The 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet since 1940 and the highest Buddhist leader, has sparked a controversy after a video went viral on social media, showing him kissing a minor boy on the lips and asking him to “suck his tongue”.
The shocking video has generated a wave of outrage among the twitterati, with many of them calling for action by the authorities against the spiritual leader.
Why is the Dalai Lama fondling this young boy and asking him to “suck his tongue”? pic.twitter.com/cZWHfbgTAd
— Stew Peters (@realstewpeters) April 9, 2023
There were angry reactions from Twitter users, calling the Dalai Lama’s actions “paedophilic, creepy, abusive, totally sick”. One person said it was “highly disturbing”.
The video shows the Dalai Lama kissing a child on the lips as the latter leans forward to seek his blessings. Then the Dalai Lama can be seen sticking out his tongue, asking the minor boy, “can you suck on my tongue”.
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Social media reports claim that the minor boy in the video is of Indian origin. The venue and date of the event are not clear.
Sticking out the tongue – Tibetan tradition In the movie, “Seven Years in Tibet,” the Brad Pitt character encounters a group of Tibetans who all at once stick out their tongues at him. There was no explanation given, but this Tibetan custom has a long history.
A Tibetan king in the 9th century, Lang Darma, was notorious for his cruelty. He had a black tongue. Since Buddhists believe in reincarnation (and Tibetans are generally Buddhists), they feared that this cruel king would be reincarnated.
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As a result, since then, the Tibetans have greeted one another by sticking out their tongues showing that they do not have black tongues, that they are not incarnations of the wicked king. Sticking one’s tongue out in Tibet has become a sign of agreement or greeting or respect.
Some Twitter users referred to an earlier controversy in 2019, when the Dalai Lama, in an interview with the BBC, remarked that if the next-in-line for his post was a female, she should be “attractive”. He apologised for this remark after there was a backlash in the media.
(With inputs from agencies)