Mother Teresa, The Obverse View

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Mother Teresa is honored all over the world, but what is the popular perception is quite different from reality. A look beneath the veneer some time shows a different color. So is the case of mother Teresa. I for one have never been convinced of her selfless devotion to the poor.


The fact is that she is untouchable as a great figure and criticizing her is like trying to criticize God himself. This popular perception is in a great part due to the Catholic Church. But a dispassionate analysis will show that Mother Teresa actually institutionalized poverty, she never wanted it eradicated.

 Let us look at her Nobel Prize for peace. To say the least this surprised even her ardent supporters as she never did anything to further peace in the world. Her acceptance speech in Oslo is worth quoting “Abortion is the worst evil and the greatest enemy of peace… Because if a mother can kill her own child, what will prevent us from killing ourselves or one another? Nothing

She saw no relation between poverty and population and having more children. She had a simplistic view and propagated that having more children in India was Gods will. It didn’t matter to her that greater the population greater the poverty index.

Her ‘homes for the dying’ in Calcutta are much celebrated in the west. One of her own volunteers has described them similar to Nazi Concentration camps.  There were no chairs, no stretcher beds. In addition there were virtually no Medicare or pain killers available other than aspirin. Her so called homes were like human warehouses where 50/60 ill persons were crammed in one room and without any medical cover. Even the sanitary conditions were abysmal.\

 This is hard to reconcile when her global income was so vast that she could have equipped at least 100 first class clinics in Calcutta. The fact she didn’t do it was deliberate and is overlooked .That is the reason some people say she institutionalized poverty.

 When she herself needed treatment she entered the finest and costliest Medicare clinics. She herself lived an opulent life style and spent most of her time out of Calcutta. She claimed that there were 102 family assistance centers in Calcutta. But an investigation by Aroup Chatterjee could not reveal a single such center.

All I have to say is that what is apparent is not real and it’s about time that Mother Teresa was properly understood.


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