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Sikhs in India aren't laughing at Jay Leno's Mitt Romney joke

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 26 2012 6:54 p.m. MST

NEW DELHI — India's Sikh community isn't laughing at a recent Jay Leno joke.

Members of the religious group said they were outraged when the "Tonight Show" host showed a photo of a glittering gold building and claimed it was Republican Mitt Romney's summer home.

It was meant to be a joke about the Republican presidential candidate's wealth. But the building in the photograph is the Golden Temple, the holiest site in the Sikh religion.

Dalbeg Singh, a top Sikh leader, said Tuesday that community leaders would seek an apology from Leno.

India's foreign ministry said the government had taken the issue up with U.S. authorities.

A top official from the external affairs ministry said a formal complaint had been lodged with the State Department in Washington.

India had also sent a complaint to NBC, the broadcaster of the show, the official said. He was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Meanwhile, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday that Leno's comments "appeared to be satirical in nature."

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