02 March, 2021

Her Mandrake Root Manna

The real Mother Teresa miracle was that a credulous Indian public swallowed it whole—and Calcutta willingly committed image suicide

Monica Besra, cured by a miracle credited to Mother, has earlier said her cure wasn’t a miracle
Photograph by PTI
Her Mandrake Root Manna

She made me cry more than once—after arriving in the UK (in 1985) I was repeatedly told, sometimes overtly, sometimes subtly, that I came from a city that was helpless, dire, desperate and was utterly beholden to Western Catholic charity. I felt angry, frustrated, and was naive enough to blame the Western media for the misinformation. Then, I studied Mother Teresa’s lectures, her films, her books and soon realised that most, if not all, the myth emanated from her own self. She repeatedly told the world she went around the city 24/7, ‘picking up’ the destitute from its squalid ‘gutters’ (she did not), that she fed up to 9,000 in her soup kitchens (she did not), she never refused a helpless child (she did as a rule), that the dying destitute in her so-called home for the dying, Nirmal Hriday, died a ‘beautiful death’ (they were treated harshly and often died a miserable, painful death).

Mother Teresa was an ultimate politician who worked on behalf of the Vatican. No, she was not an ‘agent’, as that would be...

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