Certainly, Gokhale was a Congressman. But in him there was nothing of the froth and fume of the legendary `Congress-wallah.' If eloquence is, as Lord Curzon eloquently assured a Calcutta audience, the besetting sin of Indians. Gokhale had none of it. He had no rhetoric., He cared nothing for impassioned language and magnificent periods. I have never heard a calmer or more self-restrained speakers. His was the eloquence of perfect knowledge, of entire devotion to his cause,and  utter regardless of self or any other consideration. What he said of Ranade, was true of himself; ``It was as though the first person singular did not exist in his vocabulary,'' But, however quitet his speech, the courage of unyielding conviction and of  that regardlessness of self or fortune or applause was always felt behind it. It needs some bravery to continue insisting on the same cause  year after year with hardly any apparent result. Courage underlying a sweet  reasonableness was the characteristic of the man and of his speaking. It made him a speaker of singular attraction and lucidity. But he was never satisfied with words. He knew how easily reformers are beguiled into believing that when speeches have been made, something has been accomplished, He knew that speeches accomplished nothing unless action follows and with this knowledge he founded the  `Servants of India.' Courage, self-assertion and discipline in public life were the qualities which he found  wanting and which he hoped to develop through the Congress and such   missionary means as his  Order of Servants. He knew it would be a slow work. He recognised the obstacles on the side of the Government and on the side  of his own people.


I had known Mr. Gokhale  for 25 years as one who placed healthy and decisive limitations to his ambition. He had a balanced intellect and studied  both sides of the subject too well to take extreme views. He regarded the late Mr. Ranade as his `guru' and both were of opinion that there was too little of activity and too little of work done or attempted by the  people of this country in  the midst of the prevailing langour and lassitude. These two streneous  workers have left behind them enduring examples to the rising generations. Latterly Mr. Gokhale had acquired an international reputation. Indians in every country were proud  to point to him as an example of their countrymen who could rise to the level of the best in any country.

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