The white, blue-rimmed cotton sari made famous by Santa Teresa of Calcutta has been registered in a case the nun’s former lawyer has claimed as a first for a religious uniform throughout the world.
The design of the sari that Teresa has said to have bought from a Kolkata market in the evening she was granted permission to start working in the city, the slum, is now the exclusive intellectual property of the Missionaries of Charity, the order, a nun, founded almost 70 years ago.
A lawyer for the order, Biswajit Sarkar, said he had applied for the trademark in 2013 to combat the â€œmisuseâ€ of the saint, the reputation, often for commercial purposes. The mark was formally awarded at the beginning of 2016, but only recently has advertised.
He said that it would now take â€œseriousâ€ action against the unauthorized use of the design, even from the charitable action, the order of nuns were willing to tolerate.
Mother Teresa to become a saint in the midst of criticism, miracles, and missionaries
â€œThere are many organizations, from schools and naming them after Mother Teresa, and wearing the uniform, where the Missionaries of Charity have no connection,â€ he said.
The teachers of some schools named after Teresa had written to the Missionaries of Charity, complaining about the late payments of salaries, unaware of their schools were separate entities, he said.
A cooperative bank was also established the nun’s name, he said, and in another instance, religious books has been published with the blue stripes, the cut, giving the impression that are approved by the Kolkata-based order.
Sarkar, who took the name of Mother Teresa of trademark, said that the â€œsoft-heartedâ€ sisters had initially objected to the copyright uniform. â€œThey don’t like to take the court cases,â€ he said. â€œThey say, â€˜One day people will understand that they are doing the wrong thing.â€™
Pope Francis canonises Mother Teresa, first in St Peter’s Square masses
â€œBut we can’t allow that. Now, if someone is misrepresenting the Missionaries of Charity, we are able to take a serious legal action.â€
He said no exceptions for the use of the model by other religious orders, or by not-for-profit enterprises.
â€œAlso, the sisters were asking me, if people are not using it for commercial advantage, we need to stop them?â€, he said.
â€œBut if it is for profit or not, is not the problem. We are thinking about our identity. If the blue model, which is unique in the world, is diluted or public use, then one fine morning the organization to lose its identityâ€.
Saint Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu to an Albanian family in 1910, and joined to Kolkata, on the basis of the convent at the age of 21 years. Horrified by the poverty of Calcutta, who has asked for permission to leave the institution and work among the poor of the city.
In 1950 she founded the Missionaries of Charity, which now runs 758 homes, hospices, and shelters in 139 countries around the world. He died in 1997, and was canonized by Pope Francis in September of last year.
Teresa emphasis on helping the â€œpoorest of the poorâ€ earned him global admiration, and a series of awards including the Nobel prize for peace in 1979.
But the sister who has also attracted sharp criticism. Aroup Chatterjee, a physician who grew up in Kolkata (calcutta), wrote in a 2003 book, Teresa exaggerated the number of people her order had assisted and cared for the sick and the dying in sub-standard medical facilities, despite having the money for upgrades.
A 2013 report on religious studies journal, has concluded that the Vatican had consistently ignored the nun’s â€œrather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of enormous sums of money which he has received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding … abortion, contraception and divorce.â€
Sarkar, who works pro bono for the nuns, has said that his next goal was to copyright Teresa name and the uniform of his order, in other countries.
He will also seek to remove children’s versions of her saris that are advertised on the Amazon India store and the web sites of other retailers. â€œImmediately we will work on this, you can write to them,â€ he said.