Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity’s FCRA registration was cancelled on January 1 after it was found violating many of the FCRA provisions.
The Union government restored the FCRA registration of the Missionaries of Charity after it paid the penalties and sacked its one staff accused of child trafficking. Missionaries of Charity (MoC) FCRA registration was not renewed on December 25 after adverse inputs to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
As reported by the Organiser on January 1, about 6000 organisations, including Oxfam, Jamia, Indian Youth Centres Trust, Indian Medical Association, lost their FCRA registrations.
The MHA had 22762 valid FCRA registrations as of Friday (December 31), but on Saturday (January 1), there were only 16829 valid FCRA registrations. It said that the organisations' FCRA registrations were invalidated as either they did not apply for renewal or were denied on the ground of lapses.
Initially, the registration is valid for a five-year period and can be renewed if the record of the previous five years is in order. First enacted in 1976, it was amended in 2010. The FCRA provisions were enacted to ensure there was no foreign interference in the country's political matters.
The MHA had denied the renewal this time, as funds were transferred to multiple accounts violating the FCRA provisions. The MoC was also embroiled in a child trafficking case in Jharkhand. It informed the MHA that it had sacked the concerned employee, and the other two accused in the case were not associated with the Charity. The MoC has been accused of conversion and child trafficking in multiple instances.
As reported by the Organiser on December 15, the MoC in the Makarpura area in Gujarat was booked for conversion. The FIR had been lodged in the Makarpura police station based on a complaint by the District Social Defence Officer Mayank Trivedi. The Chairman of the Child Welfare Committee of Vadodra and the District Social Defence Officer had made a visit to the premises of the Makarpura Missionaries of Charity on December 9. Trivedi found that the Hindu girls living in the premises were forced to read Christian religious texts and were also forced to participate in Christian prayers.
“Between February 10, 2021, and December 9, 2021, the institution has been involved in activities to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus intentionally and with bitterness… The girls inside the Home for Girls are being lured to adopt Christianity by making them wear the cross around their neck and also placing the Bible on the table of the storeroom used by the girls, in order to compel them to read the Bible… It is an attempted crime to force religious conversion upon the girls,” The Indian Express had quoted the FIR.
This is no isolated case of allegations against the Missionaries of Charity. In an interview with the New York Times (NYT) in 2016, London-based physician Dr Aroup Chatterjee explained his encounters with the misdeeds of her organisation.
“Because Calcuttans think that Mother Teresa is Western and she’s a Western icon, she’s very progressive,” he said. “And they do not associate her with miracles and mumbo jumbo and black magic just as they do not associate her with opposition to contraception and abortion,” Dr Chatterjee had told the NYT. He chronicled his experiences in the book titled “Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict”, published in 2003.
In the Vadodra case, the Assistant Commissioner of Police SB Kumavat had said, “The District Collector had formed a committee after the complaint from the Child Welfare Committee. A team of members of several departments probed the allegation, following which a complaint has been filed. Police will probe the allegations and gather evidence to see if the contentions are true.”
In 2015, the RSS Sarsanghchalak, Dr Mohan Bhagwat had cautioned about the practices followed by Mother Teresa’s organisation.
In a programme for the inauguration of an orphanage in Rajasthan, he had said, “It’s good to work for a cause with selfless intentions. But Mother Teresa’s work had ulterior motives, which was to convert the person who was being served to Christianity.”