India takes up issue of Leno's remarks with US

India today took up the issue of popular TV host Jay Leno's remarks on the Golden Temple with the US and wrote a strong letter to NBC, which had aired the show.

Indian Deputy Chief of Mission here Arun Kumar Singh met Robert Blake, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia and conveyed India's views on the issue, official sources told PTI.

They also said the Indian Mission has written a "strong letter" to NBC, the boardcaster of the late night show on which remarks on Golden Temple were made.

Incidentally, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had yesterday said that the late night talk shows are "flippant most of the time in the US."

He had however said talk show hosts should be "extremely sensitive to the sensitivities of religious group" within their country and outside.

Leno, the host of the popular "The Tonight Show" on NBC channel, flashed a picture of the Golden Temple on his programme and termed it as a possible summer home of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

However, the US has defended Leno's right to free speech terming his comments as "satirical" while applauding contributions of Sikh-Americans.

"I think that Leno would be appreciative if we make the point that his comments are constitutionally protected in the United States under free speech, and frankly, they appeared to be satirical in nature," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland had told reporters.

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