Picture for representation Reuters
Though Amazon has removed the controversial Indian flag-themed doormat after protests and a stern warning from the country's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, there are still several online retailers selling Indian-flag themed products.
According to Hindustan Times, Amazon's US arm sells shoes with the tricolours and the Sudershan Chakra painted on it. The shoe which is described as "Chukka Canvas shoes" costs $43.99 . Another product with the picture of Indian flag is a shoelace accessorie costing $4.49. While these two products are being sold by a Los Angeles-based company called N.Y.L.A, the doormats were made available by two vendors -- Mayers Flag Doormats and XLYL.
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Not only Amazon, another American online retailer called Café Press is selling dog coats with the State Emblem of India printed on them. The product is named "Indian coat of arms seal dog t-shirt" and costs $19.99.
Notably, according to the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005 improper and commercial usage of the Emblem of India is made a punishable offence and can lead the proprietor to jail for up to two years. A fine of maximum five thousand rupees can also be imposed if the rule is broken.
India threatened Amazon that it will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official if the Indian-themed doormat is not removed from the catalogue. A spokesman for Amazon based at its headquarters also confirmed that the doormat has been removed from the online marketplace, reported The Times of India.
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
Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately. /1— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) January 11, 2017
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