Gopal Krishna Gokhale family

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born on 9 May 1866 in Ratnagiri district, in present-day Maharashtra in a Chitpavan Brahmin Family.

Despite being relatively poor, his family members ensured that Gokhale received an English education. This would place Gokhale in a position to obtain employment as a clerk or minor official in the British Raj.

Gokhale married twice. His first marriage took place in 1880 when he was in his teens to Savitribai, who suffered from an incurable ailment.

Later he married a second time in 1887 while Savitribai was still alive. His second wife died after giving birth to two daughters in 1899. Gokhale did not marry again and his relative looked after the children.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale education

His family members 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.

Later he studied in Rajaram college in kolhapur. Being one of the first generations of Indians to receive a university education, Gokhale graduated from Elphinstone College in 1884

Gopal Krishna Gokhale images

Gopal Krishna Gokhale
          Image of Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Gopal Krishna Gokhale contribution

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
gopal krishna gokhale quotes

“The condition of the low castes—it is painful to call them low castes—is not only unsatisfactory as this resolution says—it is so deeply deplorable that it constitutes a grave blot on our social arrangements…”

“A taxation so forced as not only to maintain a budgetary equilibrium but to yield as well large, continuous, progressive surpluses –even in years of trials and suffering –is, I submit, against all accepted canons of finance.”

“The work that has so far been done has indeed been of the highest value. The growth during the last 50 years , of a feeling of common nationality, based upon common tradition, common disabilities, and common hopes and aspirations, has been most striking. The fact that we are Indians first, and Hindoos, Mahomedans, Parsees, or Christinas afterwards, is being realized in a steadily increasing measure, and the idea of a united and renovated India, marching onwards to a place among the nations of the world worthy of her great past, is no longer a mere idle dream of a few imaginative minds, but is definitely the accepted creed of those who form the brain of the community-the educated classes of the country.”

Gopal Krishna Gokhale Achievements

Gokhale believed that the right course for India to give self-government was to adopt constitutional means and cooperate with the British Government.

He played a leading role in bringing about Morley-Minto Reforms, the beginning of constitutional reforms in India.

Gokhale’s deposition before the Welby Commission on the financial condition of India won him accolades. His speeches on the budget in the Central Legislative Council were unique, with thorough statistical analysis. He appealed to the reason.

His plea for a non-violent protest movement and attempt to raise the level of nationalist education won him the favor of a young Gandhi, who later began to look upon him as a mentor.

Gandhi even carried forth his vision of constitutional agitation as a means to achieve freedom. He claimed that personality of his mentor influenced his call for Ahimsa.

gopal krishna gokhale upadhi

He was known by the honorable sobriquet “Servant of India”.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale bill on compulsory education

During his time as President of the Congress, he formed the Servants of India Society to help spread education among all masses of Indian society.

Gokhale stated that an illiterate nation could not make any progress. So government should extend educational facilities should be extended to all in the country. The expenditure on education must be an imperial charge. Education must receive same attention as army and railways.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale economic ideas

Gokhale criticized free trade policy. He pointed out that a number of countries adopted protection for the growth of the economy. Later Gokhale suggested that for the development of industries, protection was necessary.

The Government should not allow to exceed the normal revenue except under conditions of war, famine etc.

The Government should cut down Military expenditure and maintained size of the army to the extent of Indian requirements.

The British Government should employ more Indians  in public services. The government should pay Indians  salaries at same rate as were being paid to the Englishmen.

Gokhale was highly critical of large increase in public expenditure. Soon he pointed out that India’s monetary resources were mis-spent in extending northern and north eastern frontiers and in using troops for imperial purposes.

Later he charged that the British government was looking after the interests of British traders and it did not bother about the Indian tax payer.

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