New Delhi: Amazon on Monday faced the ire of a section of Indian social media users over merchandising some products, including apparel and food items, that feature images of the Indian flag, with some saying that using the tricolour in such a way was an insult and a violation of the country's flag code.
In a late evening statement, Amazon said it remains committed to take necessary action against sellers who may have listed any non-compliant products.
Netizens shared pictures of items like apparel, cups, keychains and chocolates that feature images or imprint of the tricolour on Amazon.in website, and sought a ban on these items. Hashtags like #AmazonInsultsNationalFlag were trending on Twitter.
When contacted, Amazon said Amazon.in is an online marketplace where third-party sellers offer products for sale directly to customers, and as such are responsible for ensuring compliances associated with the sale of these products.
"We require all products offered on the marketplace to comply with applicable laws and constantly take appropriate action on non-compliance. Amazon remains committed to take necessary action against sellers who may have listed any non-compliant products," the company said.
Some social media users noted that using the tricolour on products is against the Flag Code Of India, 2002.
A section of the social media users said such usage is an insult to the national flag while others pointed out that it was a cheap method of increasing sales and that this will not increase the patriotism of Indian citizens.
"The flag shall not be used as a portion of costume or uniform of any description. It shall not be embroidered or printed upon cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins or boxes," as per the Code.
This is not the first time that Amazon is facing such a backlash. In 2017, Amazon was forced to remove doormats depicting Indian flag that were listed on its Canadian website after a strong protest by India.