Topic: GOPALA KRISHNA GOKHALE BY D. N. BANNERJEA_গোপালকৃষ্ণ গোখেল
GOPALA KRISHNA GOKHALE
BY D. N. BANNERJEA
IN the muster-roll of Indian publicists that have nobly served their country, the late Mr. Gokhale occupied a very conspicuous position,— indeed, a position which, if not unequalled, has never been surpassed, by the foremost of his contemporaries. It were idle or at any rate premature to predict, at this stage, of the coming leader of New India, whose attainments and record of service might eclipse Gokhale' s unique contributions to the Indian cause. For Gokhale placed on the altar of patriotic duty, not simply his talents, energies and abounding enthusiasm, but his very all. Politics were to him not a hobby, to be ridden to death during moments of relaxation from the strenuous duty of piling up riches ; nor yet a pastime when other pursuits became cumbersome and boring, to while away the tedium of an aimless existence ; but an exalted form of duty which demanded sacrifice and study, and intelligent and continuous interest of a life-time. Politics to Gokhale were coeval with life and religion and the most intimate verities of personal life. These were, for him, synonymous with useful citizenship and national duty.
Without the slightest attempt at exaggeration it may be said of him that ever since he took his B.A. degree, from Elphinstone College, Bombay, at the early age of eighteen, right up to the date of his retirement practically in 1904, from the professoriate of Fergusson College, Poona, self-dedication to India has been the most dominant motive of his life. And when, in 1906, we see him emerge on the political arena at the termination of his two years' furlough, secured after an uninterrupted educational work for eighteen years, we find the capacity for service and self-sacrifice that was a normal feature of his life, enhanced and intensified. This spirit of self-abnegation never forsook him. At a time when he was at the zenith of fame, having the possibility of lucrative careers well within his grasp, he preferred an arduous sphere with a bare subsistence allowance attached to it, because of his conviction that this sphere would afford wider opportunities for unostentatious service, and because he felt that he would thereby be laying the foundations deep of that spirit of co-operation which is essential to true success in nation-building.
But one good friend is equal to a LIBRARY