Better to build a legacy than knock one down

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat began the week causing a huge controversy after he said there was a motive behind the service Mother Teresa provided to the poor to convert them to Christianity. He said this at the inauguration of an orphanage and a women’s home in Bharatpur. He said that there was a motive behind the work and service provided by Mother Teresa and that motive was conversion. He also said that there are people who want to covert others to Christianity and while that is one thing, to do it under the garb of social service is to devalue that service itself.

Bhagwat’s comments predictably evoked huge debate coming at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith.

Since then, voices have been raised in outrage against Bhagwat but there have been people in defence of the RSS chief who insist that the truth is bitter but it is the truth.

One fails to understand the logic in talking about a person who is no more. Accusing a dead person of dubious motives when they are not around to defend themselves or even speak out in any way is reprehensible and cowardly. Accusations years after she is gone, is an attempt to grab headlines, get huge media attention negative or positive is no difference and stoke controversy. It is counter productive and divisive. It fosters hatred and prejudice. The Indian government had conferred the highest civilian honour on Mother Teresa, the Bharat Ratna, in recognition of her service to the destitute and poor.

The RSS could have focused on what they are doing for nation building and to take the country forward, instead of unnecessarily creating a rift during an inauguration function. It is always easier to point a finger and raise doubts about others, instead of some introspection and honest analysis about one’s own work and motives.

Mother Teresa, held in so much esteem and respect by people of all religions, deserves dignity in death at the very least. Let us leave the Nobel winner and her legacy in peace. And concentrate on the work we have to do in creating bonds that bind, instead of walls of exclusivity and hate.

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