Mother Teresa brainwashed Hindus and fuelled an insurgency, claim BJP leaders – Andrew Marszal

Mugshot of Mother Teresa taken by the Vatican City Gendarmerie

Yogi AdityanathSome in Kolkata resent that their city became a byword for poverty due to her work. –  Andrew Marszal

Mother Teresa conspired to “brainwash” Hindus into Christianity and helped fuel a violent military insurgency in India’s northeast, leaders of India’s ruling BJP have claimed.

The controversy come just weeks ahead of Mother Teresa’s canonisation on September 4, when celebrations are expected in her adopted city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) despite the Nobel Laureate’s divisive legacy in India.

Yogi Adityanath, an outspoken MP and Hindu priest, told a religious meeting in Uttar Pradesh state on Saturday that Mother Teresa had been “part of a conspiracy for Christianisation of India”.

Hindu poor, particularly from lower castes, turn to missionaries when they are unable to afford medical care for their children, but are “brainwashed” into becoming Christians, he warned.

“It is a conspiracy against the Hindus,” said Mr Adityanath, 44. “Hindus were targeted in the name of doing service and then converted by her.”

He added that large-scale Christian conversions “led to to separatist movements” in parts of northeast, including Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.

The northeastern states neighbouring Kolkata are home to many of India’s 28 million Christians, especially among tribal communities visited by missionaries since colonial times. Nagaland, a Christian-majority state, has in particular has suffered a long-running violent separatist movement.

Mr Adityanath is seen as the extreme face of the BJP’s “Hindutva” agenda, which aspires to a non-secular India, and equates Hinduism with patriotism.

Dr. Subramanian SwamyBut his position was backed on Wednesday by Subramanian Swamy, a highly prominent firebrand politician recently promoted to India’s senate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“You see the issue of Yogi Adityanath expressing his view is not an isolated view,” Mr Swamy told ANI.

“If you go to Google you would get a lots of books about her,” he said, referring to the works of polemicist Christopher Hitchens who once famously called Mother Teresa a “thieving, fanatical Albanian dwarf”.

Mohan BhagwatMr Swamy also raised Mother Teresa’s alleged support for the scandal-hit American financier Charles Keating.

The row echoes claims made last year by Mohan Bhagwat, leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which nurtured Mr Modi as a young man, that Mother Teresa’s charitable works were aimed at converting the poor to Christianity.

Mother Teresa, who was born in Macedonia to Albanian parents, was hailed worldwide for her work helping the poor and diseased.

But some in Kolkata resent that their city became a byword for poverty due to her work. – The Telegraph, 22 June 2016

» Andrew Marszal is The Telegraph’s correspondent in New Delhi.

Christopher Hitchens

Academics condemn Mother Teresa

See scholars’ report

4 Responses

  1. ‘Sangh maligning Mother Teresa to foil PM’s Vatican trip,’ say Catholic Bishops – Express News Service – The New Indian Express – 28 June 2016

    NEW DELHI: Worried over “the increased attacks” calling Mother Teresa a “conversion activist” at a time when Prime Minister Modi has expressed interest in attending her canonisation ceremony in the Vatican in September, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India is planning to write to Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah seeking action against the BJP members who had levelled the allegations against the missionary.

    “It is sad to see Mother Teresa, who served thousands of people without any ulterior motives, accused of being involved in a conspiracy to Christianise India. What is more saddening is the fact that she is being attacked like this at a time when Prime Minister Modi has announced his intention to represent India at the canonisation event which will be watched closely by the international community,’’ a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India office-bearer told Express.

    He was alluding to a statement by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath who accused Teresa of using her social work as a cover for proselytism. “Mother Teresa was part of a conspiracy for the Christianisation of India. Christianisation has led to separatist movements in parts of northeast India, including in Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Nagaland,” Adityanath said at a religious programme in Uttar Pradesh recently.

    The Church feels that hardliners in the Sangh who don’t want Modi to attend the function are increasingly attacking Teresa, and the Church. “The timing of these attacks is quite crucial. It is obvious that they don’t want the PM to attend the Vatican function,’’ said the priest. BJP Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy too had joined the anti-Teresa bandwagon saying Yogi’s were not “isolated” views. Last year, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat alleged that Teresa had aimed to convert people to Christianity. “We had met the PM immediately after the RSS chief’s comment. But the PM was so happy to be invited and evinced great interest. We hope the BJP hardliners will let him attend the Vatican function,’’ the priest added.

  2. It seems that child sexual molesters like Catholic church!.
    Mother Teressa cured one lady by miracle but when she became ill she had best treatment possible. Mother Teressa never disclosed how much money she collected for charity and where the money went .

