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Mother Teresa voted India's greatest citizen

Mother Teresa, the Macedonian-born Catholic nun who spent her life caring for the poor in the slums of Calcutta, has been voted India's greatest citizen in a magazine poll.

In a survey published this week by Outlook magazine, Mother Teresa was voted the greatest Indian since the country's independence in 1947, from a poll of more than 50,000 responses.

Mother Teresa, who won the Nobel Peace prize in 1979 for her work in Calcutta, beat India's charismatic first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who came in second. Indira Gandhi, India's prime minister for 15 years, placed fourth in the list of 10.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was tenth in the list, two places behind cricket player Sachin Tendulkar.

The magazine decided not to include India's best-known citizen, Mohandas K. Gandhi, saying they preferred to "keep the father of our nation above a voting process."

India marks the anniversary of its independence from Britain tomorrow.

Mother Teresa, born in 1910 in the Macedonian capital of Skopje, eventually took Indian citizenship. She died in Calcutta in 1997 at age 87. Her order runs many centres around the world.

"We are very happy and we are proud to hear this news," said Sister Nirmala, who heads Mother Teresa's order, the Missionaries of Charity, in Calcutta.

Outlook India | It's Mother's Day
Mother Teresa website


14 Aug 2002