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The ‘controversial’ legacy of Mother Teresa

What kind of logic does Vir Sanghvi employ when he says Nirmala Joshi is not getting the same attention as Mother Teresa?

india Updated: Sep 15, 2007 23:21 IST

Vir Sanghvi in Mother Teresa’s Feet of Clay (Counterpoint, September 9), has made a facile attempt to discredit Mother Teresa on the basis of so-called right wing Christian beliefs without any attempt to explain those beliefs to readers. Like why Mother Teresa believed that unrestricted abortion promoted a culture of death where the basic worth of a God-given human life is denied. Or, how she followed Jesus’s example in welcoming sinners, as a better and holier method of converting them. After what was undeniably a life of exemplary service in India, Mother Teresa deserves to at least have her point of view put across to the readers.

Ryan Mascarenhas, Mumbai

11

Mother Teresa’s appeal was a product of the West's fascination with the stereotype of a fair-skinned person saving the brown heathens, boosted by the Roman Catholic Church's publicity machine. If she wanted to do good to the poor, why did she leave Albania? They are not comfortably off even today. But she did much for others, regardless of whether it was self-motivated or true to the highest ideals of selfless action. More of us need to emulate the monks of Ramakrishna Mission, or the actions of our Sikh brethren, both of whom believe that service to others is the best way to personal salvation.

Naren Gupta, Chaarlottesville (Virgina, US)

111

What kind of logic does Vir Sanghvi employ when he says Nirmala Joshi is not getting the same attention as Mother Teresa? Has he forgotten the old adage that no disciple is greater than his master? Mahatma Gandhi would have agreed with Mother Teresa on her position on abortion and perhaps sent her a note of congratulations for challenging certain views even on a solemn occasion like accepting the Nobel Prize. One wonders who has feet of clay, Mother Teresa or Sanghvi.

A Poruthur, Bhopal

1V

Mother Teresa had her faults, but lack of courage was not one of them. She dared to say she felt “no presence of God whatsoever, neither in her heart nor elsewhere”. Like other saints, she could have performed some magic or claimed divine cures of her patients. No wonder, the Vatican is fervently searching for miracles now to make her a saint.

N Kunju, Delhi

Shortsighted Left

Apropos Karan Thapar’s Read between the lines (Sunday Sentiments, September 9), the Left has a single point agenda — to oppose the US at any cost, even if it means compromising the energy needs of the country. India will lose its credibility by scuttling the nuclear deal that will ultimately benefit Pakistan and China for whom the Left is batting. The Leftists have proved to be nothing short of traitors, whether it was 1942, 1962 and now 2007. India’s future generation will not forgive these Karats and Yechurys.

KMS Haldar, Asansol