Gopal Krishna Gokhale was an Indian Political leader. He was the founder of the Servants of India Society. Gokhale was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress. Gokhale was a mentor to Mahatma Gandhi. He was involved in the Indian independence movement.
Born: 9 May 1866 AD. Kotluk, Ratnagiri, Bombay, British India.
Death: 19 February 1915 AD. Bombay, British India.
Father’s Name: Krishna Rao Gokhale.
Mother’s Name: Sathyabama Bai.
Wife Name: Savitri Bai, and Rishibama.
Children: Kashi Bai, Godhu Bai.
Political Party: Indian National Congress.
First Life and Education: Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born on 9 May 1866 in Kotluk village. Kotluk village was part of Ratnagiri district (present-Maharashtra). At that time Ratnagiri district was the part of Bombay Presidency. In his early life, his family was poor. But the family decided that Gokhale should be receiving his English education. Because they want Gokhale to take charge as a clerk in the British Raj. He studied at Rajaram College in Kolhapur. In 1884, Gokhale graduated from Elphinstone College. He was exposed to Western Political thought. As a result, he became a great admirer of theorists such as John Stuart Mill and Edmund Burke.
The political career of Gokhale: In 1889, Gokhale became a member of the Indian National Congress. His Political ideology was Social reformer Mahadev Govind Ranade. Gokhale tried to improve his political power for common Indians. He was moderate in terms of political ideology. Gokhale has visited Ireland. In 1894, with his contribution, Irish nationalist leader Alfred Webb presided over the session of the National Congress. The following year, Gokhale became the Congress’s joint secretary along with Tilak. Gokhale and Tilak built good relations when they are attended Elphinstone college. They are both became Mathematics professors and important members of the Deccan Education Society. At that time, Gokhale and Tilak were the front-ranking political leaders.
Gokhale and Tilak were believed in different political thoughts. Gokhale believed that the constitutional through to gain self-government of India. On the other hand, Tilak believed that protest, boycott, and movement is the right way to gain the independence of India.
In 1891-92, Tilak did not agree with Gokhale about the British government’s Age of Consent Bill. Gokhale wanted to stop child marriage by reforming Hinduism. Through this bill, the marriage age improved from 10 to 12 years. But Tilak was thinking about this bill as British interference in the internal affairs of Hinduism. Tilak wanted that this reform should not be in the hands of the British government but this reform should be in the hands of the Indian government after independence. This bill was passed by the government and the bill became law in the Bombay Presidency.
In 1905, Gokhale was elected President of the Indian National Congress. When Gokhale come to power then he was trying to improve his political power. In 1906, Tilak’s name was dropped from the nomination of the president of the National Congress. As a result, Congress became was divided. Gokhale leads the moderate group and Tilak leads the extremist group. These extremists were later called extremist nationalists.
Death: Gokhale died on 19 February 1915 AD. After Gokhale’s death, the two groups of Congress came closer together again.