Action taken against Amazon for selling tricolour doormats: M J Akbar in Rajya Sabha
Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said this kind of incidents could not be controlled as there are no treaties on this, but confirmed action under two laws enacted in 1950 and 1971 to protect dishonouring of national emblems
The controversy circling around the e-commerce site Amazon selling tricolour doormats and slippers was raised in Rajya Sabha on Thursday with members raising concern over the issue and government replied that definite action has been taken against the site and it had desired effect.
The government was asked whether they can impose a ban on the sale of such things so that national emblems are not tarnished, whether there were provisions to penalise those who insult religious sentiments and if the government thought about taking action against such e-commerce platforms.
Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said this kind of incidents could not be controlled as there are no treaties on this, but confirmed action under two laws enacted in 1950 and 1971 to protect dishonouring of national emblems.
“The incident occurred in two nations, Canada and the United States. As soon as we got to know, our missions in Ottawa and Washington raised the issue at the highest possible level in every possible manner.
“The issue went up to the owner, the person who runs Amazon, Jeff Bezos. The action was taken by Amazon and I think at this moment, we can be assured that this would not be repeated. They (Amazon) have written to us as well,” Akbar said.
Wen asked whether these things can be controlled in future, he replied, “there is no international treaty on this”.
Akbar however said that a law was enacted in 1950 and another in 1971 to protect exactly those problems that have now come up.
“We as a Government do our utmost to see that our national honour and sentiments are not besmirched in any way and I hope that our efforts will yield results,” he said.
Akbar said, “we take every possible recourse within our means and legal framework to check such things. The actions we have taken have had the desired result.”
The controversy over Amazon selling doormats and slippers of tricolour had angered External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who warned the site that such things were unacceptable and had threatened Amazon management of rescinding visas to its officials if they did not stop such sales.