The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi

Having developed his ideas in South Africa, Gandhi remained committed, through numerous internal and external trials, to his fundamental Hindu beliefs – that love could indeed conquer all – all of which contributed to his ability to change the world. His life ended with an assassin’s bullet on January 30, 1948. The militant who shot him blamed Gandhi for the weakening of India yet today Gandhi is hailed as the father of India and has inspired numerous individuals to lead further social reform in other parts of the world. Building off of his early childhood influences and religious ideals, Gandhi accomplished the changes he did by putting together logical strategies for non-violent political action as a means of addressing humanitarian concerns in both South Africa and India.
The main beliefs Gandhi held related to his firm conviction that Indians, as British subjects, were every bit as worthy of fair treatment as whites. He did not feel the Indians should be granted special privileges as is shown in an early statement regarding poverty: “[W]hile the poor man must strive to improve his condition, let him not hate the ruler and wish his destruction … He must not want rulership for himself, but remain content by earning his own wants. This condition of mutual cooperation and help is the Swaraj [freedom] of my conception” (Arnold, 19). Gandhi’s early traditions taught him to revere all life and he remained a vegetarian for most of his life as a result. He also envisioned the goal of life to be recognition of one’s duty toward others and the responsibility to uphold the truth. Early in his life, he managed to apply one of the stories from the Bhagavad Gita to his own life. “Gandhi saw the battle in which Arjuna was engaged as an allegorical, not an actual, call to arms, a demonstration of the supreme importance of&nbsp.following one’s dharma through renunciation, selflessness and, in his interpretation, strict adherence to non-violent action”.