That Mother Teresa chose to serve the poor and the dying through her Missionaries of Charity is well known (editorial page, Aug. 26). There are critics who will say she deliberately promoted poverty to ensure her image while conserving donations, instead of using them for the poor. Dr. Larivie, one of the university researchers from Canada, says, “Given the parsimonious management of Mother Teresa’s works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone.” Many leading medical journals like BMJand Lancet have been critical of the quality of care offered to the terminally ill.
Like many religious personalities, Mother Teresa held strong views on contraception, a dire need for India. During her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in 1979, Mother Teresa said abortion was the greatest threat to world peace.
The Catholic Church is active in Third World countries and has a valuable role to play in education and health care unlike in the rich first-world countries.
The unstinted support she was provided by the West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu brings to mind the esteem he held her in. Some activists of the Sangh Parivar irked at her growing popularity, approached Basu and asked him to send her back. He posed a simple question to them: “If you are prepared to clean wounds, provide medical care and feed leprosy afflicted persons, I will immediately ask her to go back.”
They just vanished.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan,
It is always easy to pick holes in someone’s work. Mother Teresa did yeoman service which can never be replicated for a long time to come.
The Canadian researchers criticised a lady who gave up almost everything serving society. She chose to live in India at a time when the country was witnessing its most difficult period — post-Partition. She must have had a difficult time gaining the faith and winning the hearts of people. She came here and never left.
Whatever her uninformed/suspecting critics may say, the undeniable fact is that Mother Teresa was a beacon of hope for the poor and the underprivileged. She did rush in where others feared to tread. Her work and selfless dedication gave dignity and a sense of hope to many a dirt-poor man. She always effortlessly wore unassuming humility. Those who accuse her of having accepted donations/money from tainted people may remember the adage “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”
The article pays rich tributes to the frail lady with an iron will and an uncompromising commitment to the poor. She did not work for awards and recognition, but for god. Why should she refuse to take donations from all those who gave them? For, they were meant for the countless poor whom she fed, clothed and sheltered. By no stretch of the imagination could her work be called little. People who criticise Mother Teresa and rare humans of her ilk should first look within themselves to examine what their contributions to society have been.
Mr. Chawla has written a dignified piece with factual knowledge of Mother Teresa. Millions of her well-wishers thank him for his well-argued reply.