A new biography portrays Gandi as, to quote a WSJ review, "a sexual weirdo, a political incompetent, a fanatical faddist, implacably racist, and a ceaseless self-promoter, professing his love for mankind as a concept while actually despising people as individuals."
Click the link, the details are crazy.
I guess no one gets a free pass forever. This kind of reminds me of Hitch's impeccably-titled Mother Theresa polemic, The Missionary Position (which, truth be told, wasn't as damning as I expected). The Gandhi bio was titled Great Soul, so maybe it's not so unflattering on the whole.
Like everyone else, I wonder if there's any net benefit from humanizing our heroes(there's obviously some benefit). It's gonna take place regardless, so it's kind of a moot point. Still, it's an interesting question: does Gotham need a Harvey Dent figure?
A recent news item reminded me there's some value in having a human stand-in for our moral aspirations. Popular preacher Rob Bell recently published a book that's stirring some controversy among the Evangelical community. He uses the question "Would God really send Gandhi to hell?" to highlight his issues with conventional Evangelical afterlife theology. Would that question be an effective focusing device if "a hypothetical, virtuous non-Christian" was used? What about "arrogant but remarkably bold human rights crusader?" I kind of doubt it.