January 11, 2017 | 10:00 PM

India threatens to blacklist Amazon officials for selling doormats showing its flag

January 11, 2017 | 10:00 PM
BREAKING NEWS, Politics, Weird news January 11, 2017

In India, as elsewhere around the world, touching something with the bottom of your feet, especially if they are dirty, is considered a sign of immense disrespect. It is customary to remove one’s footwear before entering someone else’s home or a place of worship.

So when Phoenix-based Ratnesh Mishra came across a picture of an Indian flag doormat on Amazon’s Canadian website, he was incensed. He wrote a Facebook post and tagged India’s prime minister, its ruling party and its famously social-media-savvy foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj.

The global protest and boycott that he told Amazon to get ready for is indeed gathering steam. On Wednesday, a week after Mishra’s post, Swaraj took up his cause on Twitter, responding to one of the hundreds of people who have petitioned her to demand action from Canadian authorities. Her tweet storm escalated the protest into a possible diplomatic spat, and included the following tweets: “Indian High Commission in Canada : This is unacceptable. Please take this up with Amazon at the highest level”; “Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately”; and “If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier.”

The Indian High Commission in Ottawa did not respond to a request for clarification on whether it had lodged a complaint with Amazon’s Canadian offices.

The company that sells the doormats, XLYL, also offers versions with the American and Canadian flags. No laws in Canada prohibit these sales.

The product has been accruing one-star ratings from offended Indians.

“Unlike US or Canada where people have shoes, underwear etc made of national flags, we indians respect our flag. Please remove this flag before this information goes viral and people stop using Amazon in india. This is hurting our sentiments,” wrote a user named Soumitra Bhattacharya.

Most were relatively respectful in their protests, asking Amazon to “kindly remove” the listing.

Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon.com, owns The Washington Post.

(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Max Bearak

#breaking now

  • Trump rally w CREDIT

    Trump in for ‘raw’ conditions when he takes the oath of office

    It’s going to rain on Donald Trump’s parade. About the time Trump raises his right hand Friday at noon…

    C2ZOoWbUQAAhDT_

    SHOCK VIDEO: Nanny Allegedly Burns Kid With Hot Curling Iron

    A Long Island nanny is under arrest after surveillance video captures her allegedly using a hot curling iron to…

    GM General Motors w CREDIT

    NEW: GM to invest $1 billion in US manufacturing

    GM will spend $1 billion to expand vehicle production in the United States, an investment that will allow the…

    C2YnwKdWEAASvI8

    On this day in Earthquake History. Northridge, CA 1/17/94 – M 6.7

    At 4:30 on the morning of January 17, 1994, some 10 million people in the Los Angeles region of…

    [Rhode Island State Police]

    Rhode Island Sisters Kidnapped in 1985 Found Alive in Houston

    Kelly Yates and her sister Kimberly were allegedly abducted by their non-custodial mother, Elaine Carolyn Yates. A felony warrant…

    Breaking News

    Nigerian military jet mistakenly bombs refugee camp, kills more than 100

    A Nigerian military jet has accidentally bombed a refugee camp killing over 100 people.   Among the refugees were…

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov listens to a question during his annual roundup news conference summing up his ministry's work in 2016, in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. Lavrov said Russia hopes new U.S. administration will be represented at the Syria talks in Astana, Kazakhstan. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Says US Tried to Recruit Diplomats

    MOSCOW – U.S. spies under diplomatic cover sneaking along Russia’s borders with Europe. Ten thousand dollars and a recruitment…

    da9e33e44f2c603f27e37d7b8a6d45d9 (1)

    WATCH: Officer Saves Woman And Her Elderly Mother From Burning Car

    A Wadsworth police officer is being recognized for his efforts in helping two women whose vehicle burst into flames…