Gokhale’s own reaction to the ‘Surat Split’ had been one of resignation rather than that of elation. This chapter focuses on events following Gokhale’s return from England in November 1914. The prospects of ending the feud in the Congress suddenly seemed brighter. The war was itself an important reason for a reappraisal of the position. When the fate of the British Empire and India hung in the balance, the niceties of electoral arrangements for the annual Congress sessions seemed relatively unimportant. The negotiations for the readmission of the Extremists to the Indian National Congress in the winter of 1914–5 proved abortive. The acrimonious debate which followed raised the political temperature in Poona, infuriated the Extremists, and left a bitter taste in Gokhale’s mouth, and probably hastened his end.
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