Gopal Krishna Gokhale was another respected moderate leader of the early nationalist movement. H e was born in Kholapur, Maharashtra in the year 1866AD. Like Dadabhai Naoroji he started his career as a professor, a professor of history and economics at Fergusson College and later rose to become the principal of the college. He would later become a popular leader of the early nationalist movement. Gopal Krishna Gokhale was greatly influenced by Justice M.G. Ranade and looked up to him as his political mentor. He joined the Deccan Education Society founded by the Justice and it was here that his political career began. On behalf of the society he went to England to propagate Indian views and appeared before the Welby commission. On his return to India, he set up the Servants of India society in 1905, which involved people dedicated to working for the upliftment of the Indian people. He also edited a quarterly journal called the Sudharak . Gopal Krishna Gokhale entered the Indian National Congress at the Allahabad session. He became the general secretary of the party in the year 1897, and was elected the president of the International Congress in 1905. When the partition of Bengal was announced Gopal Krishna Gokhale condemned the government action and fully supported the boycott movement. In 1902 he entered the Imperial legislative council, and he delivered some of his finest speeches here. He sincerely tried to reform the British administration though he was not very successful. In 1906 he was sent to England as a representative of the Indian National Congress with the aim of making the British people more aware of the plight of the Indian people. His eloquent speeches won him many admirers. Gopal Krishna Gokhale like the early nationalist remained essentially a moderate leader. He believed that reforms could be achieved through constitutional agitation. He like the early nationalists trusted the British and believed that once the Indians were ready to govern themselves the British would grant them self government. He was instrumental in ensuring that the Morley Minto reforms were passed. Gopal Krishna Gokhale worked for the material and moral improvement of the Indian people and did some useful work in the fields of education, sanitation and agriculture.
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Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born May 9, 1866 in Kotaluk, Maharashtra, a state on the western coast of India that was then part of theBombay Presidency. Although they were Chitpavan Brahmin, Gokhale’s family was relatively poor. Even so, they ensured that Gokhale received an English education, which would place Gokhale in a position to obtain employment as a clerk or minor official in the British Raj. Being one of the first generations of Indians to receive a university education, Gokhale graduated from Elphinstone College in 1884. Gokhale’s education tremendously influenced the course of his future career – in addition to learning English, he was exposed to western political thought and became a great admirer of theorists such as John Stuart Mill and Edmund Burke. Although he would come to criticize unhesitatingly many aspects of the English colonial regime, the respect for English political theory and institutions that Gokhale acquired in his college years would remain with him for the rest of his life.
Indian National Congress and Rivalry with Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Gokhale became a member of the Indian National Congress in 1889, as a protégé of social reformer Mahadev Govind Ranade. Along with other contemporary leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dadabhai Naoroji, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai and Annie Besant, Gokhale fought for decades to obtain greater political representation and power over public affairs for common Indians. He was moderate in his views and attitudes, and sought to petition the British authorities by cultivating a process of dialogue and discussion which would yield...