India Fumes Over Leno Joke

Will discuss spoof on Sikh holy place with State Department
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2012 1:00 AM CST
Updated Jan 24, 2012 3:10 AM CST
India Fumes Over Jay Leno Joke
Sikhs sit and watch the illuminated Golden temple on the eve of the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh in Amritsar, India, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011.   (AP Photo/Prabhjot Gill)

(Newser) – Jay Leno has created a bit of an international brouhaha over a joke that's not sitting well with India's Sikh community. The Tonight Show last week displayed a picture of the holiest Sikh temple—the stunning Golden Temple of Amritsar—before Leno called it Mitt Romney's summer home. Sikhs have organized an online petition calling for Leno's "racist comments" to "be stopped right here," and an Indian official says the country's embassy plans to discuss the comment with the US State Department, the BBC reports.

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The joke was "quite unfortunate and quite objectionable," said the Overseas Indian Affairs Minister. "The Golden Temple is the Sikh community's most sacred place. The American government should also look at this kind of thing. Freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others." (Read more Jay Leno stories.)

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