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The politics of the religion

This is the age of the politics of the religion, cast, creed and colour. Depending on the situation prevailing therein the people use the available resources. In India the politics is always based on the religion. Let’s talk about the example of the present burning issue of Mother Tereza, according to the various available sources it is alleged that Mother Tereza used her position to convert the people of India to Christianity. “Conversion to Christianity was the main objective behind Mother Teresa’s service to the poor”, Said the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat while talking on this subject to media last week.

“Mother Teresa’s service would have been good. But it used to have one objective, to convert the person, who was being served, into a Christian,” he said while speaking at a function organized by NGO Apna Ghar near BHARATPUR in Rajasthan. “The question is not about conversion but if this (conversion) is done in the name of service, then that service gets devalued,” he said. “But here (at the NGO), the objective is purely service of poor and helpless people,” added Bhagwat. This issue was raised by the RSS chief while addressing at a function in village Bajhera, near 8km from Bharatpur, where he inaugurated “mahila sadan” and “sishu bal grah” in the NGO for helpless women and children.

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Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) NGO, have sparked controversy in India just one week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a call for greater harmony and “complete freedom of faith” across the country. Filmed while inaugurating an orphanage and women’s home in Bharatpur during a tour of the north-western state of Rajasthan, Bhagwat was quoted by a number of media outlets including the Press Trust of India as saying that the facility would “not provide a service like that rendered by Mother Teresa”. “Mother Teresa’s service might have been good,” he said. “But there was a motive behind it – to convert the person being served to Christianity.

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The comments have provoked an angry reaction from local politicians and activists alike. Sunita Kumar, a spokesperson for India’s Missionaries of Charity (MOC), told The Indian Express she had worked personally with Mother Teresa and that: “In my 50 years with MOC and during that time, I have not seen a single case where people were asked to convert to Christianity. “Even now, at Mother House on special occasions, mass prayers are organised and people of all religions participate and offer prayers according to their religion.”

Father Savarimuthu Sankar, a spokesperson for the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese, said “It is a very sad statement.  We are downgrading her when she is not even alive. If she has really converted people then please bring us the dates and we will answer to that.”

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But speaking for Modi’s ruling BJP party, national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi appeared to try to justify Bhagwat’s comments. She told The Times of India: “Mother Teresa herself during an interview said that ‘a lot of people confuse me as social worker, I am not a social worker. I am in the service of Jesus and my job is to spread the word of Christianity and bring people to its fold”. Asked if she was defending the comments, Lekhi said: “Who am I to justify Mr Bhagwat? I’ve nothing to do with it. Government has nothing to do with what Mohan ji has said.”

Politics is always played on the peoples sentiments this is mainly to gain the votes from the particular groups of people, the recent campaigns like GHAR WAPASI ABHIYAN started by the present government points the fingers only at the POLITICS OF RELIGION. According to the statement given to press by Mr. Ashok Tiwari the VHP national general secretary “‘ghar wapsi’ initiative will continue till all those people who “left their home” have been reconverted.” “India is a Hindu nation and no power in the world can change that,” he claimed. He also demanded Bangladeshi immigrants in the country must be sent back. “Illegal Bangladeshi immigrants have been influencing elections results. This appeasement policy is proving harmful for the country and they must be sent back,” Tiwari said.

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Recently the noted photographer and Padma Shri awardee, Raghu Rai, who has produced books on Mother Teresa, called RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat a “sick man” for his comments on the Nobel peace prize winner. “He (Bhagwat) doesn’t even know what religion means. She (Mother Teresa) was the religious one and she went beyond Christianity, serving the people,” Rai told the media on Friday. “Mother Teresa was the love of my life. She was my mother. That’s the kind of reverence and love I have for her,” said Rai. Recalling the first book he produced on her in 1971, Rai said he was too young at that time to have the understanding and discipline to appreciate Mother Teresa. “So in 1984 I approached her, requesting to photograph her again. No matter how many projects I was working on simultaneously, I kept feeling the need to return to her to complete my journey.”

Mother Teresa declined the request at first, since Rai had already published a book on her. When he persisted, she told him she would say her prayers and then let him know. He told her that he had already said his prayers and the answer he had received was yes, and she immediately agreed. “Her prayers and purity cannot be matched to mine. But when I said I had prayed, she had the same respect for my prayers. What matters is a lady so saintly, so pure, and so dedicated also respected the prayers of others. Many moments with her transformed my thinking,” said Rai.

What do you think about this entire issue here? Do you agree that our politicians should address this kind of issues which in turns create the religious controversy? Is the conversion matter of choice or force according to you? Please do not forget to leave your comments in the DISQUS forum at the end of this article.     

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