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Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Focus: GS I- Personalities in news, Modern History

Why in News?

PM paid tributes to Gopal Krishna Gokhale on his birth anniversary. He was born on 9 May 1866.

About Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born on May 9th, 1866. He was a renowned social reformer of India and was one of the leaders of the moderate bloc of the Indian National Congress. He was known to be the Mahatma Gandhi’s political mentor. 

Contributions of GK Gokhale in freedom movement of India:

  • Gokhale campaigned for Indian self-rule and also social reform. 
  • He was the leader of the moderate faction of the Congress party that advocated reforms by working with existing government institutions
  • He gave budget speeches as a member of the Imperial Legislative Council.
  • He contributed articles to the English weekly Mahratta.
  • He served as Secretary of the Deccan Education Society.
  • After being given charge of the Bombay Provincial Conference in 1893, he was elected to the Senate of the Bombay University.
  • He visited Ireland and arranged for Irish nationalist Alfred Webb to serve as the President of the Indian National Congress in 1894.
  • As a member of the Pune Municipality, twice elected its president, Gokhale continued to strive to solve the problems of the poor, and those who came to him with grievances.
  • Gokhale also published a daily newspaper entitled Jnanaprakash, which allowed him to voice his reformist views on politics and society.
  • He was later elected to the Council of India of the Governor-General of India in 1903.
  • He was appointed as the Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1904 New Year’s Honours List.
  • He was instrumental in the formation of the Minto-Morley Reforms of 1909, which eventually became law.
  • Gokhale was a mentor to both Mohammed Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi even wrote a book called, ‘Gokhale, My Political Guru’. His core beliefs about the importance of political liberty, social reform and economic progress for all Indians are still relevant to our times.
  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale was the president of Indian National Congress Session in Banaras in 1905.
  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak called him ‘Diamond of India

Works/Institutions he was associated with:

  • Servants of Indian Society
  • Sarvajanik Sabha Journal
  • Ranade Institute of Economics
  • The Hitavada
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