Chennai: 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, Bapu’s nonagenarian personal attendant today said he was misquoted earlier. Venkita Kalyanam, who was the Mahatma’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’.”
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.
The Mahatma’s great grandson Tushar Gandhi had rubbished the remark then. Citing Sardar Gurbachan Singh’s testimony in the assassination trial, Tushar Gandhi had said that after he was shot, 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.