Last week, while the people of India watched, in shock and disgust, the killings in the name of a rapist Godman, a city in India quietly celebrated the woman who used faith to heal and care for people. She chose not to use faith to de-robe children. She was a person who protected hundreds of children under her care, also in the name of God. There are ‘Babas’, and there was Mother Teresa
There is Ram Rahim Singh, and There is Mother Teresa
Before you issue a warrant in my name, I am not putting them on the same page, category, or list. There is absolutely nothing common between them, apart from the fact that they both operated in the name of God.
There is no new information I can provide you on Mother Teresa. You can probably find everything in Google, or in your textbooks. You have written essays on her. I remember, our school was connected with her Missionaries of Charity. We used to gift wrap tiny things for the less privileged kids. I remember spending nights thinking who received my gift, and was he/she happy with it?
But, just to refresh your memories, Mother Teresa came to India in 1928. She served as a teacher in the country for 17 years. She then decided to follow her inner calling, and dedicated her life to serving the poor. The Mother started her order in 1948. As her popularity grew, more people joined her to care for the blind, the aged, the orphaned, and the disabled. She was awarded Padmashri in 1962, for her services to the people of India. Later, in 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work, which brought her institution, Missionaries of Charity, to the global stage.
Good Faith, Bad Faith
Faith, they say, is India’s most well-known character trait. We are a devoted bunch of people. We choose our points of faith. From holy trees, mountains, footprints, to cows, we easily attach our faith to even mundane, domestic frivolity. It is our deep loyalty to the divine, that makes us gullible to the exploits of false avatars. We are easily exploited by a man claiming to make food from thin air, or a woman healing diseases with ash! Humans, in general, and Indians specifically, can rise up in arms, even kill their own, to protect fraudsters, who have sunk their evil claws deep into our fanatic psyche. Faith has the power to become a weapon in the wrong hands.
That is where Mother Teresa’s work is so legendary. Instead of using the power of deep, blind faith, to manipulate, and plunder, she chose to work tirelessly till the last days of her life. She showed the world how faith could heal and care, rather than rape, rob, murder, and extort.
There are multiple opinions on the Mother though. People have criticized her for the lack of modernity in her institutions, patient care quality, imposition of religion on the dying.
In the face of the massacre executed by most people, in the cover of faith, these criticism seem flimsy, and pointless. Mother Teresa touched the lives of thousands of destitute in India and the world. She has treated those who had no one to go to, abandoned kids suffering from physical and mental illness, with love and care. Volunteers across the globe flock the place, adhere to the simple lifestyle and reach out to the lives of those availing the care of the institution. For the poor whose life changed due to her and her work, she is the Mother, the God sent. She followed her faith in her God, and changed lives of thousands of people across the world.
Happy Birthday, Mother, we miss you!
This year marks Mother Teresa’s 107th birth anniversary. And, as a person who grew up writing essays about Mother Teresa, and who cried when she passed away, I wish there are much more Mothers of Faith than the “Babas of Death”
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