Following a stern message by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj over sale of doormats depicting the tricolour, Amazon on Thursday expressed regret for “offending” Indian sentiments and informed her about removal of the product from its Canadian website.
In a letter to Swaraj, Vice President and Country Manager of Amazon India Amit Agarwal said, “I am writing in connection with the products that carried the Indian flag, as referred to in your tweet... Amazon India is committed to respecting Indian laws and customs. To the extent that these items offered by a third- party seller in Canada offended Indian sensibilities, Amazon regrets the same. At no time did we intend or mean to offend Indian sentiments.”
He also said Amazon remains steadfastly committed to India, as evident by CEO Jeff Bezos’ announcement last year of company’s plans to invest USD five billion in India.
“We value immensely our relationship with the Indian government, the country’s entrepreneurs and innovators, an most importantly our Indian customers and employees,” Agarwal said.
On Wednesday, after she received a complaint about Amazon Canada selling doormats depicting Indian flag on its site, 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apology, failing which no official of Amazon will be granted Indian visa and the ones issued earlier will also be rescinded. The minister had also asked the Indian Embassy to take up the matter with Amazon Canada.