Gopal Krishna Gokhale from Wikipedia

Topics: Indian National Congress, Indian independence movement, British Raj Pages: 5 (1744 words) Published: May 2, 2011
Gopal Krishna Gokhale
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Gopal Krishna Gokhale|
Born| May 9, 1866
Kothluk, Ratnagiri Dist., Maharastra, India|
Died| February 19, 1915
Mumbai, India|
Organization| Indian National Congress, Deccan Education Society| Political movement| Indian Independence movement|
Gopal Krishna Gokhale, CIE (Marathi: गोपाळ कृष्ण गोखले) (May 9, 1866 - February 19, 1915) was one of the founding social and political leaders during the Indian Independence Movement against the British Empire in India. Gokhale was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and founder of the Servants of India Society. Through the Society as well as the Congress and other legislative bodies he served in, Gokhale promoted not only or even primarily independence from the British Empire but also social reform. To achieve his goals, Gokhale followed two overarching principles: avoidance of violence and reform within existing government institutions. Background and education

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born May 9, 1866 in Kotaluk, Maharashtra, a state on the western coast of India that was then part of the Bombay 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.[1] 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 greater British respect for Indian rights. Gokhale had visited Ireland[2] and had arranged for an Irish nationalist, Alfred Webb, to serve as President of the Indian National Congress in 1894. The following year, Gokhale became the Congress’s joint secretary along with Tilak. In many ways, Tilak and Gokhale’s early careers paralleled – both were Chitpavan Brahmin (though unlike Gokhale, Tilak was wealthy), both attended Elphinstone College, both became mathematics professors, and both were important members of the Deccan Education Society. When both became active in the Congress, however, the divergence of their views concerning how best to improve the lives of Indians became increasingly apparent.[3] Gokhale’s first major confrontation with Tilak centered around one of his pet projects, the Age of Consent Bill introduced by the British Imperial Government, in 1891-2. Gokhale and his fellow liberal reformers, wishing to purge what they saw as superstitions and abuses from their native Hinduism, wished through the Consent Bill to curb child marriage abuses. Though the Bill was not extreme, only raising the age of consent from ten to twelve, Tilak took issue with it; he did not object per se to the idea of moving towards the elimination of child marriage, but rather to the idea of British interference with Hindu...
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