Two days after Amazon pulled down the listing of doormats depicting the Indian flag from its Canada website and apologised after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s intervened, the e-commerce giant has put up another listing of slippers with Mahatma Gandhi’s face printed on it. Priced at $16.99, these are listed on Amazon.com as “Gandhi Flip Flops”.
Some Twitter users have complained about this to PM Narendra Modi and MEA Sushma Swaraj on the micro-blogging site.
CafePress, the firm which sells the sandals, is ironically owned by Maheesh Jain of Indian-origin. They have been selling Indian-themed underwear, panties and dog t-shirts.
“Our graphic flip flop sandal designs are professionally printed, so your unique design will look great and make someone smile with the funny, cute, vintage, or expressive artwork,” the product description on the website reads.
Earlier this week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had reacted sharply after a complaint regarding the offensive doormat being sold on the website was brought to her notice. She had 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apology, failing which no official of Amazon will be granted Indian visa and the ones issued earlier will also be rescinded.
Subsequently, Amazon India’s vice president and country manager Amit Agarwal wrote to Swaraj expressing “regret at hurting Indian sensibilities”. The minister also asked the Indian Embassy to take up the matter with Amazon Canada. “Indian High Commission in Canada: This is unacceptable. Please take this up with Amazon at the highest level.”
“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,” said the company earlier.