Aroup Chatterjee's Mother Teresa: The Untold Story

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Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,283
Brassicaland
#1
Note: This will be a rather informal book review because of my time constraint and unreadiness for formal writings.
This will also be my first book review.

For the public imagination, Mother Teresa is almost the eponym of benevolence and dedication to the poor; then, challengers such as Christopher Hitchens and Susan Shields come into place.
Aroup Chatterjee, a native Calcuttan, has written two books on Mother Teresa, the first one is Mother Teresa: the Final Verdict, and the second one is Mother Teresa: the Untold Story.
Both are available in print and free e-book on the Internet.
As a native Calcuttan, Aroup found that reducing Calcutta, or currently, Kolkata, to be the eponym of penury and suffering is unacceptable, and this has done more harm to Kolkata than any charity works by Mother Teresa.
City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre, according to Aroup, is another extreme distortion of the real Kolkata.
If the book of City of Joy and Mother Teresa has done much disservice to Kolkata by reducing its reputation, should we still consider Mother Teresa a good person?
The book also raises a few issues of Mother Teresa, who appears to be ethically questionable to the very least.
She was guilty of allowing massive abuses and medical malpractices in her institutions, in spite of massive donations.
She habitually lied about her works and was known for duplicity in actions and words.
Most of the donations are towards religious purposes; she wanted the donators to believe otherwise.
Without the promotion of Malcolm Muggeridge, she might have remained a humble, unnoticed, but more down-to-earth and useful person.
We can argue if she was deliberately sadistic, sanctimonious, or if she was a victim of twisted ideologies and publicity.
He also mentioned the Indian reluctance to criticize people of European descent due to Indian colonial history, and the media refuse to publish criticisms about Mother Teresa.
On the surface, this is a book on Mother Teresa; on the deeper level, it touches many cultural assumptions and deep-rooted, systemic issues with Western and Indian culture.
Some readers may find Aroup's findings shocking and disturbing; if readers have understood the facts of Mother Teresa, they will be less shocked of the factual sides; rather, they will be shocked about "how an ethically questionable person has been revered beyond criticisms for so long."
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,524
USA
#2
One can always find faults with great people, Gandhi for example. I am not surprised even if it is true. That doesn't diminish their stature.

The fact remains that charity work, to uplift the downtrodden and the oppressed, was unknown in Hinduism. Hinduism justified the sufferings of the low castes by religious doctrines. It took the efforts of Europeans like Mother Theresa to enlighten Hindus that such work is honorable and dignified. Hindus still lag behind among other peoples when it comes such selfless charity work because of ingrained caste ridden mentality, that prevents them from seeing that ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED EQUAL.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,283
Brassicaland
#3
One can always find faults with great people, Gandhi for example. I am not surprised even if it is true. That doesn't diminish their stature.

The fact remains that charity work, to uplift the downtrodden and the oppressed, was unknown in Hinduism. Hinduism justified the sufferings of the low castes by religious doctrines. It took the efforts of Europeans like Mother Theresa to enlighten Hindus that such work is honorable and dignified. Hindus still lag behind among other peoples when it comes such selfless charity work because of ingrained caste ridden mentality, that prevents them from seeing that ALL PEOPLE ARE CREATED EQUAL.
You have forgotten Ramakrishna Mission and many other charities in the book; they also work for disadvantaged groups such as women and children.
 
May 2015
47
Schertz ,Tx
#5
While I haven't read the book, there were missionaries doing that sort of thing before her. In fact there are several native Indian religious orders of women who do charity work date back to the late 19th century or earlier.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,283
Brassicaland
#6
Wasn't there a thread about this book already? It would be useful to check prior posts before posting.
I checked that this book has been mentioned; there is NOT a specific thread about it.
I wrote this hastily and casually; it is to arouse interest about the historical reality rather than attacking Mother Teresa per se.
Calling a person known for criminal negligence and medical malpractice a great person is too hard to wrap around my head.