Professor Godbole: Character Analysis in A Passage To India

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      Professor Godbole is another flat character. He represents Hinduism and acts as a foil to Dr. Aziz. Forster had predilections towards Hinduism because he believed in the efficacy of Hinduism to reconciling the discordant voice which characterized India. A Moslem can be read inside out, for he wears his heart on his sleeve, but it is difficult to Rathom a Hindu for lie is slippery like an eel and baffling as a night.

Physical Appearance

      Prof. Godbole was an elderly man with grey mustaches, grey blue eyes and fair complexion. His whole figure suggested the combination of East and West. His queer dress reflected upon the queer - mind that he possessed. He wore 'dhoti', 'kurta', turban, tie and coat. This amalgam of Western and Eastern garments makes Godbole stand out as a quaint figure or rather as a funny figure.

His Philosophical Approach

      He was a seasoned and intelligent man and possessed philosophical outlook on life. He was never ruffled and took every incident with equanimity. He was polite, showed respect to the Britishers, and was an introvert. He maintained silence and was never known to have told anyone anything. When Aziz was arrested on the charge of rape, and Fielding went to Godbole for advice, he (Godbole) tried to avoid the issue and talked of the opening of a school in his native village. He considered evil a part of the universal and was not disturbed at all by it.

Courteous and Suave

      Prof. Godbole was a humble man. He never boasted nor did he assume airs. He accepted the invitations of Principal Fielding and Dr. Aziz with all courtesy. He remembered Mrs. Moore at the festival of Gokul Ashtami. He also remembered the wasp, the small tiny being, as creature of God. Unlike Christian missionaries, who exclude wasps from God's scheme of things, Godbole included wasps as well under the ideal of the all-inclusiveness of Hinduism.

A Helpful Friend

      Prof. Godbole, though a mystic, valued friendship. Dr. Aziz was disgusted with the most shabby treatment meted out to him by the Britishers. He left British India and approached Prof. Godbole who was the Minister of Education in the Hindu state of Mau. Godbole through his influence helped Aziz to secure the job of a medical chief of the state. He knew Dr. Aziz as a doctor as well as a man and had no scruples in getting for him an honorable place in the State. Friendship for him, transcended the boundaries of religious loyalties.


      Prof. Godbole was religious-minded and God-fearing. He could miss the train but not his prayers. Fielding who was to bring Prof. Godbole to accompany Dr. Aziz to the Marabar Caves was late to arrive at the railway station. Answering Dr. Aziz to query Fielding told him that Prof. Godbole’s prayer was responsible for his late arrival because he waited for Prof. Godbole to end his prayer, and the prayer did not end in time. At the festival of Gokul Ashtami, he led the celebrations by singing and dancing before the image of the Lord.

A Bluff-master

      He gave an impression at Fielding's tea party that he was an authority on the Marabar Caves. When he was asked to give an idea of the caves, he cleverly avoided answering the question and left everything shrouded in mystery.

Not a Conscientious Administrator

      He was head of the Education Department in the state of Mau but most of his time was spent in the prayers and celebrations of Hindu festivals. He sent intimation to the British Government that he had opened an English medium school in his state. Fielding came on an inspection tour of the so-called new institution. To his surprise, the promised institution was not established and existed only on paper.

He Preferred Muslims to Englishmen

      As an Indian he considered himself more near to a Muslim than to an Englishman. There might have been something in his consciousness that Englishmen were foreigners and were bound to quit one day. He did not go to see his. former boss, Fielding, when the latter came to Mau for inspection and stayed at the Govt. Guest House. Most of his time was spent in the company of Dr. Aziz.

      Prof. Godbole is not a true delineation of the Hindu character. As a matter of fact, Forster had imperfect knowledge of the Hindus because he lived with a Muslim for the most part of his stay in India. He had no Hindu friends to stay with and as a result, Godbole, was introduced not as a true representative of Hindu culture but as a caricature.

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