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Jay Leno Golden Temple joke: India files official complaint

Indian ambassador directed to "take up the matter" with State Department
Jay leno insults indiaEnlarge
"You can't say that *&%$@! about India, Jay!" US President Barack Obama might have warned Tonight Show host Jay Leno. Alas, he did not. And now Leno faces an official complaint. (AFP/Getty Images)

Jay Leno's Golden Temple joke -- he showed a picture of the Sikh shrine and suggested it might be the summer home of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney -- didn't go over too well with India's minister for building ties with the diaspora.

Leno might have expected an angry response from Romney's fellow Mormons. But either he failed to realize how insulting consideration for Romney's vacation house might be, or he overestimated India's ability to take a joke. According to NDTV, India's Ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao to take up the matter with the State Department.

"I wish this kind of thing is not shown by any media in the US," Mr Ravi said, adding that he has not seen the show personally and has heard about it from the Sikh community. "Freedom does not mean hurt the sentiments of others... This is not acceptable to us and we take a very strong objection for such a display of an important place like Golden temple," Mr Ravi said.

The snafu doesn't bode well for Comedy Central, which began airing on Indian television Monday, as well, according to the Times of India.

"India has never been more ready for a dedicated English comedy offering. We are delighted to add Comedy Central to our existing portfolio of brands," the Times of India quoted an executive of India's Network 18 as saying. "The service will deliver clever and disruptive content to our viewers; titles that have been handpicked from across the globe, especially for India. At Comedy Central India, we believe that everything in life can be looked at in a lighter vein. Hence, our philosophy - Laugh It Off - which will be brought to the fore in everything we do as a brand."

Maybe not...

The U.S.-based network won't be showcasing Indian parodies of the sort that the government is even now trying to get pulled down from Facebook and Google because they "hurt the sentiments" of senior political leaders. But I give Jon Stewart two weeks to say something that will offend somebody here.

As funny as Indians can be, it seems, they also can't take a joke.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/jay-leno-golden-temple-joke

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