Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was an Indian political leader and a social reformer during the Indian Independence Movement.

Updated: June 16, 2022


Gopal Krishna Gokhale  was an Indian political leader and a social reformer during the Indian Independence Movement. Gokhale was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and founder of the Servants of India Society in 1905.


He was a leader with moderate reformist views. He aimed at achieving not only independence from British Raj but also endeavoured to bring social reforms in the Indian society and political reforms within the existing government institutions, through non-violent means. He was born on May 9th, 1866 and died on February 19th, 1915.


Childhood of Gopal Krishna Gokhale:

Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born in a Chitpavan Brahmin family on May 9, 1866 in Kothluk village of Guhagar in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. 


Education of Gopal Krishna Gokhale:

Gokhale was one of the first few Indians who received university education. In 1884, he graduated from Elphinstone College. Same year, he gained membership at the Deccan Educational Society. His family was adamant on providing Gokhale with quality education, despite coming from a poor household. In 1885, he moved to Pune and became one of the founding members of the Fergusson College. He started off as a professor of history and political economy and soon rose to become its principal.


Family of Gopal Krishna Gokhale:

Gokhale married twice. The first was to Savitribai in 1880. In 1887, he married a second time and had two daughters with his second wife. His second wife died in 1899. Gokhale did not marry again and his children were looked after by his relations.


Some facts  about Gopal Krishna Gokhale :

  • Gokhale took up the position of the secretary at the Sarvajanik Sabha, a leading political organization of Bombay and in 1889 became a member of the Indian National Congress.
  • He regularly contributed articles on nationalism and put forward the state of India under British Rule in Bal Gangadhar Tilak's weekly publication 'Maharatta' to invoke the spirit of patriotism and nationalism in general public. In 1891, he served as the secretary of the Deccan Education Society.
  • In 1905 he founded the 'Servants of India Society' in order to work towards one of his primary concerns and causes, expanding the reach of Indian education.
  • In addition to mentoring Gandhi, he also played as a role model for Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who later on became the founder of Pakistan. Such was his influence over Jinnah that he aspired to become 'Muslim Gokhale'.
  • In 1904, he was formally appointed a CIE or Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire in the New Year's Honors List by the British Empire for his services.
  • Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economy, Gokhale Memorial Girl's College, Gokhale Centenary College, and Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs are some of the institutions in India which bear his name in order to commemorate his philanthropic offerings.
  • A road in Bombay bears his name and is widely known as the Gokhale Road.
  • He founded the famed Servants of the India Society, which continues to thrive till date. The society started with its aim of providing quality education to young generation of Indians so as to educate them about their civil and patriotic duties towards the nation.
  • He multi-tasked for a better and improved nation and continued to make contributions in various sectors which took a toll on his health and he passed away on February 15th, 1915.



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