Outrage as Amazon 'Insults Indian National Flag'

CC0 / / India flag mask
  India flag mask - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2022
A police complaint was filed against Amazon India, the e-commerce major and Indian subsidiary of the American multinational, Amazon.com, in 2019 for allegedly hurting “Hindu feelings” after rugs and lavatory seat covers bearing images of Hindu gods were available for sale on its US website.
In the run-up to India's 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday, the e-commerce giant Amazon is once again facing the ire of the twitterati for allegedly insulting the country’s national flag.
According to a section of social media users, Amazon has insulted the Indian tricolour by selling disposable and cheap items which bear the image or imprint of the national flag.
From chocolate wrappers, ceramic mugs and keychains through to T-shirt and face masks, the products sold on the platform have attracted heavy criticism.
Offended netizens have pointed out that products such as face-masks get rewashed and eventually thrown in the dustbin, and chocolate wrappers end up in the rubbish, so the national flag should not have been used on such throwaway items.
Demanding strict punishment to be meted out against Amazon India, a user said in Hindi: "Earlier also, Amazon India insulted the Indian Flag by printing it on shoes, lavatory seat covers etc. Why is the Indian government not taking action?"
Slamming Amazon India for putting such items with the Indian flag on sale, another user said in Hindi: "The tricolour is the symbol of the nation. The T-shirt on which the national flag is imprinted gets dirty and we keep it anywhere. In this way, the tricolour is disrespected."
Previously, the US branch of Amazon had sold shoes and metal hoops for shoelaces resembling the Indian tricolor.
In 2017, Amazon also sold doormats with an Indian flag printed on them until the government called on the online shopping giant to respect the country's sensibilities and feelings.
On this occasion, Amazon issued an apology to the then federal External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, for hurting Indians' patriotic feelings by selling a doormat bearing the Indian flag.
According to the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Misuse) Act 2005, the use of “the emblem for the purpose of any trade, business, calling or profession or in the title of any patent, or in any mark or design, except in the cases and under the conditions prescribed” is a punishable offence.
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