Today’s newspapers are highlighting a statement issued by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat considering work by Mother Teresa and associated Christian missionaries as uncharitable if associated with the motive of conversion of poor Hindus in Christianity. Congress leaders Dijvijay Singh issued statement favoring Mother Teresa against RSS chief and it seems quite expecting as an attempt to appease minorities as well as Madam Sonia again a Christian.
But surprisingly statement issued by present CM of Delhi Mr. Kejriwal in favor of Mother Teresa seems to be another attempt to appease Christian minorities. We still remember that before Delhi elections he openly announced that he or his party will never engage in vote bank and communal politics and stick only to corruption agenda. Then why he took this U turn? Or we should consider that the present CM an IIT graduate is totally unaware of ways of conversion by Christian missionaries and her controversial works done in past. We will like to share her history in brief through this article.
First question is that why the Christian missionary’s cries foul whenever they are questioned on illegal ways of conversion by exploiting poverty and lack of resources. We remember the day when the former Janata Party MP OP Tyagi introduced a private member's bill, called Freedom of Religion Bill preventing any sort of conversion obtained by threat, undue influence and allurement or wrongful means. The missionaries were foremost to protest against it. Especially mother Teresa was very active in opposing the bill. In a letter she wrote to Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai on March 25, 1979 she protested against the Bill as a hurdle in the way of charitable and philanthropic activities of the Christian missions. She seems to have pointed out at the same time that the Roman Catholics were always engaged in praying, fasts and celebration and sacrifices made in the interests of peace, communal amity and religious freedom. She said that if Christian’s organizations are stopped from conversion then they will be unable to continue all charitable activities in country.
Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai wrote back (and his reply contains the essence of today's debate):-
“If charity and philanthropy is not connected with any ulterior motive, they are beneficial. But charity and conversions cannot go together. Religion prospers only when charity and philanthropy are undertaken without any motive. The Bill you have mentioned does not affect adversely the propagation of religion. In fact, the Bill is an attempt to see that the poor and illiterate may enjoy religious freedom without fear. We have to be particularly vigilant about the Scheduled Tribes whose protection is not only guaranteed by the laws of the land but is also enshrined in the Constitution. It is our duty to preserve every aspect of their way of life along with their religion and ways or worship. No group belonging to any creed should interfere with their religion and rituals. Other organizations are also engaged in the philanthropic work which you claim. But the work can be helpful only when it is done without any ulterior motive. It is my opinion that you should revise your attitude to O.P.Tyagi's Bill in the light of what I have stated."
No need to say any comment on Morarji Desai as his is a forfeit reply to Mother Teresa 1990s. First poor dalits are lured and deprived of their faith but when they are not able to assimilate with the old Christians they are branded as Dalit Christians and used as a tool for political interests. One common question from the leaders of Christianity is that why we observe separate church, separate pastors and separate burial grounds for Dalit Christians while they guarantee the status of equality while converting them. Mother Teresa was also seen demanding reservation for Dalit Christians.
RSS leader is quite right in his words that if the motive of service is conversion then it’s not charity. It’s just taming sheep’s for the Lord shepherd. True service never discriminates Humans on basis of caste, creed and religion but serves humanity and only humanity.
Why do the leaders like Kejriwal always ignore the other side of picture is a debatable issue for readers?
Dr Vivek Arya
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