'Sangh maligning Mother Teresa to foil PM's Vatican trip'
NEW DELHI: Worried over “the increased attacks” calling Mother Teresa a “conversion activist” at a time when Prime Minister Modi has expressed interest in attending her canonisation ceremony in the Vatican in September, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India is planning to write to Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah seeking action against the BJP members who had levelled the allegations against the missionary.
“It is sad to see Mother Teresa, who served thousands of people without any ulterior motives, accused of being involved in a conspiracy to Christianise India. What is more saddening is the fact that she is being attacked like this at a time when Prime Minister Modi has announced his intention to represent India at the canonisation event which will be watched closely by the international community,’’ a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India office-bearer told Express.
He was alluding to a statement by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath who accused Teresa of using her social work as a cover for proselytism. “Mother Teresa was part of a conspiracy for the Christianisation of India. Christianisation has led to separatist movements in parts of northeast India, including in Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Nagaland,” Adityanath said at a religious programme in Uttar Pradesh recently.
The Church feels that hardliners in the Sangh who don’t want Modi to attend the function are increasingly attacking Teresa, and the Church. “The timing of these attacks is quite crucial. It is obvious that they don’t want the PM to attend the Vatican function,’’ said the priest. BJP Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy too had joined the anti-Teresa bandwagon saying Yogi’s were not “isolated” views. Last year, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat alleged that Teresa had aimed to convert people to Christianity. “We had met the PM immediately after the RSS chief’s comment. But the PM was so happy to be invited and evinced great interest. We hope the BJP hardliners will let him attend the Vatican function,’’ the priest added.