Feb 26, 2015 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Indians from all walks of life and religions have joined to condemn allegations made against Bl. Teresa of Calcutta by a fundamentalist Hindu leader charging that her sole objective in helping the poor was converting them to Christianity.
Mohan Bhagwat, head of the Hindu nationalist organization RSS, said Feb. 23 in India’s Rajasthan state that “Mother Teresa’s service would have been good. But it used to have one objective, to convert the person, who was being served, into a Christian.”
Bhagwat was speaking at the inauguration of an orphanage and women’s home run by a local NGO, and said, “here we will not provide service like that rendered by Mother Teresa. It is possible that her kind of work was good, but there was a motive behind that service.”
His comments have evoked fierce reactions over social media, as well as protests. In the national upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha opposition parties staged protests which led to adjournment of the sitting. They demanded statements from the ruling government and from prime minister Narendra Modi, whose BJP party is closely aligned with RSS.
Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona told CNA Feb. 26 that “Mother Teresa’s services reflected the teachings of Jesus Christ – ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’ – and so her serving others was unconditional, unselfish to lepers, the sick, the abandoned and the suffering, and for people of all religions.”
“Hundreds of thousands of people whom she served were people of different religions, and they remained in their religion till the end and she did not deny services to them, because they did not convert and left them to practice their faith.”
Bishop Dabre rebuffed Bhagwat’s comments saying that “scores of people of various religions joined Mother in serving the needy and the suffering, and among them were Hindus, so facts prove Mr. Bhagwat wrong.”
Gaja Nayak, a Hindu lawyer, told CNA that “Vindictive criticisms are like parasites, for they prey on other people’s work or achievement; some tend to be constructive, while many others are merchants of money, power and hate infiltrators … Mother Teresa spread love and kindness, and that makes the difference.”
“Perhaps people today have forgotten the historical past of the great famine of Bengal in 1943 and the pre- and post-Independence era of partitions and war, during which Mother Teresa offered her life and soul in helping the marginalized and downtrodden people.”
Nayak concluded saying that caste systems, women’s inequality, and oppression of the poor are scars that remain on India’s conscience.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of India also have slammed the allegations, expressing its concern and distress upon “casting aspersion” on the saintly persona of Mother Teresa. …