Agartala, 12 Sep 2016: Calling the newly canonized Mother Teresa “a
much-needed model for our times that is so full of selfishness and
insensitivity,” Manik Sarkar, the Marxist Chief Minister of Tripura
said the best way to pay one’s respects to Mother is to “do what
“There is no better way to honour Mother Teresa” the Chief
Minister said, “than by imitating her actions and becoming more kind
and compassionate to the poorest segments of our society.” He was
speaking at the concluding function of Tripura’s two-day
celebrations on the occasion of the Mother Teresa’s canonization.
The solemn Civic function held at Rabindra Bhawan in Agartala on 11th
September brought together a large number of dignitaries, young
people, friends and well-wishers of Mother Teresa.
In his speech, Shri Sarkar underscored the universal relevance and
appeal of Mother Teresa. “I do not think any religion can hold
Mother within its confines,” said the Marxist leader, “because she
was a woman that showed the world, that it is not nationality, or
religion or any such affiliations that ultimately matter but loving
and being compassionate to fellow human beings just because he or she
is a human being.”
“Today parents do all they can to make their children doctors,
engineers, and scientists but how many of them take the trouble to see
their children grow up as ‘human beings’? Mother Teresa teaches us
that humanity is the greatest treasure we have,” said the Chief
The austere life style that he is said to lead has made Manik Sarkar
widely known across the country as an exemplary communist that leads
Lumen Monteiro, the Bishop of Agartala spoke about the connection that
the State of Tripura has with Mother Teresa. Mother had visited the
state twice in connection with setting up of her institutions. Tripura
has two Mother Teresa institutions – Sishu Bhavan at Agartala and
Leprosy Care centre at Kumarghat. These institutions, he said, were
set up as a result of the invitation extended to Mother by the former
Communist Chief Minister, Nripen Chakarborty. Bishop Lumen was the
only one from Tripura that witnessed the Canonization ceremony in the
Vatican on 4th Sept.
An inter-religious prayer was also held on the occasion. Religious
leaders from various faiths – Hindu, Islam, Buddhist, Bahai spoke of
Mother Teresa as a holy Catholic Nun, but also as a person whose life
enshrined the best that is found in every religion.
Gautam Lewis, a London-settled Pilot and a photographer by profession
shared the story of his life which began at Sishu Bhawan in Kolkata
where he was cared for by Mother Teresa as a child.
Dr. Ashoke Kumar Pradhan, one of the doctors who treated Mother Teresa
in Kolkata was also a special guest at the function.
Various schools and institutions of the city presented the life and
works of Mother Teresa through songs and dances.
Mother Teresa celebrations in Tripura also included a colourful Peace
Rally on 10th September. The Rally had thousands of students walk
through the main streets of the town, carrying placards that spoke of
Peace and of Mother Teresa. A daylong Film Festival in which movies
on Mother Teresa from seven countries were screened followed the
Sr. Celine D’Cunha, the Convener of the Agartala event called the
canonization of Mother Teresa “a reminder to the world to pay
greater attention to the neglected, marginalized and the poorest”
and emphasized that “Agartala celebrations are focused on this
mission of Mother Teresa and our obligation to follow her path of