Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:
This is very difficult to give a definitive answer to. Every seemingly moral person has had his/her share of people who disliked him/her. Take any random ‘good’ person from history, however recent or however further backward. They would have had people who disliked what they did, what they said, and basically everything about them.
‘Morality’ as a concept is a very flimsy thing. What is seen as moral to some may seem immoral to others. So there is very little chance that the entire world would come to a consensus on ‘the best moral character in the history of mankind’.
I have always believed that human characters are neither entirely black or entirely white. We are all varying shades of grey (no pun intended). If you look at the most obvious choices from an Indian’s point of view, you’ll get names coming up like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, B. R. Ambedkar, Lal Bahadur Shastri, and even religious names like Krishna and Ram. These were all individuals who adhered to the highest principles of morality, no doubt. But no matter what name you choose, there will be a number of people opposing the choice citing their weaknesses or instances where they have acted/spoken in a manner rather unbecoming of them. Again, we are left with a sense of doubt – was he/she really all that good as I thought him/her to be?
I cannot think of anyone who would be aptly named as ‘the best moral character in the history of mankind’. But I have immense respect for individuals like Sai Baba of Shirdi who lived a life devoted to everything and everyone else other than Himself.
And He is the one responsible for planting His most important ideology so firmly in my mind – Sabka Malik Ek Hai (One God for all mankind). This is the very foundation of all my religious beliefs.
I don’t know if there was another side to Him, but to me, He is about as close as it gets to the description in the question.