January 25, 2012 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York, USA (January 24, 2012): A US based Sikh rights group “Sikhs for Justice” (SFJ) has lodged a complaint with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the US Government against the objectionable depiction of Golden Temple by NBC Talk Show Host Jay Leno on January 19, 2012. FCC regulates the broadcast of television programs, analyzes the complaints and conducts investigations.
The SFJ complaint filed with Joel Gurin, Bureau Chief, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at FCC states that “Jay Leno’s depiction of Golden Temple as the home of the rich is racist, derogatory, defamatory, contrary to the reality, inimical to the principles of Sikhism, and thus hurtful to the sentiments of the Sikh community”. The complaint demands imposition of sanctions against Jay Leno for spreading racism and against NBC for airing contents ridiculing a place of worship.
According to attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Legal Advisor to SFJ, “while we value and honor Freedom of Speech protected by the First Amendment but First Amendment is not a tool to ridicule a religion or to spread untrue, biased and racist information.” This is not the first time that Jay Leno has shown disrespect and bias towards Sikhs and their faith, earlier, in 2007 Jay Leno, had called Sikhs as ‘diaper heads’ referring to the turban worn by Sikhs in compliance of their religious edict.
Jay Leno’s wrongful depiction of Golden Temple is more hurtful to the sentiments of the Sikh community because any disrespectful or derogatory remark about Golden Temple brings back the tormenting memories of June 1984 Operation Blue Star in the minds of the Sikhs in which thousands Sikh pilgrims were killed, stated attorney Pannun.
While welcoming the gesture of respect shown by Vayalar Ravi, India’s Overseas Affairs Minister who took up the issue with US Government, attorney Pannun reminded the Minister Ravi that those who planned and executed attack on Golden Temple (Operation Blue Star) in June 1984 have not been prosecuted. “He should also take up the issue of Operation Blue Star with Government of India”, added attorney Pannun.
SFJ announced holding of a protest rally on February 02, 2012 in front of NBC Headquarters in New York City demanding the NBC to sack Jay Leno for his remarks about Golden Temple.
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