Protest rally held against ‘attempts’ to tarnish Dalai Lama’s image

Protest rally held against ‘attempts’ to tarnish Dalai Lama’s image

darjeeling: Darjeeling protested the alleged attempts to malign the image of His Holiness the Dalai Lama – the religious head of the Tibetans. A protest rally was organised in Darjeeling. Organised by the Darjeeling chapter of the Tibetan Women’s Association the rally, people from all walks of life took part to express solidarity with the 87-year-old Dharma Guru.

A controversy was sparked by a video clip in which the Dalai Lama had blessed a ten-year-old and then gleefully stuck his tongue out and in and had jokingly said in Tibetan: ‘Suck my tongue.’

The incident had taken place at Tsuglagkhang, the main Tibetan temple in Mcleod Ganj, Dharmasal on February 28, 2023. The event was a public event in which the little boy in the presence of his mother had requested the Dalai Lama to hug him.

After the event the boy and his mother had given interviews to Radio Free Asia and Voice of Tibet. The boy had stated: “It was amazing meeting His Holiness and I think it’s a really great experience meeting somebody with such high positive energy. I think you are happier after meeting him and it’s a better thing to smile a lot more.”

Recently after one month ten days, excerpts of the video, in the form of a clip started circulating in social media and was picked up by mainstream media sparking the controversy and raising allegations of child abuse.

“Prima facie investigations revealed that the initial instigators are pro Chinese sources that explain the motive behind tailoring a video clip and making it viral. Considering the scale and extent of the orchestrated smear campaign, the political angle cannot be ignored. One has to watch the whole video to be able to differentiate between lust and love and maligning what is sheer love and playfulness shared between a grandfather and grandson,” stated Tshering Gyagsho, spokesperson.

The All India Buddhist Forum also lent support. “We vehemently protest against this. His actions have been misrepresented in social media. Our sentiments have been hurt,” stated Akash Lama, General Secretary of the Association.

The rally commenced from Darjeeling Mall and culminated at the Mall after going through the major thoroughfares of Darjeeling on Sunday.

“The entire Hills stand in solidarity with His Holiness The Dalai Lama. I condemn the unethical act of the propaganda through the edited clip, hurting the sentiments of millions of people. I condemn such an act. His Holiness has been an epitome of love, peace and compassion,” stated Anit Thapa, Chief Executive Member, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration regarding the incident.

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