Today Mother Teresa will be canonized, or made an official saint of the Roman Catholic church. Most of us are aware of the story of a young Albanian nun who improbably made her way to the impoverished streets of Kolkata, India, where she began working with the cast-offs of society. Eventually she founded an order called the Sisters of Charity. These nuns, now 4,500 in more than 100 countries, make a vow to provide "whole-hearted free service to the poorest of the poor". Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and later beatified. Today she is a full-fledged saint.
Except that there are some who question this canonization. While the West has been captivated by her legend, at least one Indian is challenging the mythology. There is a recent New York Times article about the efforts of 58-year-old Dr. Aroup Chatterjee, who grew up in Kolkata and wants to set the record straight about the city and Mother Teresa's work.
Over the next year, Dr. Chatterjee traveled the world meeting with volunteers, nuns and writers who were familiar with the Missionaries of Charity. In over a hundred interviews, Dr. Chatterjee heard volunteers describe how workers with limited medical training administered 10- to 20-year-old medicines to patients, and blankets stained with feces were washed in the same sink used to clean dishes.