  3. Mother Teresa & Pope John Paul II
    Mommie Dearest – Christopher Hitchens – Slate – 18 Dec 2015

    In 2003, Pope John Paul II approved the beatification of Mother Teresa. At the time, Christopher Hitchens called Mother Teresa “a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud,” arguing that “even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed.” On Friday, Pope Francis announced that he will make Mother Teresa a saint in 2016. Hitchens’ original essay is republished below.

    I think it was Macaulay who said that the Roman Catholic Church deserved great credit for, and owed its longevity to, its ability to handle and contain fanaticism. This rather oblique compliment belongs to a more serious age. What is so striking about the “beatification” of the woman who styled herself “Mother” Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.

    It’s the sheer tawdriness that strikes the eye first of all. It used to be that a person could not even be nominated for “beatification,” the first step to “sainthood,” until five years after his or her death. This was to guard against local or popular enthusiasm in the promotion of dubious characters. The pope nominated MT a year after her death in 1997. It also used to be that an apparatus of inquiry was set in train, including the scrutiny of an advocatus diaboli or “devil’s advocate,” to test any extraordinary claims. The pope has abolished this office and has created more instant saints than all his predecessors combined as far back as the 16th century.

    As for the “miracle” that had to be attested, what can one say? Surely any respectable Catholic cringes with shame at the obviousness of the fakery. A Bengali woman named Monica Besra claims that a beam of light emerged from a picture of MT, which she happened to have in her home, and relieved her of a cancerous tumor. Her physician, Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, says that she didn’t have a cancerous tumor in the first place and that the tubercular cyst she did have was cured by a course of prescription medicine. Was he interviewed by the Vatican’s investigators? No. (As it happens, I myself was interviewed by them but only in the most perfunctory way. The procedure still does demand a show of consultation with doubters, and a show of consultation was what, in this case, it got.)

    According to an uncontradicted report in the Italian paper L’Eco di Bergamo, the Vatican’s secretary of state sent a letter to senior cardinals in June, asking on behalf of the pope whether they favored making MT a saint right away. The pope’s clear intention has been to speed the process up in order to perform the ceremony in his own lifetime. The response was in the negative, according to Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, the Canadian priest who has acted as postulator or advocate for the “canonization.” But the damage, to such integrity as the process possesses, has already been done.

    During the deliberations over the Second Vatican Council, under the stewardship of Pope John XXIII, MT was to the fore in opposing all suggestions of reform. What was needed, she maintained, was more work and more faith, not doctrinal revision. Her position was ultra-reactionary and fundamentalist even in orthodox Catholic terms. Believers are indeed enjoined to abhor and eschew abortion, but they are not required to affirm that abortion is “the greatest destroyer of peace,” as MT fantastically asserted to a dumbfounded audience when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.* Believers are likewise enjoined to abhor and eschew divorce, but they are not required to insist that a ban on divorce and remarriage be a part of the state constitution, as MT demanded in a referendum in Ireland (which her side narrowly lost) in 1996. Later in that same year, she told Ladies’ Home Journal that she was pleased by the divorce of her friend Princess Diana, because the marriage had so obviously been an unhappy one …

    This returns us to the medieval corruption of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hellfire and continence to the poor. MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility?

    The rich world has a poor conscience, and many people liked to alleviate their own unease by sending money to a woman who seemed like an activist for “the poorest of the poor.” People do not like to admit that they have been gulled or conned, so a vested interest in the myth was permitted to arise, and a lazy media never bothered to ask any follow-up questions. Many volunteers who went to Calcutta came back abruptly disillusioned by the stern ideology and poverty-loving practice of the “Missionaries of Charity,” but they had no audience for their story. George Orwell’s admonition in his essay on Gandhi—that saints should always be presumed guilty until proved innocent—was drowned in a Niagara of soft-hearted, soft-headed, and uninquiring propaganda.

    One of the curses of India, as of other poor countries, is the quack medicine man, who fleeces the sufferer by promises of miraculous healing. Sunday was a great day for these parasites, who saw their crummy methods endorsed by his holiness and given a more or less free ride in the international press. Forgotten were the elementary rules of logic, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. More than that, we witnessed the elevation and consecration of extreme dogmatism, blinkered faith, and the cult of a mediocre human personality. Many more people are poor and sick because of the life of MT: Even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions.

    Correction, Oct. 21, 2003: This piece originally claimed that in her Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Mother Teresa called abortion and contraception the greatest threats to world peace. In that speech Mother Teresa did call abortion “the greatest destroyer of peace.” But she did not much discuss contraception, except to praise “natural” family planning.

    Is canonising Mother Teresa the Vatican’s strategy to gain ground in India? – Sandeep B.

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