Bengaluru, Feb 24: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday sparked a controversy by saying the aim behind Mother Teresa's service was converting people into Christianity. He said it at a function organised by an NGO at Bharatpur in Rajasthan and soon found himself at the receiving end of sharp reaction from various quarters. [RSS's targetting Mother Teresa: A danger for Modi, an opportunity for AAP]
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi on Tuesday defended the RSS chief, saying Mother Teresa had herself said in an interview that her job was to bring people under the shelter of Christianity.
In 2003, columnist and author of The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice Christopher Hitchens had termed that Mother Teresa a "fanatic, fundamentalist and fraud" in an article published in Slate.com.
"What is so striking about the "beatification" of the woman who styled herself "Mother" Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism," Hitchens asked in his article.
Hitchens said according to the custom, a person could not get nominated for "beatification", the first step towards "sainthood" until five years passed after his or her demise. But the pope had nominated Mother Teresa just a year after her death in August 1997. He also challenged the "miracle" that a Bengali woman named Monica Besra had claimed once that had cured her cancerous tumour. Her said her physician said she didn't have a cancerous tumor and that the tubercular cyst she had was cured by medicine.