When we sell a product, we should analyse whether this product has any emotional connect with people of any nation, religion or region. Even if the product might get sold as a hot cake, the seller as well as the manufacturer should follow some ethical principles and do not sell it.
The emotional connect that the Americans have towards their flag is different from Indians. For Indians, the tricolour is a matter of pride. These tricolours have guided the freedom struggle of our country and these colours have been chosen as a reference to certain values that India and Indians carry. Saffron stands for strength and courage, white indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The green stands for fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land. This tricolour should always fly high in the sky.
But Amazon’s US platform is selling doormats made of tricolour. It is not illegal in USA to sell doormats designed as national flag. The doormats with US stars and stripes are sold for US $12 as a hot cake. They often go out of stock. However, it is not fair and in fact illegal to sell India’s national flag as a doormat in USA. Amazon should seek apologies and pay the fine to Indian government for this offence. If it does not do, then Indian government should file a case against Amazon.
Flag is a symbol of sovereignty of a country. Flag is not a commodity to be sold in any form that people want it to be. There is a flag code in India which has to be followed across the country and no country has right to use Indian flag as per its wish.
The Amazon website presently says, “We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock” below the product with name “India National Flag Rectangle Non-slip Doormat Floor Mat For Home.” The utility of this product is mentioned as “It Can Apply To Bedroom,living Room And Dining Room, And So On.”
This is disrespect to India which cannot be tolerated if even if the product is permanently withdrawn from the marketplace. All Indians as well as diaspora in US should fight against this indignity. If Amazon doesn’t abide by the Rule of law, then the permission given for Amazon India platform can also be withdrawn because country’s sovereignty and integrity cannot be compromised for the sake of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that Amazon is pumping in e-commerce sector.
Hoping to see a strong action from Government of India (GoI) without any delay and a suo moto response from Supreme Court of India which is the protector of Indian constitution.
You can reach the author on Twitter @aksharadamle