ગુજરાતી ગદ્ય-પદ્ય સર્જનની આનંદ યાત્રા
(102)The last day of Mahatma Gandhi-Friday, January 30, 1948 (ગાંધી જયંતી – ભાગ 3)
ઓક્ટોબર 4, 2012
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The author of this article V Kalyanam,is a one time personal secretary of Mahatma Gandhi. Kalyanam worked with Gandhiji from 1944 until his assassination shortly after the India’s independence.
In this article he recounts Friday, January 30, 1948, moment-by-moment—the day when the Mahatma was shot.V Kalyanam was just behind Gandhi when Naturam Godse fired his shots.The article is very interesting.
The Last Meeting with Sardar Patel – January 30, 1948
Prayer was scheduled to start at 5 pm. The discussion between Gandhiji and Patel continued beyond 5 pm. In view of the importance and seriousness of the talk, none of us dared to disturb them. The girls gestured to Sardar’s daughter Maniben and the talk ended at 5.10 pm. After that, Gandhi went to the toilet and immediately proceeded to the prayer ground, which was nearly 30-40 yards away. There were four or five steps and then there was a big lawn. Gandhiji was late by fifteen minutes for the prayer meeting. There were about 250 people anxiously awaiting his arrival. I could see from the distance that the attention of the gathering was focused on Gandhiji’s room. And, as he emerged, I heard people saying, ‘There comes Gandhiji’. The word went round when all necks craned and eyes stared in his direction. Gandhiji walked briskly as usual with his head bent and his glance glued to the ground, supporting himself on the shoulders of the two grand nieces. I was following closely to his left. I heard him admonishing the girls for not telling him that it was getting late for the prayer meeting. He told them that they were his time-keepers. “I am late. I do not like all this,” he added. When Manu replied that they did not want to interrupt because of the serious nature of their talks, Gandhiji shot back, “It is the duty of a nurse to give medicines at the right time to a patient. If there is delay the patient may die”.
When Nathuram Godse Fired His Shots…..
- Nathuram Godse Right after Shooting Gandhi
We ascended the steps leading to the prayer platform. People stood with folded hands and Gandhiji reciprocated. They made way for him to go to the rostrum, about 25 feet from the steps, where he would sit on a one-foot-high wooden dais. The assassin (Nathuram Godse) had obviously been waiting in this crowd hiding a revolver in his pocket. Gandhiji had walked hardly five or six paces when the assassin fired some shots in quick succession from close range resulting in the Mahatma’s instantaneous death. He fell behind bleeding profusely and in that melee, his spectacles and footwear were thrown asunder. I was too shocked and dumb-founded to react. Later, in loneliness, tears came to my eyes. The news spreads fast. Within minutes, a crowd started gathering outside Birla House and the gate had to be closed to prevent people entering the premises. Patel had already left. I rushed to my room and conveyed the news to Nehru’s office by phone. In those days we had free access to Ministers’ residences. I pushed my way through the crowd, got into a waiting car and sped to Patel’s house, hardly five minutes drive, to inform him of the calamity. Meantime, his body was lifted and carried to his room. There he lay on the mat with people around him. He looked as if he was asleep. His body was warm for quite some time. Night was passed with distress and tears—not for a few chosen ones, but for the millions all over the world for whom he lived and died. Immediately after Gandhiji’s body was carried away to his room, there was a scramble from the public to possess something belonging to Gandhiji as a souvenir. They started removing a handful of earth from the place where Gandhiji fell to the assassin’s bullet, leaving a big pit there within hours. Arrangements were then made to have the area cordoned and a guard was posted there. In this connection, detailing the precautions taken by the government to protect Mahatma Gandhi prior to and after the bomb explosion at his prayer meetings, the Home Minister, Sardar Patel declared, “I had personally pleaded with Bapu to permit the police to do their duty in regard to his protection but without success. To my profound regret and utter sorrow and to the irreparable loss of all of us, the nation and the world, the weak spot both I and the police had apprehended was deceitfully and successfully exploited by the assassin and Gandhiji’s prophetic words that, if he had to die, no precaution could save him, came true”
“Gandhi never uttered ‘Hey Ram’ when he was shot at”
It is widely stated that Gandhiji invoked God saying, “Hey Ram” as he was assassinated. There was no possibility at all of his uttering a single syllable although he had often proclaimed that he would like to die with the name of Ram on his lips. This speculative comment by some enterprising, shrewd reporter has gained worldwide currency, the authenticity of which has never been verified. A monumental falsehood has been thrust into the mouth of the apostle of truth. Had he been sick or bed-ridden, he would have surely invoked Ram. But here he was denied that opportunity. It is indeed very strange that the commission that was appointed to probe into Gandhiji’s killing never thought of making any enquiries from any one of us who were so close to him on that day. In his last few days in his post-prayer speeches, Gandhiji had been repeatedly expressing the wish that God take him away since he did not want to be a silent witness to the monstrous barbarities that were going on in the country. I thought God had answered his prayer through the assassin. He had a glorious death while he was walking towards God and not on sick bed. He died without anguish, without pain for a moment.
See the complete account of the last day of Mahatma Gandhi on following link.
GANDHI’S LETTERS TO AMERICANS
Message To The United States
AN INTERESTING VIDEO REGARDING CORRUPTION IN INDIA
V Kalyanam, a one time personal secretary of Mahatma Gandhi blamed Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for the present situation of corruption. Kalyanam worked with Gandhiji from 1944 until his assassination shortly after the India’s independence.
NEHRU RESPONSIBLE FOR GROWING CORRUPTION: MAHATMA GANDHI’S AIDE