It looks like global e-commerce giant Amazon has not learnt its lesson following the Indian tricolor doormat controversy.
The company has now found itself in the eye of yet another storm as it is now trying to sell its customers ‘Gandhi flip flops’, with the face of MK Gandhi printed on the slippers.
Priced at $16.99, these are listed on Amazon.com as “Gandhi Flip Flops”.
Clearly, Amazon has once again degraded an important Indian symbol – that of the Father of the Nation – by placing it on slippers.
Earlier, on January 11, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj issued a stern warning to Amazon not to sell doormats with the design of the Indian tricolour on them.
In tweets, she said that Amazon must apologise unconditionally and withdraw all products insulting the flag or Amazon officials would not be granted Indian visas.
Her strong reaction had come after a Twitter user sent her a screen-grab of doormats featuring the flag on sale on Amazon Canada.
The offending products were on offer by two vendors. Under India’s law, any desecration of the flag is punishable with fines and imprisonment. They were priced at $21.99 (Rs 1491 approx) and were sold by a seller called Yeo F. Stout based out of Austria in Europe.
Amazon has vowed to invest more than $5 billion in India as it takes on home-grown Flipkart and Snapdeal for a bigger share of the rapidly growing e-commerce market.