India's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, is publicly demanding Amazon stop selling Indian flag doormats, even threatening to take away visas given to Amazon employees if no action is taken.
Swaraj went on a Twitter tirade Wednesday morning, writing that Amazon must "tender unconditional apology" and withdraw the doormat products "insulting our national flag immediately."
Her message seems to be aimed at Amazon Canada, which appeared to allow third-party sellers to list Indian flag-inspired doormats on its platform. A quick search on Amazon Canada no longer shows any Indian flag doormats.
Swaraj's reaction may be in part due to India's strict flag code. The official flag code of India states: "the Flag shall not be used as a portion of costume or uniform of any description nor shall it be embroidered or printed upon cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins or any dress material."
Losing any portion of access to the Indian market could be a serious problem for Amazon. The Indian market is one of the fastest growing overseas markets for Amazon and the company recently pledged to invest up to $5 billion in the region.
Amazon's representative sent the following statement in response to this story: “The item is no longer for sale on the site.”
Here are the tweets by Swaraj:
Indian High Commission in Canada : This is unacceptable. Please take this up with Amazon at the highest level. https://t.co/L4yI3gLk3h— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) January 11, 2017
Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately. /1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) January 11, 2017
If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) January 11, 2017
More From Business Insider