Gokhale was one of the rarest beings produced by any country or time, one who went through life with unsurpassed simplicity and modesty, whose presence inspired love and trust, whose life was so pure, whose character was so unselfish that no one can refer to him except with respectful admiration, whose intellect was so clear that those who disagreed with him had the utmost difficulty in justifying their opinion, and sometimes failed perhaps in convincing even themselves, who when he stood forth as the representative of the vast country, whether at the foot of the throne of the Emperor, or in the midst of men in power, or in an unsympathetic self-governing colony, in the midst of men sanguine in the correctness of views, whose error he was sent to demonstrate, commanded by his personality, unadorned by external symbols of authority, a deference not unlike that which may be claimed by kings, and inspired in minds of his expectant countrymen a serene confidence that he would be accorded a place worthy of this country wherever he went- even in that assemblage of which it is said:-
One great Society above on earth
The noble living and the noble dead
To Gokhale's Memory
The dominating trait of Gokhale's character was the intense love for his country. Nothing came or could come between him and his love for the motherland. I have been seen in my life, and I am pretty well acquainted with most of the leading and prominent men of India, one who was so devoid of narrow sectarianism of every kind as Mr. Gokhale was. In his eyes Hindoos and Mahomedans, Marathas and Bengalis were absolutely equal. Naturally he was proud of being a Maratha Brahmin but he was prouder still of being an Indian.
Mr. Gokhale was pre-eminently a man of peace and compromise, not the peace which is secured at all price and the compromise which entails sacrifice of principles. He was never aggressive and would not fight willingly; but when the occasion arose and he had no other course left to him there was no better fighter than Mr. Gokhale. It was a sight for the Gods to see as he dealt blows after blows- straight from the shoulder and discomfitted opponents officials and non-officials alike. His incisive criticisms of those official measure which did not command his assent were of such a severe and crushing nature that the officials could hardly meet his arguments. His life is as object lesson for those of us who think that politics are a game at which anyone who could read and write can play. Nothing can be farther from truth than this popular and utterly misconceived notion. Mr. Gokhale achieved the enviable height by assiduous and long apprenticeship.