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Never said Gandhiji didn’t say ‘Hey Ram’; have been misquoted: PA

Venkita Kalyanam, who was Mahatma Gandhi’s PA between 1943 and 1948, said he only didn’t hear him say ‘Hey Ram’ amid commotion during his assassination.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2018 17:12 IST
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Mahatma Gandhi,January 30,Bapu
Congress president Rahul Gandhi arrives to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his 70th death anniversary, also observed as Martyrs’ Day, at Gandhi Smriti, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

Over a decade after he shocked the country claiming Mahatma Gandhi did not utter the words ‘Hey Ram’ when he was assassinated 70 years ago, his personal attendant said he was misquoted earlier.

Venkita Kalyanam, who was Bapu’s personal secretary between 1943 and 1948, told PTI: “I never said Gandhiji did not say ‘Hey Ram’ at all. What I had said was I did not hear him saying ‘Hey Ram’... Mahatma may have said that... I do not know.”

The 96-year-old, who claims to be a witness to the horrific event on January 30, 1948, said he “could not hear anything due to the commotion after the incident”.

“Everybody was shouting when the Mahatma was shot. I could not hear anything in the din. He may have uttered ‘Hey Ram’. I do not know,” Kalyanam said.

He had stunned the country in 2006 when he told a press conference in Kollam Bapu did not say “Hey Ram” when he fell to the bullets of Nathuram Godse.

Mahatma’s great grandson Tushar Gandhi had dismissed the remark then.

Citing Sardar Gurbachan Singh’s testimony in the assassination trial, Tushar Gandhi had said after being gunned down, Bapu had folded hands and uttered the words ‘Hey Ram’.

Kalyanam added Godse killed Gandhiji only once, but political parties were doing it everyday by not following his teachings.

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 17:11 IST