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Amazon's Mahatma Gandhi flip-flops spark anger in India

So much so, in fact, that the Indian government threatened to rescind Amazon employees' visas should the company not "apologize unconditionally".

"Shameless Amazon first it was Indian flag and now Mahatma Gandhi looks like Jeff Bezos is losing his mind", wrote an anonymous user.

On Jan. 15, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das accused the American e-commerce major of having an irresponsible attitude towards India's national symbols and icons. After the retail giant was recently caught in the middle of some backlash thanks to it unveiling numerous doormats baring the Indian flag, the company has once against infuriated Indians with its Mahatma Gandhi flip-flops. "Indifference will be at your own peril".

"As a follow up to the matter regarding the sale of doormats with the Indian flag on Amazon, our Ambassador in Washington has been instructed to convey to Amazon that while providing a platform for third party vendors, they should respect Indian sensitivities and sentiments", Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said to NDTV.

According to the BBC, Amazon has not commented on the latest controversy over the jandals.

Following this, Amazon had pulled down the products under question from its Canada portal, with Amazon India's Vice-President and Country Manager Amit Agarwal writing to Swaraj expressing "regret at hurting Indian sensibilities".

Das added that he'd made these remarks as an Indian citizen, and that nothing more should be read into them.

He also tweeted: "Remain committed to economic reform, ease of doing business and open trade. Sometimes get touchy when our icons are involved", he said in his third tweet.

Das is an IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre who started off his career as Tamil Nadu's revenue and industrial promotion secretary.

Although he is set to retire in February 2017, there have been rumours that he is being considered by the Modi government for the position of SEBI chairman.

Amazon delisted the doormats following Swaraj's outburst on Twitter.

E-mails sent to and Amazon India seeking comments on the issue did not elicit any response till the time of publication.

Such public threats do not help India's investment-worthiness.


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