The issue gained focus after the Kannada Rakshna Vedike (KRV) Praveen Shetty camp protested and gave a call to boycott Amazon for hurting the sentiments for its ‘insensitive act.’

Arvind Limbavali
news Controvorsy Sunday, June 06, 2021 - 10:32

Karnataka Minister Aravind Limbavali has called for a boycott of Amazon, the popular e-commerce website, after its arms in Canada, United Kingdom, Japan and Mexico were found selling a bikini with the state’s colours and emblem on it. A picture of the bikini went viral on social media. “We experienced an insult of Kannada by @Google recently. Even before the scars could heal, we find @amazonca using the colours of #Kannada flag and the kannada icon on ladies’ clothes,” the Karnataka Minister for Forests tweeted. “Multinational companies should stop such repeated insult of #Kannada. This is a matter of Kannadigas' self pride and we will not tolerate the rise in such incidents.@amazonca  should, therefore, apologise to Kannadigas. Legal action will be taken immediately against @amazonca,” Limbavali added. 

The issue first came to light when the Kannada Rakshna Vedike’s (KRV) Praveen Shetty camp protested and gave a call to boycott Amazon, besides contemplating formally lodging a complaint with the state police. Shetty, who led the protest, told reporters that the Kannada state flag is the symbol of pride for seven crore Kannadigas and that Amazon has made a huge mistake by hurting the sentiments of millions across the world with its insensitive act.

YouTuber MYNameis Madhu also lashed out at the e-commerce giant, saying that this is the work of Amazon's country-specific sites. "Amazon Canada has shocked the Kannadigas across the globe with their audacity of promoting sale of personalised Kannada flag coloured bikini. This has not just happened in Canada alone, they are selling the same product in the United Kingdom, Japan and Mexico too," he said.




The YouTuber added that the same e-commerce giant had stoked controversy in January 2017 by offering a doormat with the Indian flag for sale. "Then our leader Sushma Swaraj, who was the external affairs minister at that time, had dealt with this giant with an iron hand," he said. The late former Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had sent out a strongly worded message to Amazon India representatives asking them to tender an apology for disrespecting the national symbol which hurt the sentiments of an entire country besides ordering Amazon to remove all the products insulting the national flag. Swaraj had taken strong objection to Amazon Canada selling several products like underwear and panties with the Indian flag, Indian flag shoes and flip flops, etc.

The row against Amazon comes days after Google came under severe criticism after a search for ‘the ugliest language’ in the world produced a result with Kannada as the answer. After a backlash, Google tendered an unconditional apology.

Also read: Google India apologises for Kannada being search result for ‘ugliest language’

With IANS inputs