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Gurdwara committee to lodge protest against Jay Leno

January 24, 2012 17:33 IST

Avtar Singh, president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak committee which controls and runs Sikh shrines, told rediff.com that he plans to lodge its protest with the United States ambassador in India against the comment made by television anchor Jay Leno on Harmandir Sahib while presenting a programme on US elections.

"I would be writing to US ambassador on Tuesday itself lodging our strong protest against the comment by a television anchor. Golden Temple is the holiest shrine and the person who made the comment has hurt our sentiments. I would also be writing to our external affairs minister on the subject and ask him to take up the matter strongly with the Obama administration," Avtar Singh said.

Congress party spokesman Manish Tewari described the comment as unfortunate and demanded that Jay Leno tender an apology as Golden Temple is revered not only by the Sikhs but Punjabis world over.

The US administration defended the comment saying that Jay Leno's comment was more satirical in nature and he has the right to free speech. The US government has declined to say anything more on the controversial comic show on NBC channel.

In the show, telecast on January 19, Leno showing a picture of the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine, had termed it as a possible summer home of Mitt Romney, a leading Republican presidential hopeful.

This is not the first time that Leno has made uncharitable comments on the Sikhs. In 2007, Jay Leno called Sikhs 'diaper heads'.

Sikhs of America have protested by calling up the studios, NBC offices in New York and other places in US where the channel has its offices.
Onkar Singh in New Delhi