Bangalore International Centre, had arranged a conversation on “Gokhale and Liberal Nationalism” - marking G K Gokhale’s death centenary on 10th April 2015 at 6.30 PM. The event was organised in collaboration with The Takshashila Institution and the Gokhale Institute of Politics. Speakers were Mr. Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, Mr. Sunil Gokhale (Great Grandson of late Gopal Krishna Gokhale) and Nitin Pai.
Mr. Nitin Pai in his welcome speech highlighted the remarkable personality of Gokhale and the relevance of his ideas and principles for even today’s India and Society.
Mr. Niranjan Rajadhyaksha gave a background about late G K Gokhale’s life history and his contributions in the fields of universal education, national unity, equality of citizenship and self-governance and felt that Gokhale can be called as the third generation of Pune liberals. He and his colleagues, viz., Ranade, Navroji etc., had an intense care of nationalism in their approach.
Mr. Sunil Gokhale who is the great grandson of late Gokhale, observed that this was the first programme organised outside Maharasthra and thanked Bangalore International Centre and Takshashila Institution. He regretted the fact that now-a-days, Gokhale receives scant attention in modern Indian History text books. Barring a few, hardly any one remembers him or his salutary contributions in the freedom struggle. Gokhale died at the young age of 49 and within this short span of his life, his achievements were remarkable. At the age of 19 he became the life member of Deccan Education Society. He became the President of Indian National Congress at the age of 39, and he still remains the youngest President of the grand old party even today. He was a rationalist who did tremendous works in areas of social reform and social justice. As early as 1910 he stressed on the values of education through the Right to Education Bill which talked of free and compulsory education – a right which could be secured much later through an amendment to the constitution. The Bill proposed by him contained three parts, the current situation, the proposed changes and the implementation of changes. He looked at education as a power centre towards upliftment and progress. Mahatma Gandhi used to turn to him whenever ne needed wise counsel and advice.
There were several others who reminisced about Gopala Krishna Gokhale during the interactive session. It was a nostalgic and memorable event.