The country’s Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) which has issued a calendar and diary depicting PM Narendra Modi in front of a charkha replacing Mahatma Gandhi was asked for an explanation by the Prime MInister’s Office, which said no permission was sought from the PMO on the claendar.
The PMO said officials have sought explanation from the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises on the issue, which was vehemently criticised by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal among others for usurping the nation’s icon Mahatma Gandhi in branding row.
Meanwhile, on external misuse of Gandhi’s image by slipper vendors on Amazon, the economic affairs secretary has sent out an unofficial warning to Amazon to behave when it comes to Indian sentiments.
Amazon, which is emerging as the second largest e-commerce platform in India with the company pledging to invest about $5 billion in the next five years is caught in the row for the second time after last week’s warning by External affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on using triclour on doormats.
In his tweet, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said: “Amazon, better behave. Desist from being flippant about Indian symbols and icons. Indifference will be at your own peril.”
Later, he clarified that the tweet was in his personal comment as a citizen of India and said nothing more should be read into it. He later said, “Remain committed to economic reforms,ease of doing business and open trade. Sometimes get touchy when our icons are involved.”
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the Ambassador in Washington has been instructed “to convey to Amazon that while providing a platform for third party vendors, they should respect Indian sensitivities and sentiments.”
However, the Gandhi slippers which were on sale on Amazon US website have been replaced with slippers showing Gandhi’s vague quotes on life. Similarly, Dalai Lama slippers are also on display on Amazon.