Dalai Lama means "ocean of wisdom" apparently in Mongolian or "Supreme spiritual and political leader of Tibet" according to the Royal Spanish Academy, and is a title given to the spiritual leaders of the Gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism since the 17th century. The current Dalai Lama, 87 years old, was named at birth as Tenzin Gyatso and at the age of only four short years was given this title, being the fourteenth Dalai Lama. In 1959, following the Chinese invasion of Tibet's capital, Lhasa, the Dalai Lama was forced into exile and settled in India where he currently resides. He is the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his struggle for religious freedom and the Tibetan cause.
On April 10, an iconic month in the fight for the prevention of Child Abuse, a repugnant video of the spiritual leader went viral worldwide and shocked many. In it, he is seen kissing a child on the mouth and then pronounces the words "suck my tongue" accompanied by a disgusting gesture, placing the child in a situation of vulnerability and absolute humiliation. In a striking way, the people who were there burst into laughter, accepting what should not be accepted, so it seems that everything is allowed.
The Tibetan leader apologized through a statement on the Dalai Lama's office Twitter feed to the boy, his family and friends for his "words", forgetting his unpleasant gestures to the child. What is outrageous about this "apology" is that not only did he not do it himself publicly, but the office justifies the fact by claiming that the Dalai Lama sometimes acts in an "innocent" and "playful" manner, "even in public and in front of cameras". This is truly disturbing. These apologies seem to be made for having committed a simple foolishness, which appears to be a lack of awareness of the mistake committed.
Abuse by religious or spiritual leaders is a matter of great concern in the world, because they take on the role or responsibility of guides and protectors, both of adults and minors, which gives them power. This position implies superiority over others, adoration and worship of their person, in which they are glorified without questioning their actions and which leads many of them to commit crimes that completely destroy the psyche of the victims by breaking their trust. Unfortunately, because of the mistakes committed by such characters, institutions or religions pay for the generalization of the problem, blaming all members, or faithful, of the same crime or complicity.
"If you want to change the world, change yourself" ~ Mahatma Gandhi
One concept must be made clear. Child abuse does not discriminate against religion, country, social status, profession or institution, it is an aberration that is committed in every corner of the world.
This sad fact tarnishes the reputation of the Dalai Lama and perhaps many will question the practice of adoration of common men who are not gods, but mere mortals who commit sins, mistakes, and crimes. A title confers no immunity in the eyes of public opinion, and in the absence of justice for his influence, he will face the worst of all, social condemnation.
Sexualized gestures with children are not funny and cannot be taken as jokes, because they scandalously lead to the normalization of such situations. Beyond cultural differences, a child is a child in the West as well as in the East and adults have an imperative and unbreakable obligation to protect them. This situation is unacceptable, and that's it. Leave children alone! #childabuse #dalailama