Book Review: Mother Teresa - An Untold Story by Dr. Aroup Chatterjee

  • ISIN: 978-8175993525
  • Genre: Non Fiction / Religion 
  • Publishers: Fingerprint Publishing House
  • Price: Rs. 191/- (I got this book from the publisher for a review)
The popular tendency is to deify myths, gurus, and personalities without investigating the claims thoroughly. Mother Teresa is one such name. Does Mother Teresa deserve her reputation as the most charitable person who ever lived? This book makes for a gripping but disconcerting read.

‘Brilliant, heroic, devastating’ – Dr. William Radice, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

‘Necessary, well-documented’– The Times Higher Education Supplement, London

‘Painstakingly recorded, (exposes) the other side of Teresa’ – Irish Independent, Dublin

‘Very serious and deserves wide dissemination . . . Truly shocking’– The Irish Times, Dublin

‘Explosive’– The Asian Age

‘Written with painstaking care’ – The Telegraph, Kolkata

‘Dr. Chatterjee tackles the inaccuracies, misconceptions, and the elaborate propaganda machine enacted to portrait the albanian nun as relevant humanitarian . . .’ – Hemley Gonzalez, founder of Responsible Charity Corp

‘Mother teresa at some point in her career lost connection with reality and ballooned out of all proportion, serving the cause of the ecclesiastical politics of the vatican rather than the cause of suffering humanity. Dr. Aroup Chatterjee does an excellent job in separating the reality from the layers of myth-making’ – Dr. Ketaki Kushari Dyson, writer, translator, and researcher

Behind the book

About the author 

Dr. Aroup Chatterjee was born and brought up in Calcutta. He now lives and works (as a physician) in London. He was, if anything, positively inclined towards Mother Teresa while he was living in Calcutta, though he knew little about her. Upon coming to the West he was appalled at the Teresan mythology and at the gruesome image that his home-city had in the world. He has done research on Mother Teresa for over twenty-five years and can be called the world's foremost authority on the late nun. He has appeared numerous times on BBC and other world media to discuss his subject. He is married and has three children.

Me thinks

After reading this book I was disturbed for a long while. Disturbed because it challenges a lot of things I believed to be true till then. It made me question a lot of facts, re-read certain portions, verify a few things on Google and ponder.

Okay before I start my review a confession - I am in love with Kolkata. I am not a Bengali but feel a strong and strange connection to that city. I have been pining to be there during Pujo and someday my wish will come true. For me that city is synonymous with the magic I have experienced every time I read translated works of Rabindranath Tagore or watched a Satyajit Ray movie. Having grown away from my native place of Andhra Pradesh I have never had any sense of belonging with any city thereafter as I was always on the move. But as I flipped through these pages I could see the deep love the author has for his birth place and it is that love which has made him write this book. The very fact that Kolkata continues to be addressed as Calcutta all throughout the book speaks a lot about how close to his heart in this place and how he tends to it, softly and gently like an old toy.

After reading this book the first thing I concluded was - Every successful person has much more than what meets the eye behind his or her success story. What is shown need not be the truth and what is hidden need not be the lie! That and only that is the ultimate fact of life.

Having asserted the fact that the author has been researching on Mother Teresa since 25 years there is no two ways about claiming the authenticity of this book. Rather what is more alarming is the way in which things have been misrepresented all these years or perhaps still are. Recently on my overseas trip I realized how is India looked upon by them. They still believe we are a snake charmers country and that some of us actually went to school on elephants. It is perhaps such thoughts which drove the author's curiosity to his research. We all know how hard we all are making our country a super power and are tremendously proud of the success we have managed to achieve till now. But that the assumed story outside is completely different is something that should really worry us as a nation. This book being one such facet.

In a simple language with pictures, numbers, charts and tables for reference the author has made his point very strongly sending out a message which is for us to decipher and understand. Recommended strongly - for every Indian. Read this to know and un-know a lot of things!

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Kiwi Lemonade - With a quirky twist in the desi nimbu pani (Read: Desi beliefs and thoughts)this one will not only shake you but also stir you up!


  1. I guess as humans we all have positive and negative attributes. Let's take the positive but nonetheless, sounds like an interesting perspective on Mother Theresa:)


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