Amazon India on Thursday said it expressed regret over its Canadian arm selling doormats bearing the Indian national flag. Earlier in the day, Amazon Canada had removed the items from its website after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj threatened to cancel visas of their employees and demanded an unconditional apology.
“Amazon India is committed to respecting Indian laws and customs...At no time did we intend or mean to offend Indian sentiments,” Amit Agarwal, Vice President and Country Manager, Amazon India said in his letter to Swaraj. The letter was shared by Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Twitter.
Agarwal said a third party seller had listed the product for sale in Canada. “After learning of these products’ 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 marketplaces or websites,” he wrote. Agarwal further said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ had announced last year that the company intends to invest $5 billion in India.
An Atul Bhobe brought these products to Swaraj’s attention and sought action against Amazon Canada. In a stern tweet, Swaraj had told Amazon Canada products “insulting out national flag” should be withdrawn immediately. She had also directed the Indian High Commission in Canada to take up the matter with Amazon “at the highest level”.