should respect Indian sensitivities and sentiments," he said.

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