Amazon.com removed doormats that resembled the Indian flag from its Canadian website. Fred Katayama reports.
India can throw out the welcome mat again to Amazon ... now that the row over a doormat should go dormant. The product that riled India was a doormat that resembled India's flag. That item listed by a third party had been carried on Amazon's Canadian website, but the retailer has pulled it. Foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup: SOUNDBITE: VIKAS SWARUP, SPOKESMAN, FOREIGN MINISTRY, (ENGLISH), SAYING: "We appreciate the prompt response from Amazon and hope that such incidents are not repeated in the future." It was all smiles last year when Amazon pledged to invest over $5 billion in the world's fastest growing internet services market. But the goodwill evaporated when India's external minister tweeted that Amazon must apologize and withdraw the flag from its Canadian website. Otherwise, she threatened India would withhold visas to Amazon executives and rescind visas issued earlier. Amazon's Canadian site sells dormats fashioned around other national flags. But Indian law punishes and fines violators who desecrate its flag.