January 25, 2012 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar, Punjab (January 25, 2012): Dal Khalsa has sent a letter to the US Ambassador in New Delhi regarding Jay Leno’s derogatory remark regarding Darbar Sahib, Amritsar. Text of letter runs as follows:
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary,
Embassy of the United States of America,
We are distressed to note that instead of taking a stand against the unwanted, unnecessary reference to the holiest of holy Darbar Sahib, aka the Golden Temple by NBC commentator Jay Leno, the US government has officially defended the comments. Dal Khalsa strongly believes that ‘freedom of speech/expression’ is not a license to offend.
Obviously, like many other things, this shows the crass insularity of the West towards the sentiments of others. Undoubtedly, we live in a world torn down by national barriers, but the commentator and its employers, the NBC, must note that we live in a pluralistic world order and that we need to be sensitive to people’s beliefs and feelings. In the present case, it is not a question of feelings of one person that has been hurt, but a reference to Darbar Sahib-the Vatican of the Sikhs, has deeply hurt the sentiments of the entire Sikh community, including Sikh-Americans.
A peaceful world order –the proclaimed aim of the American government cannot be built on hate or irreverence hinging on blasphemy. We are unwilling to believe that this is out of ignorance and if it is, this ignorance is too profound to be ignored by the community which is at the receiving end. To dub it is a satire as has been done by your government is to further add fuel to the fire. It is nothing but another cruel joke on the Sikhs. What would have been the reaction of practising Christians if the reference was to the Vatican instead of the Golden Temple?
Jay Leno, has made snide remarks earlier also like, calling the Sikhs –‘diaper-heads’ in 2007 and spreading falsehood of “turban being compulsory to enter the Golden Temple” when President Barack Obama was to visit India in 2010.
Sikh Diaspora will continuously campaign till Jay Leno and the NBC apologises and the American govt regrets its defense of the comedian.
With kind regards
Secretary, political affairs
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