Gopal Krishna Gokhale - Indian nationalist leader
Gopal Krishna Gokhale, (May 9, 1866 - February 19, 1915) was one of the founding social and political leaders during the Indian Independence Movement against the British Empire in India. Gokhale was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and founder of the Servants of India Society. Through the Society as well as the Congress and other legislative bodies he served in, Gokhale promoted not only or even primarily independence from the British Empire but also social reform. To achieve his goals, Gokhale followed two overarching principles: avoidance of violence and reform within existing government institutions.
Gokhale was famously a mentor to Mahatma Gandhi in his formative years. In 1912, Gokhale visited South Africa at Gandhi's invitation. As a young barrister, Gandhi returned from his struggles against the Empire in South Africa and received personal guidance from Gokhale, including a knowledge and understanding of India and the issues confronting common Indians. By 1920, Gandhi emerged as the leader of the Indian Independence Movement. In his autobiography, Gandhi calls Gokhale his mentor and guide. Gandhi also recognised Gokhale as an admirable leader and master politician, describing him as 'pure as crystal, gentle as a lamb, brave as a lion and chivalrous to a fault and the most perfect man in the political field'.Despite his deep respect for Gokhale, however, Gandhi would reject Gokhale's faith in western institutions as a means of achieving political reform and ultimately chose not to become a member of Gokhale's Servants of India Society. Gokhale was also the role model and mentor of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the future founder of Pakistan, who in 1912, aspired to become the "Muslim Gokhale".Even the Aga Khan ( the Spiritual Head of the Islamic sect of Ismaili Khojas & grandfather of the present Aga Khan) has stated in his autobiography that Gokhale's influence on his thinking was probably considerable. (Wikipedia)