Gokhale, Gopal Krishna (1866-1915), was a moderate, Indian nationalist politician, regarded by Mahatma Gandhi as his spiritual as well as political guru. He believed that India could achieve independence from British rule by peaceful means, such as negotiations. He was also a social reformer, who wanted to help poor people in India.
Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, in western India. He was educated in Kolhapur and Bombay. From 1884 to 1902, he taught at Fergusson College in Pune. From 1888 to 1897, he edited a Marathi language newspaper, Sudharak (Reformer). In 1905, he was elected president of the Indian National Congress. In the same year, Gokhale founded the Servants of India Society. This organization aimed to train young men to help poor people. In 1911, he introduced a bill for free and compulsory primary education. Between 1900 and 1914, Gokhale travelled four times to the United Kingdom to represent India on various matters.
His contribution to the Indian society is greatly regarded by everybody in India. Gopal Krishna Gokhale belonged to the Chitpavan Brahmin community of Maharashtra who had once provided the heart of the Maratha resistance to the British. Gokhale was an admirer of the west, persuasive, conciliatory and constructive. In 1909 Indian Councils act was passed; usually known as the Minto-Morley reforms. The way was now open for Indian membership of the provincial executive councils. The Indian Legislative council was enlarged from twenty five to sixty members of whom twenty seven were elected. Gokhale well knew how to use the new council facilities and turned the Imperial Council into sounding board of moderate nationalism. His first general resolution, for example, was a demand for a universal elementary education. Gokhale as a member of the Islington Commission recommended a larger Indian share in appointments.
Gokhale also went to South Africa to plead the cause of Indians led by the young Gandhi in the union. But during the World War I radical nationalism led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, as opposed by Gokhale, started growing due to the draconian rule of the British administration of India. As the feeling mounted Gokhale worn out by his efforts died at the age of forty nine, in December 1915.
Copyright ©2000 indiansaga.info. All rights reserved.
By using this service, you accept that you won't copy or use the data given in this website for any commercial purpose.
The material on indiansaga.info is for informational & educational purpose only.
This site is best viewed at 800 X 600 picture resolution.