Hold on to love, Brother Brendan MacCarthaigh said as he left for his hometown of Dublin, bidding farewell to the city, where he spent more than six decades of his life teaching students and to build lives.
In his farewell message to the students of St Joseph’s College, Bowbazar, some of whom are teenagers and elderly now, Brother Mac, as he was affectionately known, emphasized the value of love and forgiveness, especially at a time ‘when some politicians are dividing the country and spreading hatred’.
The 84-year-old educator had to leave India due to visa issues.
One of his former students, Rajesh Arora, said: “When we learned that his brother had been advised to leave the country because he had inadvertently failed to complete certain visa documents, many of us offered help from the authorities. “He told us, ‘I’m a teacher and I wouldn’t want to twist anyone’s arm.’ That sense of righteousness is so rare these days, but so natural to him.” Brother Mac, at the farewell program held in the city on the eve of his departure, asked people to make love an inevitable part of their value system.
“If you hate that Muslims are Hindus, you are wrong. If you hate that Hindus are Muslims, you are wrong. If you don’t like someone, you’re wrong,” he said.
”Ask yourself important questions. In my country, Protestants were trained to hit Catholics and Catholics were trained to hit Protestants. To some extent, this still continues. In India, some politicians are dividing the country and spreading hatred,” the educator said.
Religion is just a social construct, with different people adopting different ways of offering prayers, he said.
Arora, a 1985 student, said Brother Mac has over the years also worked for the welfare of disadvantaged people, trying to touch their lives with education.
”Brother Brendan MacCarthiagh quickly rose from college professor to friend, philosopher and guide. He was a constant source of inspiration not only to me, but to all who had the pleasure of knowing him,” added Arora, a medical entrepreneur.
Another former student, Imran Zaki of the 1984 band, also fondly recalled his association with Brother Mac.
”He was not only a good educator. He was someone who treated all his students with empathy, compassion, supporting them in every way. Her children are spread all over the world and their messages kept pouring in during her farewell ceremony. “But, we shouldn’t call it a farewell as Brother Brendan will continue to guide us with his teachings even though he is not physically present in India,” the city-based social entrepreneur said.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)