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RSS chief's remark on Mother Teresa insult to all who work for poor: Christian group
Tuesday February 24, 2015 7:52 PM, IANS

The Indian Christian Voice (ICV) Tuesday reacted sharply to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remark on Mother Teresa, terming it an insult to all those who work for the poor and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strongly condemn it.

In a statement issued here Tuesday, ICV president Abraham Mathai urged the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh to first serve and care for lepers, AIDS victims and the poor before making comments that are in "extremely bad taste".

"The level to which the RSS supremo has stooped down in his bid to retain headlines just shows how dangerous the thought process of this organisation can be. She (Mother Teresa) left her country and came to India to serve our downtrodden," Mathai said.

He said that by suggesting that Mother Teresa, who the world acknowledges as a great soul, did her work just to convert people, displays "a lack of respect for everyone who works for the needy and the poverty-stricken", the lepers, the sick and even those forsaken by their very blood because they were ill and helpless.

Mathai said that a day after he took over as India's prime minister, BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Mother Teresa.

Though she passed away in September 1997, her name evokes memories in Kolkata's lanes even today, he said.

So great was her devotion that she would gently touch the forehead of those struck with leprosy, pick up abandoned children near sewers, wash the feet of those abandoned by their own people, in a country where she was not born but which she adopted as her own, he said.

"Mother Teresa formed the Missionaries of Charity in 1950 in Kolkata which runs hospitals, leprosy homes, shelters and orphanages in India and over 130 countries for the poorest and downtrodden, irrespective of their background or creed.

"Bhagwat has not only insulted Mother Teresa but her legacy in India and in 130 countries worldwide," Mathai said.

He drew Bhagwat's attention to her international stature and said such foul attacks on such a noble saint "is not reflective and representative of the crores of Hindus in India who still revere Mother Teresa".

Mathai urged Modi to intervene and condemn the RSS chief's statement, as India cannot afford to be pulled down in its development agenda by those attempting to sow seeds of discord.

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