NEW DELHI: Global e-commerce giant Amazon seems set for yet another Indian storm and expect a surgical strike from Sushma Swaraj. They are now trying to sell its customers ‘Gandhi flip flops’, with the face of MK Gandhi printed on the slippers. This comes just days after the online retailer faced Indian ire for selling doormats with the Tricolour on them.
Amazon describes its ‘Gandhi flip flops’ as a pair of “foam rubber flip flops” with a “professionally printed” Gandhi face. And it costs $16.99, or about Rs 1,200.
Strike two, Amazon?
Just last week the e-commerce site had been at the receiving end of threats from none other than External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who demanded Amazon to tender an unconditional apology and take down all products disrespecting the Tricolour.
“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately,” Sushma wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.
She warned that if they failed to do so, no Amazon official will be issued an Indian visa and all existing visas will also be rescinded.
Thoroughly chastised, Amazon promptly removed the product from its listing and expressed “regret” for offending Indian sensibilities.
“After learning of the product’s listing, we immediately removed them from the Canadian website and implemented measures to ensure that these products could not be sold on any of our other marketplace or websites,” the e-retailer said in a letter addressed to the Ministry of External Affairs.
Now, following this second transgression, the Indian government has directed its Ambassador in Washington to convey to Amazon that they should respect Indian sentiments while providing platform for third party vendors, ANI reported.
Amazon had claimed that the Tricolour doormats on its Canada site were posted by a third party seller, and the organisation had taken measures to ensure that these products could not be sold on any of its other marketplace or websites.
Irate Twitter users complained about the slippers to MEA Sushma Swaraj on the social media platform and requested her to take strict action against the e-commerce giant.