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Jan 28 2012

Jay Leno Causes International Incident

The Indian government is mad at the United States because Jay Leno made a joke where he put up pictures of the homes owned by presidential candidates and used a picture of the Sikh Golden Temple in that country as Mitt Romney’s house.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi told reporters: “It is quite unfortunate and quite objectionable that such a comment has been made after showing the Golden Temple.”

Mr Ravi said the Indian embassy would take up the matter with the US state department, the Press Trust of India reported.

He said: “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… This is not acceptable to us and we take a very strong objection for such a display.”

And one American Sikh has filed a libel suit against Leno for it:

There’s been a lot of outrage among Sikhs over the clip — but one man in California named Dr. Randeep Dhillon took his religious fervor one step further … filing a libel lawsuit against the late night host, claiming Leno is responsible for encouraging hatred and ridicule of his religion.

According to Randeep, the Romney joke “falsely portrays the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh”

Yeah, good luck with that. Could you at least try to get mad over a comedian that’s funny? Sue Doug Stanhope, he needs the publicity. Maybe we should sue Jay Leno for sucking so much.

31 comments

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  1. 1
    dingojack

    I can imagine Jay Leno sitting alone in a closet* clutching a clunky 1980′s dictaphone and muttering:
    “Note to self. Use Taj Mahal next time!”
    Dingo
    —–
    * he seems to like to do that sort of thing, draw your own conclusions

  2. 2
    exdrone

    I thought it wasn’t until April that Romney was going to release his list of sacred residences.

  3. 3
    davidct

    I thought the Leno clip amusing. One would have to really work at it to be offended. The Sikhs must have been feeling underrepresented in the ranks of the world’s offended religions. I had heard that the Sikh faith was more admirable the many others but I was wrong. It is just another bunch of religious bigots. It is not the doctrine but the actions of its adherents that shows the true nature of a belief system.

  4. 4
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others

    Yes, yes it does. Just ask Larry Flynt. He’ll set you straight.

  5. 5
    Chris from Europe

    Leno should make sure that none of his bodyguards is a Sikh.

  6. 6
    Ouabache

    “Freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others…”

    Yes, it does, you ignorant twit.

  7. 7
    whheydt

    Maybe Leno is trying to follow in the footsteps of William S. Gilbert & Sir Arthur Sullivan who nearly caused an international incident with one of the songs in their operetta “Ruddigore”.

    But, then…Gilbert could actually write funny lines…

    –W. H. Heydt

    Old Used Programmer

  8. 8
    Modusoperandi

    Wait until Vayalar Ravi actually visits here and finds out that, in every city, “Golden Temple” is also a Chinese Restaurant.

  9. 9
    mxh

    Wait until Vayalar Ravi actually visits here and finds out that, in every city, “Golden Temple” is also a Chinese Restaurant.

    Hilarious!

    My guess is that Leno is going to be a wimp about it and apologize.

  10. 10
    schism

    If this is all it takes to piss off foreign officials, I’m honestly amazed we aren’t at World War IX.

  11. 11
    'Tis Himself

    whheydt #7

    Maybe Leno is trying to follow in the footsteps of William S. Gilbert & Sir Arthur Sullivan

    Gilbert was also a knight.

    Incidentally, for those who might be wondering, the possible “international incident” referred to by whheydt occurred when the London correspondent of Le Figaro interpreted Richard Dauntless’s opening song “I Shipped, D’ye See” as an insult to the French when actually it was a lampoon on sailor braggartry.

  12. 12
    Chiroptera

    Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi told reporters: “…Freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others….”

    Maybe not, but it does mean putting up with it when your sentiments are hurt.

    I mean, trying to restrict the free expression liberties of others kind of hurts my sentiments.

  13. 13
    'Tis Himself

    What exactly do the Sikhs and Minister Ravi expect the US government to do? Telling political jokes is not illegal.

  14. 14
    Sastra

    Well, if Leno was a real comedian — next show he would again put up the picture of the Sikh Golden Temple as Romney’s house, apologize for his cultural insensitivity and inaccuracy, and then show the revised photo of Romney’s actual house: the Masjid al-Haram mosque in Mecca.

    Now that would be funny.

  15. 15
    Multifarious

    Interesting…

    Covering up a slight epidemic of completely resistant TBC but oh dear, a clown has made a joke about your sky fairy’s outhouse and it’s full scale global action.. Idiots!

    Maybe, just maybe, the only way left to deal with these idiots is just to laugh them in the face as soon as they open their mouth. Consequently. With extreme prejudice. Just drown their idiocy with laughter.
    Believe in sky fairy? Sorry, anything you say MUST be a joke.

  16. 16
    macallan

    This sort of dumbassery offends me mightily, I demand they stop it immediately, apologize profusely and promise to never do it again or I shall be even more offended.

