Anandalila’s Story Touching And Stirring

Anandalila “Lila” Salter

Image Courtesy Sydney Morning Herald

I came across the following story in Sydney Morning Herald, (also checkand this) and ended up writing down the following letter to its editor:

I have been logging on to your website each night, in fact very late by the Indian Standard Time, hoping to get the mainstream Australian viewpoint about the ongoing India-Australia cricket series. It became more of fun, speaking precisely, since the days of infamous SCG test match, as the two sides, cricketing and non-cricketing both, begun taking digs at each other. And it was worth going through the whole drama, your view points included. However, the last two days brought a completely different notion to this author’s mind. Not due to any of your journalistic errors, in fact you were well on target in describing about the 17-year old ‘Lila’ Salter of Vrindavan, which left this author numb and saddened like many others.

I have personally been through it, and know how it feels like awaiting one of your kin’s imminent demise. But it sounds more hurtful, when you look at how the events unfolded and how far dignified the bereaved family had proved out to be, despite being harmed in such a sinister way. They came from a remote world, and yet made India, its religion, language and culture part of their lives, more than what many of my fellow Indians might do, I know it. The fatal attack on Lila was tragic, one wouldn’t disagree about it, but it leaves me saddened more in India, because I value her compassion and the respect she had for my way of life. The realization, we failed to protect her and pay back for the warmth she came smiling with all the way from Australia, will keep us haunting for long now. May god bless Lila with eternal peace! May god bless her family with resilience!


According to the latest reports, she is now dead.

Anandalila “Lila” Salter

7 thoughts on “Anandalila’s Story Touching And Stirring”

  1. This story broke my heart. I am nobody to this family ,just a person who read about it . I am not a believer but that does not mean i cannot empathise . I have a daughter ,in that context i cannot help the anguish i felt when i read about this.
    Krishna and shootings do not go together its more than just “not right”
    I am just a 42yo father who just wants to convey my deepest sympathy to Lila Salters family . It’s not much ,i know .Nonetheless, I am sorry.
    RIP lila………..A.Clelland.Toukley NSW Australia

  2. Allan, the whole incident was so insane in kind, and since I live in India, I know about its dark sides well. I do recognize why Lila’s family is feeling betrayed by the administration. I was surfing through the mainstream online Indian media and shockingly, this news got no mention there. Right now, I’m registering some notes of dissent at their websites!

  3. Thankyou so much for your kindness re our daughter, Lila salter. I did not get a chance to thank you until now. We were very moved by your concern. I hope that her death is not in vein. See and please pass on the link to everyone. I am very serious and will not give up until some improvement is made in this greatest of all Holy places. Sincerely Susan Manning aka subhangi devi dasi

  4. Hello Susan,
    I feel somewhat relieved to hear somebody close to Lila Salter speak on this issue in my weblog. I can understand the agony your family and others have had to go through in Vrindavan. Fully know my own society, as well as the Uttar Pradesh administration. It hurts more since there are many who make a living out of being spokespersons for Hinduism and other faiths in India. Yet they fail to protect the spiritual sanctity wherever it may be needed the most. I’ll do my best to forward the link to your petition, and hope you do get it resolved at the highest level. Thanks for speaking up and may Lord Krishna bless you all in Vrindavan along with Lila’s known and unknown worlds!

  5. So sorry to hear of Lila. I was not aware of this until Pankaj informed us on a large platform.

    Our condolences to the whole family. Hope something good comes out of this horrendous crime and that Lila’s death will not be in vain. Hope all the work you do will bring forth the desired outcome.

    All my love and prayers are with you.

  6. You know, Pankaj, it’s true as some one else has mentioned; I didn’t see this story in the news! I wonder why? I remember about the Goa case but not this. And even there the culprit is now out on bail!

    I sincerely hope and wish that the campaign for a safe Vrindavan succeeds.

    How shameful can it get if we can’t even keep a place of pigrimage safe!

    My thoughts and prayers with Lila’s family.
    RIP Lila.

  7. Gilga, it boils down to market value I believe. Media is more like a business house and anything that won’t sell has to be overlooked. The Goan case was significant as the victim’s family could have easily made an international cry out of it, they knew. In this case, Vaishnovites have been taken for granted. See for example, Lila’s family and friends are asking for the betterment of Vrindavan even after having been treated nastily. They could have easily abused India and tabled the whole issue as a human rights matter…now that would have sold in media’s eyes. Since they love Krishna, this land and its culture unconditionally (akin to the majority in a sense), do not belong to any minority or social group that may have political parties lining up for attention, this case does not merit to be aired at prime-time!

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