She has a reputation of being both mercurial and imperious, but Maneka Gandhi, Union minister for women & child development, is also known to reply personally to mail from citizens and the media. Caught in the middle of a controversy generated by the decision of Missionaries of Charity to stop facilitating the adoption of babies, she spoke to Pavithra S. Rangan on the questions raised.
Was it fair criticism when you said that the agenda of Missionaries of Charity was to promote Christianity through adoptions?
Their excuse is frivolous. I have come across many single women and widows who are competent, compassionate and financially independent, who could make great mothers. Why can’t they adopt a child simply because they don’t have a husband?
I have also received so many complaints about them after they declared their intention to back out. A couple even said that they were asked to adopt a differently abled child because the husband did not have white teeth. They were also...