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How The Telegraph used the ‘spread of classical music in Kolkata’ to glorify conversion and evangelical work that marred Bengal

Article by The Telegraph lauds Father Mathieson's contribution to Kolkata's musical legacy and his missionary work but refuses to throw light on the conversion agenda of such missionaries in Kolkata.

The West Bengal based far-left propaganda media outlet, The Telegraph, has notoriously used the ‘spread of classical music in Kolkata’ to glorify conversion and evangelical work in West Bengal in an article dated September 8, 2021.

In the article titled: “Why Satyajit Ray could easily find cellists in Kolkata for his soundtracks”, written by Dibyokamal Mitra, the leftist media outlet has attempted to canonize Father Theodore Mathieson by singing praises about his musical ability and how his missionary work earned him a place in Kolkata’s chequered history.

However, in doing so, the media outlet has low key gone on to glorify the extent of zealotry that prevails among the missionaries in Kolkata, West Bengal and the lengths they are willing to go to convert people to their faith.

The article published by The Telegraph on September 8, 2021

The Telegraph exalts about Father Theodore Mathieson’s contribution to Kolkata’s music history and the impact of his presence on the lives of many young orphans and children with single parents who came under his care at the Oxford Mission in Behala.

“Father Mathieson’s hands became an avenue for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to distinguish themselves in an arena which would otherwise certainly not have welcomed them”, reads the article.

The article by The Telegraph elaborates how the missionary work, undertaken by Oxford Mission, the organisation which Father Theodore Mathieson served, included looking after the education and well-being of orphaned boys, acting as chaplain to leprosy dispensaries, and pastoral work in Christian villages among other things.

The article lauds Father Mathieson’s contribution to Kolkata’s musical legacy and his missionary work but refuses to throw light on the conversion agenda of such missionaries in Kolkata and elsewhere, which typically offer free education and related benefits as one of the primary incentives to the poor and destitute to lure them under their folds. 

The fact is that West Bengal has long been a hotbed of such Vatican propagandists who have skillfully exploited the poor’s vulnerabilities in order to convert them to Christianity. Mother Teresa is one of the most well-known examples of a missionary like this.

The problematic legacy of Mother Teresa

For years, Mother Teresa has been accused of being a fraud. Her problematic history of following primitive health practices and her evangelical zeal to convert the weak and the vulnerable into the Christian fold were long cited by her critics to call out the unwarranted adulation that was showered on her.

Christopher Hitchens, an English-American socio-political critic and public intellectual, was one of the staunch critics of Mother Teresa and had described her organization as a ‘cult’ that promoted suffering and did not help those in need.

Often called a ‘saint’ and ‘messiah of the poor’ by adherents of the Vatican in India, the so-called ‘Mother’ Teresa is engulfed in numerous controversies and allegations. Throughout her life she was engaged in expanding the church footprint, converting poor and baptizing Hindus into the Vatican fold. In fact, a Washington Post report stated how dying patients in hospitals run by the missionaries were forced to convert to Christianity before they died. To back this claim, the Washington Post cited the book ‘Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Personal Portrait’ by Leo Maasburg.

The Telegraph and its past shenanigans

The Telegraph, on the other hand, has always taken pride in ‘in your face’ headlines except when it comes to reporting on things happening in its own backyard in West Bengal. The Telegraph is more of an advocacy group than an actual media organization. During the 2019 general elections, its editor had claimed in an article removing Narendra Modi from power was the only hope for India’s redemption.

The Bengal-based media house The Telegraph was called out by netizens for a headline that insulted the Dalit community as it compared the President of India, Ramnath Kovind, who is a Dalit leader himself, to ‘Covid19’. The meltdown came after President Kovind nominated ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi to Rajya Sabha.

“Kovind, not Covid, did it”, the headline read. COVID-19 is a pandemic, a coronavirus disease that has impacted millions of people globally as of this moment. In its bid to make a wordplay on President’s name by comparing it to the deadly virus, The Telegraph had hit a new low even by its own standards.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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