What would you do if you discover your idol has feet of clay?

Mahatma Gandhi is a man revered throughout the world for his philosophy of non-violence and peace. His words are quoted frequently and he is cited as a rare and unique human being, and he is. He has used the philosophy of non-violence to help free India and from the grips of Britain and to bring respect and autonomy to the Indian people especially the poor people. But people’s admiration of his policy has risen the man up on a pedestal and clothe him with a robe of purity that might be a disconnect from who the man really is. Will those who quickly quote and respect this man, still respect him if they found out he was a bisexual and was himself a racist against the Kaffirs in South Africa?  Gandhi was a human and he lived in a particular period and there were so many issues to deal with back then that sometimes one can only deal with one thing at a time. For Gandhi it was nonviolence and peaceful protest to free India from colonial oppression.  However, the lesson here is to be careful about what we project on ordinary human beings we want to respect and be our role-models. We might be disappointed when we place more respect on the man rather than on his ideas.



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