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Celebrating the Devil’s Advocate
Born on this day in the year 1958, Aroup Chatterjee unfurled a story that remained unknown among many. Was it the reality behind the celebrated Nobel laureate, Mother Teresa?
The Man Behind 'The Untold Story' of Mother Teresa; Source: New York Times

Born on 23rd June 1958

Having been born and raised in Calcutta, the younger version of Aroup Chatterjee had always been familiar with the charity that Mother Teresa was renowned for. Years later he was a man who now had a wife along with three children of his own, welly settled in the United Kingdom. The thoughts on Mother Teresa however, were pretty changed. It was later after his settlement in the United Kingdom when he got to know about the mighty appraisal and the overt saint-like image that the Western world had embedded into their heads about her. All this seemed like an unnecessary brag to the reality he had been seeing in his years spent in Calcutta.

His encounter of such appalling faith and trust towards a fabricated reality made him dive deeper into the matter. He spent a lot of his life studying and researching Mother Teresa’s work and history. Chatterjee believed that however well people perceived and credited her works of charity, there was much more than what met the eye. By calling himself a ‘militant atheist’, he confidently stated that many of the stories that people believe are half fictional.

Growing up, Aroup Chatterjee studied in the Calcutta Medical College while working part-time for a leftist political party that raised their concerns against poverty. Shortly after, he started working at a hospital treating refugees from the Civil War against Bangladesh. Over his tenure as a medical practitioner, he had seen enough of poverty that stretched far into old districts, enough for him to know that Mother Teresa had been lying in her speeches about the number of people she was aiding. Chatterjee never found her to be around villages or districts that were deep inside the slums. All these false propagations about the Indian-Albanian nun made him study over twenty-five years of her life and activities.

Mother Teresa came to India in 1937 as a nun. She was taken aback by the miserable conditions of the many poverty-stricken people. Starvation, malnourishment, lack of resources, and teeming diseases were reasons enough for her to establish the Missionaries of Christianity in the year 1950. Many foreign charities sent funds to her to help, and she claims that all of the nuns, including herself, worked compassionately. One thing she never mentioned was the baptism that took place there.

Aroup Chatterjee, who wrote Mother Teresa: The Untold Story, always knew that the work she did was almost insignificant to all the falsely acclaimed figures she presented in her speeches.

In his book, The Untold Story, Chatterjee talked in detail about an incident that exposed the maddening reality behind one of Mother Teresa’s treatments. That treatment was called a sort of a miracle. The story follows back to the Catholic Church of Calcutta, where an Adivasi woman, namely Monica Besra, was suffering from an abdominal cyst which got caused due to tuberculosis. The miracle happened on the 9th of September, 1989, a day after Mother Teresa’s death anniversary. The two nuns who were taking care of her believed that it was the rubbing of the aluminium medal which Mother Teresa had earlier received, which led to her cure overnight as if it were her grace. Later it was discovered that there was no such miraculous fairytale curing but the involvement of some doctors from the Balurghat hospital.

Chatterjee found out that she knowingly accepted donations from drug dealers and fraudsters, on top of that she amplified the number of people she was feeding on a daily basis during her acceptance speech.

All this happened along with many white lies which her followers blindly believed. Chatterjee has spoken about how the nuns in the missionary weren’t even ready to help dying patients within a distance of 200 meters. In case you’re wondering where’s the proof, he also gave the recorded phone conversations verbatim in his book. Chatterjee was told about how everything was taken care of using reused needles, dirty bedsheets, and expired medications with people having limited knowledge in the field.

Despite being proven that the “miraculous cure” was ultimately the result of doctors and not the late Mother Teresa’s so-called “grace”, the Vatican went ahead to canonize her.

Aroup Chatterjee certainly took a bold step in exposing the many wrongs within a system that people usually find is right. In that way, he did face a lot of harsh criticism, but where was the lie? Mother Teresa still got beatified by Pope John II and was later labelled as “blessed” However his one-step led many people to voice their opinions on such matters and raise questions.

He surely is the Devil’s Advocate who deserves to be heard out. On his birthday today, we celebrate his quest towards curating The Untold Story.

Archisa Mohanty Author
To make art, read and explore the world of art and artists is one of my biggest passions. I'm a literature fan and I think life's stupidly great.

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