  17. 17
    pacal

    “Could you at least try to get mad over a comedian that’s funny?”

    I award Ed one internet.

  18. 18
    Didaktylos

    What should be done is to tell this Indian Minister that if he agrees to withdraw the complaint, he won’t receive a “Best of Jay Leno” DVD box set for his next birthday …

  19. 19
    DaveL

    Freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others

    Actually, that’s pretty much exactly what it means. Especially if those “others” are powerful.

  20. 20
    No One

    “Freedom does not mean hurting the sentiments of others… This is not acceptable to us and we take a very strong objection for such a display.”

    Yeah, well my very existence hurts the sentiments of others.

  21. 21
    umlud

    I wonder if this is linked (if only socially) with the case going through to the Indian Supreme Court about censoring Google and Facebook because of content that some in India find offensive.

    The logic that is cited sounds rather similar.

    http://umlud.blogspot.com/2012/01/indian-government-agrees-to-pursue.html

    It makes me wonder how this might be related to India’s emergence into into the international stage. If we make the rough generalization with Chinese, many feel similarly outraged about the characterizations of the PRC leading up to the Olympic games. Perhaps, though, we don’t hear too much of it, thanks to the “Great Firewall of China” and the fact that English is far less spoken or read in China than in India.

  22. 22
    whheydt

    Re: #11 (‘Tis Himself):

    Yes…I know Gilbert was knighted, but that was after he quit writing operettas with Sullivan.

    Sullivan was knighted by Victoria (partially in hopes that he would settle down and write more *serious* music). Gilbert was knighted by Edward VII.

    Thus, when referring to operettas, Sullivan’s title is normally used and Gilbert’s is not.

    FYI for those watching at home…Sullivan wrote the music usually used with “Onward Christian Soldiers.”

    But yes, it was the incident with Richard’s opening song bragging about how the “Revenue Sloop” (think, Coast Guard Cutter) he was on had a reasonably successful run-in with a French frigate (think destroyer) and included quite a number of slang slurs against the French.

    There are other amusing anecdotes about “Ruddigore”, especially relating the the original spelling as “Ruddygore”. Gilbert had a quick wit and an acid tongue.

    –W. H. Heydt

    Old Used Programmer

  23. 23
    bubba707

    Too bad Lenny Bruce is gone. I would be fun to sic him on them. Or even George Carlin. Man, the best are gone even though Lenny kinda lost his mind after awhile).

  24. 24
    Chris from Europe

    The current government of India is led by the Congress Party. One would assume they had a different position on Sikhs complaining about their holy sites.

  25. 25
    Dr X

    @M.O

    Wait until Vayalar Ravi actually visits here and finds out that, in every city, “Golden Temple” is also a Chinese Restaurant.

    And in Chicago it’s a cab company. I’ve noticed, too, that some of their drivers dishonor the hair by keeping it shorn, rather than as the creator has made it.

  26. 26
    suzysalaksartok

    Arent Sikhs the ones who sue to try to make it so that their kids can take their knives to schools and stuff?

    So stuff like the 1st amendment is fine and dandy when it means you get to use it to take your magic cutlery wherever you want, but its evil when someone uses it to make a joke…not even a joke ABOUT your religion, just a joke that tangentially involves a structure which your religion thinks is pretty.

  27. 27
    Glenn E Ross

    …he won’t receive a “Best of Jay Leno” DVD box set for his next birthday …

    Actually that would be a single mini-DVD in a paper sleeve.

  28. 28
    Ing

    Arent Sikhs the ones who sue to try to make it so that their kids can take their knives to schools and stuff?

    Yes but the knives were only symbolic and didn’t actually work as knives so it was a fair complaint.

  29. 29
    dingojack

    Ing – how does that work? When is a knife not a knife?
    Curiously,
    Dingo

  30. 30
    scifi the first (formerly scifi1)

    Chris from Europe

    Yes, but the current PM is a Sikh, Manmohan Singh.

    I’m afraid that, occasionally, Sikhs will act as stupidly as any other religious nuts. Ironically, the religion came about as an answer to the Persians (mussulman) invaders. Perhaps it would be a good idea to remind the idiot with the law suit and the Indian govt. to stop acting like the Muslims the Sikhs were trained to fight!

    There is not, as far as I know, any demand by any of the Sikh gurus, from Nanak to Gobind Singh to rail against disrespect of a building. It certainly doesn’t appear in the Granth Sahib (holy book)!

    But, since when have adherents to religions been that ‘au fait’ with their holy books?

  31. 31
    paulwiele

    Hey, I think this is perfectly reasonable grounds for a libel suit. I would definitely feel defamed if my holy sites (if I had any) were associated with Mitt Romney.

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