KARACHI: Religious leaders have often found themselves at the forefront of accusations of inappropriate conducts, especially where children are concerned. In more recent times, the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama has found himself in the middle of a controversy over a video of himself and a young boy. The outrage surrounding the video led to the Dalai Lama releasing a statement to defend himself.
The video in question is of an exchange between a young boy and the Dalai Lama that took place at an event in India. The young boy asks his leader, “Can I hug you?” But soon the exchange turned uncomfortable with the 87-year-old spiritual leader pointing to his cheek and saying, “First here,” prompting the boy to give him a hug and a kiss. Then, the Dalai Lama points to his lips, and says, “Then I think finally here also,” pulling the boy’s chin and kisses him on the mouth. And then he asks the young boy to, “Suck my tongue,” whilst poking his tongue out. Naturally, the exchange led to quite a bit of outrage.
Nah bro. I’m tired of spiritual leaders hiding behind their spiritual beliefs and power & thinking it’s okay to do inappropriate sexual and or abusive behavior.
GTFOH. #DalaiLama https://t.co/NbjRDUqkZ8
— Laura Vaisman (@iamlauravaisman) April 10, 2023
The Dalai Lama is a pedophile. The child was assaulted. No sane person is okay with what he did to that child and the worst part is this happens to so many kids cuz y’all normalize predatory behavior in close family members.
— Spicy Sagitterrorist (@adoseofmars) April 10, 2023
The Dalai Lama’s behavior towards the young boy is a clear violation of ethical and moral principles. #DalaiLamaGoOut
— Amrish Kumar (@theamrishkumar) April 11, 2023
Following the outrage on social media, the Dalai Lama released a statement about the video apologizing to the boy and his family as well as, “His many friends across the world, for the hurt his words may have caused.” The statement also went on to the defend his actions claiming that he often teases people he meets “in an innocent and playful way, even in public and before cameras”.
— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) April 10, 2023
Needless to say, the Dalai Lama’s actions were not well received.