>Gandhi was in no hurry to plunge into politics. His political mentor on the Indian scene was Gokhale. One of the first things Gokhale did was to extract a promise from Gandhi that he would not express himself upon public questions for a year, which was to be a "year of probation". Gokhale was very keen that Gandhi should join the Servants of India Society in Poona. Gandhi was only too willing to fall in with the wishes of Gokhale, but several members of the Society feared that there was too great a gap between the ideals and methods of the Society and those of Gandhi. While the question of his admission as a Servant of India was being debated, Gandhi visited his home towns of Porbandar and Rajkot and went on to Shantiniketan in West Bengal, the cosmopolitan University of the Poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Gandhi and Kasturba on their return to India, January 1915The trip to Shantiniketan ended abruptly with a telegram from Poona that Gokhale was dead. Gandhi was stunned. He mourned Gokhale by going barefoot for a year, and out of respect for the memory of his mentor, made another effort to seek admission to the Servants of India Society. Finding a sharp division of opinion in the Society on this point, he withdrew his application for admission.
During 1915the year of probationGandhi eschewed politics severely. In his speeches and writings he confined himself to the reform of the individual and the society and avoided the issues which dominated Indian politics. His restraint was partly due to self-imposed silence and partly to the fact that he was still studying conditions in India and making up his mind.