Lila’s mother Susan Manning, sister Marie and brother Bhisma mourn as her body is prepared for cremation. File image courtesy of Theage.com.au.
I had written about the tragic death of Anand Lila Salter in Vrindavan early this year. Lila salter, the 17 year old Aussie girl, who had spent a major chunk of her life in India along with her kins and friends in the holy Vrindavan, was killed by a local stalker she knew well in February this year. Her family had asked for police protection in view of the impending threat to her life. Yet the administration failed and the unthinkable occurred. The killer, who was in a one-sided emotional bond with Lila, later committed suicide. So, it became a shut case for the investigators. Not so for Lila’s family and friends though, as they have been arguing for some valid questions to be answered.
They have launched a Safe Vrindavan Campaign, dedicated to Lila Salter now, and are looking forward to help from the like-minded people from all over the world. The campaign involves signing of a petition addressed to the Indian President, seeking to see steps being undertaken for preserving the sanctity of Vrindavan and providing its Indian and resident foreign tourists with the safety and due respect they deserve.
If Vrindavan could not be made safer, if those who adopted the Indian way of life were made to repent, then what could we feel proud of as a country? This begs for an answer more so in the view of the ongoing furor over the activities by the Christian missionaries. The BJP, VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal might have some genuine concerns about them (chiefly forced conversions), but how can we justify the continuing apathy of the Hindu holy places? What have the BJP et al. been doing to make Vrindavan, Varanasi and Ayodhya better? An overwhelming presence of the vested interests and criminals is no more hidden at these places. The likes of Mayawati and Mulayam Singh might have no vote-banks to look into this, but what have the Hindutva organizations done anyhow way to improve the Hindu landmarks.
I hope all of you join and forward this LILA SALTER CAMPAIGN FOR A SAFE VRINDAVAN to as many people as you might know of. They are asking to make Vrindavan – a religious and cultural place of immense significance to the Indians – safer and better. This isn’t about Hinduism, Islam or Christianity. Why wouldn’t you, or for that matter, anybody else join this?