Jay Leno thought he was poking fun at Mitt Romney's extreme wealth but a recent photo substitution stung the Sikh community instead.
In a Jan. 19 segment, Leno showed what he said was a picture of Romney's summer home on Lake Winnipesaukee, but it was actually a photo of the Golden Temple of Amritsar in India, Sikhs' holiest shrine.
The joke so enraged U.S. Sikhs, The Wall Street Journal reported, that a group of them set up Facebook page to protest the joke. By Monday morning, the paper reported, it had 3,000 members.
India’s ambassador to the U.S., Nirupama Rao, "will take the matter up with relevant authorities in Washington," a spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi told the paper.
Tom Wright, The Journal writer, wondered, though, if it wasn't an unnecessary hullabaloo.
"Shouldn’t the Indian government be focusing on clamping down on real religious hate speech – say, politicians and others who incite violence against religious communities," Wright asked in the piece, "rather than throwaway jokes like Mr. Leno’s?"
Peggy Fletcher Stack
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