Gandhi had some ‘strange’ habits and sleeping with nubile young women, to prove his strength to resist, was only one of them.
Actually, young, naked virgins it seems – I mean really! That is a sign of mental illness, something which modern research is showing is related to vegetarianism and which has always been related to religion. Perhaps the combination of the two was just too much, even for Gandhi. One reason why it is not wise to sanctify ‘great’ leaders is because at core, they are only human. The ‘greater’ one is believed to be and the more the individual comes to accept the ‘greatness’ thrust upon them, the deeper and darker the shadow, for all that which is not deemed ‘great’ will be repressed. And never more so than where religion is involved which is why we see such dramatic falls from ‘grace’ for so many.
Gandhi was no different and there is enough in question to know that however much of a positive nature he may have brought to India’s struggle, there was plenty of human darkness, or weakness which went along with it.
I prefer my heroes to be what they really are – human and flawed like the rest of us. Someone like this is a true example because they have done what they did in spite of their flawed humanity and they are not somehow different, special, greater or more noble than anyone else.
When Nelson Mandela goes the truth of his nature as a human being will be revealed – the best and the worst of it. Too many can forget or ignore that the man who brought peace to South Africa began his ‘war’ using violence and terrorism. Knowing all that someone is and recognising their human frailty and flaws makes the best of what they do so much greater!