Karnataka minister seeks apology from Amazon Canada over ‘flag bikini’

News comes days after Google showed Kannada as the ‘ugliest language in India’, sparking anger against the e-commerce giant

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Karnataka minister Arvind Limbavali has said the state government will take legal action against Amazon Canada if it does not apologise for selling bikini sets with the state’s flag and emblem printed on them.

The news comes days after Google showed Kannada as the “ugliest language in India”, sparking anger against the e-commerce giant.

“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,” Limbavali tweeted, saying companies should be careful to not hurt the pride of the Kannadigas.

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“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,” the minister said.

Karnataka’s official state flag is a yellow, white and red tricolour with the Gandaberunda – a two-headed bird in Hindu mythology, believed to possess immense magical strength – in the middle. Adopted in 2018, it is unfurled every year on Karnataka’s Foundation Day, November 1, and is a common sight at public places across the state.

As shared by several social media users, the product name – ‘BKDMHHH Women’s flag of Karnataka original design slim fit tie side laces triangle chic trimmer – also mentions ‘Karnataka flag’.

Following the “ugliest” language controversy, Google issued a statement on Twitter saying the search feature wasn’t always perfect, and that sometimes “the way content is described on the internet can yield surprising results to specific queries”.

“We know this is not ideal, but we take swift corrective action when we are made aware of an issue and are continually working to improve our algorithms,” the statement said.

“Naturally, these are not reflective of the opinions of Google, and we apologise for the misunderstanding and hurting any sentiments.”

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