8th February 2014
One of India’s best school teachers, Mercy Jeyaraja Rao of Timpany
I chanced upon this vitriolic critique by Christopher Hitchens's of Christianity. I partially agree with it (indeed, in DOF I have a somewhat similar critique myself), but I think this critique is overdone.
Such a critique should be tempered with direct experience of people like me who were taught (for part of my schooling) in missionary schools by some of the most wonderful principals like Mercy Jeyaraja Rao (in Timpany, Vizag).
In the sea of socialist mediocrity promoted by Nehru and his godchildren, these missionary schools shone a light of knowledge and they NEVER, ever expected anyone to become a Christian. It was a book of philosophy found in my home that made me an atheist first (now an agnostic), but whatever little I learnt of the English language and science I built upon knowledge acquired in these missionary schools. There were many HINDU teachers in these schools. I thoroughly commend this aspect of Christianity.
I think the Church has made many mistakes, and should be condemned for those mistakes, but it also acted as a channel for some of the best souls that the world has produced.
The same can be said of all religions. Condemn INDIVIDUALS, not entire groups, else we will make the same mistake with Islam and with Hinduism also.
Being reminded of Mercy Jeyaraja Rao, I googled to find out more and came across this talk by her at age 80:
Undoubtedly one of the greatest teachers produced by India. I wish someone would write her life history. She brought a unique passion for education that I've never again seen in anyone else.