The National Commission of Minorities (NCM) on April 19 said that the Dalai Lama was “not an ordinary human being but the living Buddha of the 21st century”. Condemning the video of the Buddhist monk being circulated on social media in which he is asking a child to ‘suck his tongue’, the NCM said that the video was ‘tampered’ and was a “disinformation campaign” against a holy person that hurt the sentiments of Buddhists.
NCM members said that a “foreign power” was behind this act and they would write to the government of India to inquire about the issue to intervene and block such unidentified postings on the internet.
In the meeting, presided over by NCM chairman Iqbal Singh Lalpura, the members unanimously said that the content of the video was “tampered”.
Commission member Rinchen Lhamo said, “This video has been tampered. The parts of this video have been merged in such a way that the video leads to tarnishing of the image of the Dalai Lama.”
She added that a “foreign power” had got this video made and also got it circulated on the internet. “All this is not organic but paid,” she added.
Explaining the meaning of what Dalai Lama said in the video, religious leaders from the Buddhist community said that the boy was seen asking the Dalai Lama for a hug in that video. Following this, the leader blessed him, asked him to kiss him and stuck out his tongue saying, “Suck my tongue”.
The members narrated that when a kid went to his grandfather and wanted to kiss his forehead and touch his nose etc, the grandfather would playfully say that “I’ve given you everything, so the only thing left is for you to eat my tongue”.
“The correct phrase in Tibetan for this joke is ‘Che le sa,’ which translates to eat my tongue,” he said adding that it displayed the affection between an elderly person and children and not what was being projected on the internet.
The meeting was also attended by vice-chairman Kersi Kaikhushroo Deboo and members Dhanyakumar Jinappa Gunde and Syed Shahezadi. Leaders from religious communities, including, Aacharya Yeshi Phuntsok, Goswami Sushil Maharaj, Father Sebastian, Yog Bhushan Maharaj, Markaz M. Ahmad, H.E. Kundor Rinpoche, Gyal P. Wangail, Anzarul Bari and Tahir Hussian, joined the meeting and expressed their solidarity with Buddhists and requested for an enquiry in the matter with the support of the NCM.
The video shows the Buddhist monk kissing a child on his lips as the latter leaned in to pay his respects. The video went viral on social media with people expressing their disappointment and outrage over the incident. While some are condemning the Dalai Lama for this incident, others are showing support towards him through protests and marches in Leh, Ladakh and Kargil. In the follow-up to the incident, the Dalai Lama apologised on social media on April 10.