Mr. Gokhale was not a Mazzini, nor a William Tell, nor a William Wallace, and yet his name will be honourably mentioned in the history of Indian nationalism. A diplomatist to his finger-tips, he knew how to play on the national lyre without offending the official ear. His advocacy of freedom and his country’s rights never brought him into violent conflict with the British hierarchy, and the honour conferred upon some of his com-patriots of banishment  without charge or trial never fell to his lot; nor did he ever languish, like the Irish leaders, in British goals as a political suspet. In sharp contradistinction to the programme of physical force paraded in Ulster and approved by one political party in Great Britain, Mr. Gokhale’s policy for India was one of peaceful penetration. The first fruits of his efforts were the Morley reforms, but whether he was responsible for their mildness or not, Lord Morley alone can say. A little more of the Western spirit of militancy would have made Mr. Gokhale a really formidable leader like Parnell or Kossuth, but born and bred in the mephitic atmosphere of subjection and  alien overrule one cannot but admire the way in which he overcame his surroundings and accomplished good work for his country. India’s soul is satisfied and her freedom attained.


In my personal relations with Mr. Gokhale, I have always regarded him not merely as an important member of the Council, but also as a friend.  On more than one occasion he has given me advice, which I found to be both sound and useful and I may mention that in the South African Emigration question, he rendered me most  loyal and helpful assistance.
He has now left us and we shall feel the void he has created, for one may truly say that it will be almost impossible to fill his place in Indian public life.


My own impressions of Mr. Gokhale derived from close association were, firstly, his extraordinary capacity for work; secondly, his splendid parts combined to great industry; thirdly, his stern devotion to duty; and fourthly, his profound and detailed knowledge of subjects. He knew all about the subject that  he took up : a rare gift among  politicians, carried to very high degree by Mr. Gokhale. There was a curious fastidiousness about Mr. Gokhale. There  was a curious fastidiousness about Mr. Gokhale; he had an amount of impatience of sluggards.  He was the first orator of his  time in India. He was fastidious in the political weapons he employed and never resorted to anything mean and underhand, in what had been called the game, a tortuous game of politics.  Mr. Gokhale had both intellectual and physical courage : the highest courage. He had contempt for meanness and injustice, a burning love of country and great belief in destiny.

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