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Jay Leno Gag Enrages India’s Sikh Community

This is surely a first. In the wake of a very poorly chosen photo to support a January 19 Mitt Romney gag on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, India’s ambassador to the U.S., Nirupama Rao, has promised to “take the matter up with relevant authorities in Washington.” That information comes from Tom Wright, New Delhi-based South Asia correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

There is also a Facebook protest group, all because a Leno staffer selected for the Romney summer home joke a picture of the sacred Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. The shimmering structure is the Sikh religion’s holiest shrine. From Wright’s dispatch:

India’s Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, who is traveling in the U.S., also said the embassy would lodge a complaint, according to the Press Trust of India.

If NBC and Leno know what’s good for them, they will work together to deliver an on-air apology this evening from Burbank. Regardless of whether the photo selection was intended or careless, these are matters not to be messed with.

Update – 01/24/12: Per documents obtained by TheWrap, a local man has filed a claim against Leno over this joke in LA Superior Court.

[Photo: Helga Esteb/]

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