They refuse to buy Mohan Bhagwat’s statements.
Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment about Mother Teresa has evoked sharp criticism from Mumbaikars. Bhagwat had issued a controversial statement about Mother Teresa saying that her main objective for serving the people was to convert them to Christianity. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work. Mother Teresa is admired by many for the charitable work undertaken by her. When AV spoke to the city residents many of them said that Bhagwat had made irresponsible comment about Mother Teresa. Ever since the BJP has come to power many RSS and VHP leaders have been issuing controversial comments which has been causing huge embarrassment to the BJP and its image. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also urged leaders belonging to these outfits to refrain from making statements which will polarise the society. However, they are turning a deaf ear to the instructions issued by him.
Here is what Mumbaikars had to say about the comments made by Mohan Bhagwat about Mother Teresa.
Rohini Salian, Senior Advocate said, “According to me, citizens of our country are entitled to the Freedom of Speech and Expression but with reasonable restriction, but one must not go to the extent of quoting someone else’s work. Nobody should make any statements affecting any other community.”
Abha Singh, Women’s Rights activist and lawyer said, “Mother Teresa is no more and any person cannot make random statements about her. She is a world renowned person known for her works and service to the poor, needy and down-trodden people of the society. I think that Mohan Bhagwat should apologise for the statements made by him.”
Anjali Damania, AAP leader said, “The word ‘Religion’ doesn’t exist for a humble and saintly figure like Mother Teresa. She had once said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them’”. Shri Mohan Bhagwatji should refrain from dragging a godly person like her into these worldly matters. To me, she was ‘Divine’.”
G.R Khairnar, former Deputy BMC Commissioner said, “Mother Teresa is internationally recognised for her service to the needy. RSS Chief Mohan should do some service rather than creating rift among communities in the name of religion. Modi’s main priority is the development of the country but people can very well see what his men are doing; unnecessarily trying to create division in the society. They should do some positive work instead of propagating negativity.
Dr Jacob Thomas, MD (Med), DNB (Med) said, “RSS has become more vocal on account of Modi’s victory. The common man rejects such politics of hate and religiously polarised ideas. RSS has already sown the seeds of BJP and Modi’s downfall. If they don’t mend their ways, surely voters will reject their party in power and the RSS voices will again become irrelevant.”
“RSS should channelise their energies to manage temples across India. They can spread education, get rid of casteism, assist and enhance their association with other communities for the good of the country. They should take the lead in organising interreligious meetings and help in devising better ways for overall development of lower caste Hindus and members of their own and other communities” he added.
Dolphi Dsouza, Convenor, Police Reforms Watch and activist said, “First of all, Mr. Mohan has not used his brains and has spoken utter nonsense. Secondly this is just another tactic to divert people’s mind from issues to non-issues and all this occurs just before the budget. Thirdly he and his men should learn to emulate Mother Teresa’s work and just not say random statements. Lastly, Modi says one thing that respect all religious communities and on the other hand his ‘so-called Boss’ makes statements to divide people. This is unjust and condemnable act by the RSS Chief.”
When we contacted Dr. Jagannathrao Hegde, former Sheriff of Mumbai about this issue he refused to comment.