Hafta letters: Encounter killings, Dalai Lama, a friend through NL

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

ByNL Team
Hafta letters: Encounter killings, Dalai Lama, a friend through NL
Kartik Kakar
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Does the Indian police have a department such as internal affairs in the US? I’ve seen Hollywood movies where IA officers investigate crimes committed by police, whether it’s torture, financial irregularities, custodial deaths, encounter killings, etc.

Dr Kalashnikov


Notwithstanding the cultural aspects of acceptable behaviour, Dalai Lama should have been aware of his international stature and how such an act would have been received by the media. 

Kissing on the lips is common among some Europeans too. The French kiss their kids on the lips. There is a very famous photo of politicians Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing on the lips. So cultures vary. Our own religious leaders have engaged in far worse.

Meanwhile, the encounter killings, I believe, are a result of police incompetence. The forensic techniques are still primitive and no effort is taken to preserve the crime scenes. Police resort to encounters to avoid the judicial route. One should watch Indian Predator - Beast of Bangalore on Netflix for an example of police incompetence. 



Hi! My annual subscription for NL appears at the subscription page of Google Play app and the payment is scheduled from there itself. 

I don't know but I think Google must be getting some percentage of the amount to facilitate the transaction. Please advise if I may cancel the subscription at Google Play and renew it directly from the website (renewal due in June).




Hi all,

Since you made the request for story ideas. Here is one. As you are going to Karnataka, here is a story pitch. 

In Mangalore and Udupi districts: What is the literacy rate? What is the GDP of these districts in comparison to other districts in Karnataka? What is the women labor force participation/emancipation in the area ? A clue: My mom’s generation found loads of jobs in banks. At least six nationalised banks were established here. 

What is the ethnic composition of the region – Hindu, Muslim and Christians? 

If the answer to the last questions are positive, what drives the area to be the “Ayodhya” of the south. Clue: Like Chennai, there is a temple in every mile of both districts. 

Now, that would be a story! Yes, I am a Mangalorean. But since you asked, I thought I should pitch. 

You are most likely to dismiss this, but, hey ho! 😊

Best wishes,



Please do inform me when you visit Michigan next time. I wish to join you all. Is there a way to view your itinerary/scheduled programme list? 

Aasiya Matin 


Police action was a topic of discussion last week and will again be for the next few weeks. One of the things mentioned on Hafta was that police are underpaid and underfunded. This might have been true in the 80s and early 90s but not at the moment. Multiple pay commissions have increased the salaries and benefits considerably even at constable levels, and of course for the top police jobs. This has made it a very attractive option, especially in the cow belt states. Just throw a stone in any tier 2 or tier 3 city and it will quite likely hit an aspirant for such a job. 

As for funding for policing, the salaries and pensions are eating up a major share of the government budget. The leadership, both political and bureaucratic, have made a decision to ignore other basic resources that effective policing needs for higher salaries for themselves and their peers. The loss is of the general public. The issue is not low funding, but priorities. 

Mohit Singh 


Hello NL Team,

Recently, I have come across some videos on YouTube which claim that the caste system was imposed or at very least rigged by the British in India. So are there any studies done to back these claims? And if not, why are these individuals spreading this message?

Thank you, peace



Hi NL Team,

I would like to comment on Tibetan culture, particularly before the PLA took over. Tibet was an experiment by unknown cultural bigots, perhaps from India. This can be said on the basis that there was a caste hierarchy similar to India’s. There were no schools, only monasteries that would admit only children of the high-born. In case of a crime, according to their law, the high-born would be fined less and a lower one heavily. Also, the monks who teach students, can only be from a particular high caste. On top of that, a lama can only be from a single family who would be sent to 14-year exile and upon return appointed as lama.

Keep up the good work.




Hello all,

Writing in just to thank NL for rekindling a friendship. I saw the Michigan photos shared by Abhinandan and recognised an acquaintance from school, and thanked my stars that not all of my classmates turned into mindless, joyless Sanghis. Got in touch with them and have now gained a pretty cool friend. Just wanted to share this as NL continues to have impact in intangible, but joyful ways. More power, peace and prosperity to everyone. 



Hello NL, 

Two things:

1. Matt Taibi is a joke. I recommend everyone to watch the video of Mehdi Hasan interview/roast him in a recent show. It's on YouTube.

2. I remember Abhinandan speaking about Havana syndrome a while ago. I wanted to write about it then but didn’t. The claim is that some US intelligence officers working outside of the US claim their cognitive capabilities are suppressed by some kind of ‘Men in Black’ kind of technology. Here is a recent article that details pentagon officials walking back some of the claims.

I think it's just their obesity and/or alcoholism and/or recreational drugs. 




I don’t like reading news articles on websites as it involves lots of scrolling and refreshing. It can be as draining as social media. Have you considered coming out with a weekly e-magazine? This can be a separate subscription category too.



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