Skip to main content

'Totally false, fabricated allegations': Mother Teresa's Gujarat mission under attack

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* 

It is been happening with frightening regularity all over India and particularly, in States run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP): the bashing of Christians! It is a well-orchestrated campaign to denigrate and demonise the Christians. Their design is devious: a method in their ‘madness’!
The divisive agenda is clearly to polarise sections of the majority community against the Christians. The bogey of so-called ‘conversions’ is always raised creating unfounded ‘fears’ that the population of Christians is increasing in the country whereas official government statistics clearly show a decline in numbers!
The long-term strategy is clear: they bash up minorities and, in several cases, notch up electoral gains! There is evidence to prove this be it in Gujarat in the past or recently in Tripura! Besides with bogeys and myths – the way is paved for a national anti-Conversion law! Ultimately, the ushering of a nation-state based on the ‘Hindutva’ ideology!
Christians are being bashed up, their institutions are attacked, Christian literature is burnt, undemocratic demands are made on the Christians, false charges framed, anti-conversion laws are made weapons to intimidated and harass. Reports on these come in daily: they don’t seem to stop! Above all, those who are responsible for these heinous crimes do so with impunity and are apparently guaranteed impunity by the bosses and their ilk!
The latest attack is on the Missionaries of Charity (founded by Mother Teresa) in Vadodara when on December 13 the Gujarat Police registered an FIR against them (the Missionaries of Charity who run the Ashram), for allegedly “luring young girls into Christianity and hurting Hindu religious sentiments.”.This is an allegation that is totally false and fabricated.
The sequence of events is as follows:
  • On August 29, 2021, Priyank Kanoongo the Chairman of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), paid a “surprise” visit to the Ashram and apparently finds a couple of Bibles with the names of a child written on them
  • He directs the District Administration and police to take action; they do visit the Ashram later and in fact they find nothing wrong. In fact, they had all appreciation for the work of the sisters
  • On December 9 the District Social Defence Officer with the Chairman of the CWC visited the premises during which they ‘apparently’ found some serious issues!
  • This visit took place because there was plenty of pressure from ‘above’
  • An FIR was then filed; the sisters came to know about it from the media
  • On December 13 around 7.00pm a team consisting of an Asst Commissioner of Police, the PI of Makarpura, a Social Welfare Officer from the CWC and a lady constable visited the premises till 11.00pm for ‘investigations’
  • On December 14, another team of police came to the Ashram to interrogate the five girls whose names were written on the Bibles – no MC Sister or lawyer/representative (on behalf of the Sisters) was allowed to be present. The interrogation went on for more than four hours.
The complaint was finally filed by the District Social Defence Officer Mayank Trivedi. During his visit Trivedi ‘apparently’ found girls being forced to read Christian religious texts at the shelter and that similar activities were conducted with the intention of “steering them into Christianity.”
Bogey of conversion is being raised amidst unfounded fears that Christian population is increasing. Official data show decline in numbers
The Missionaries of Charity have been booked under sections 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts to outrage feelings of any class by insulting its religious beliefs) and 298 (deliberately uttering words to wound the religious feelings of a person) of the Indian Penal Code. The FIR also invokes sections of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003, including those providing for prohibition of forcible conversion and punishment for it.
The FIR states:
“Between February 10, 2021, and December 9, 2021, the institution has been involved in activities to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus intentionally and with bitterness… The girls inside the Home for Girls are being lured to adopt Christianity by making them wear the cross around their neck and also placing the Bible on the table of the storeroom used by the girls, in order to compel them to read the Bible… It is an attempted crime to force religious conversion upon the girls.”
The Missionaries of Charity vehemently denies these allegations as false saying that the 24 girls living in the Ashram and under their care are very well looked after. No one is forced to do anything -- if the girls want to, they are free to pray in any way they wish; besides no one is converted or forced to marry a Christian.
The calculated attempts to dismantle the tremendous work done by the Missionaries of Charity for the poorest of the poor, the unloved and rejected, the orphans and widows- needs to be condemned unequivocally and strongly by all enlightened citizens who not only value the great legacy Mother Teresa has left us – but who admire the work done by her Sisters today!
All efforts to tarnish the name of the Missionaries of Charity, besides hurting their tremendous work, will greatly affect the thousands of the poorest of the poor, dying destitute, abandoned, rejected and others (irrespective of caste or creed) they so lovingly care for day and night – without counting the cost!
This bashing of the Missionaries of Charity and of all Christians must stop now!
Wake up India before it is too late!
---
*Human rights, reconciliation and peace activist/writer

Comments

TRENDING

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Insider plot to kill Deendayal Upadhyay? What RSS pracharak Balraj Madhok said

By Shamsul Islam*  Balraj Madhok's died on May 2, 2016 ending an era of old guards of Hindutva politics. A senior RSS pracharak till his death was paid handsome tributes by the RSS leaders including PM Modi, himself a senior pracharak, for being a "stalwart leader of Jan Sangh. Balraj Madhok ji's ideological commitment was strong and clarity of thought immense. He was selflessly devoted to the nation and society. I had the good fortune of interacting with Balraj Madhok ji on many occasions". The RSS also issued a formal condolence message signed by the Supremo Mohan Bhagwat on behalf of all swayamsevaks, referring to his contribution of commitment to nation and society. He was a leading RSS pracharak on whom his organization relied for initiating prominent Hindutva projects. But today nobody in the RSS-BJP top hierarchy remembers/talks about Madhok as he was an insider chronicler of the immense degeneration which was spreading as an epidemic in the high echelons of th

India 'neglecting' air, water, vegetation as its world air quality index ranking decelerates

By Dr Gurinder Kaur* The World Air Quality Report 2023 , prepared by a Swiss technology company IQAir, was released on 19 March 2024. According to this report, India is the third most polluted country in the world after Bangladesh and Pakistan, and the capital of India, New Delhi, is the most polluted capital in the world.