27 July, 2021

On the Same Page

He had given Hitchens his vote, and his views remain unchanged

Illustration by Sorit
On the Same Page

In October 1995, while reviewing Christopher Hitchens’s controversial book on Mother Teresa, The Missionary Position, for the London Review of Books, I had said, “It is interesting that the poor whom Mother Teresa attends to never speak. They have no social backgrounds or histories, although it is precisely history and social background, and the shifts within them, that create the poor. Instead of speaking, the poor in the photographs look up at her silently, touch her hand, are fed by a spoon.” In the almost two decades since then, I have had no occasion to change my views on this subject. Let me quote a few paragraphs I’d written then.

“Silence is a strange attribute to ascribe to the noisiest and most talkative city. Calcutta, capital of India and second...

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