First a doormat with an Indian flag on it and now a pair of shoes with the Tricolour. Amazon.com has on its site a product called ADE Indian Flag Women’s Chukka canvas shoes M003, priced at $43.99 (Approximately Rs 3,000). There is also another product on sale called the Graphics and More India Indian Flag shoe sneaker shoelace charm decoration for $4.49 (A little over Rs 300).
These products continue to be available even after a huge controversy had erupted over a doormat with an Indian Flag being available for sale on the Amazon’s Canada website. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj ‘s angry tweet that Amazon must apologise unconditionally and withdraw all products insulting the flag or its officials would not be granted Indian visas.
‘Amazon must tender an unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately. If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier,’ Swaraj had said in a tweet.
Following this flurry of tweets, an Amazon spokesperson had said ‘The item is no longer available for sale on the site.’
Disrespect to the National Flag is a punishable offence and can attract three years in jail. The punishment is prescribed under the Prevention of Insults to the National Honours Act.