Gandhi’s Last Words Not ‘Hey Ram.’

Gandhi’s Last Words Not ‘Hey Ram.’

 The following is a February 10, 2008 article from The Times (South Africa):

Mahatma Gandhi did not utter the widely believed “Hey Ram”, nor the recently claimed “Ram…Ram”, after he was shot at close range by Nathuram Godse.

Kalyanam Venkitaraman, 85, a personal assistant of the Father of the Nation, said: “I was standing hardly half a metre away when Godse pumped five bullets into Gandhi. He fell down immediately and never uttered a word.”

The police did not question witnesses, including Venkitaraman, who were near Gandhi when he was shot.

“Somebody claimed he had heard Gandhi uttering ‘Ram…Ram’, but the truth is that he did not uter a single word.

“How can one do so when one is shot from such a short range?” said Venkitaraman, who worked with Gandhi from 1943 until his death in 1948.

“He died a disheartened, disillusioned and disappointed man. The communal clashes in the country had already saddened Bapu, leading to his death being filled with disillusionment and disappointment.”

The following is a January 29, 2008 article from The Hindu:

Did the Father of the Nation actually utter “Hey Ram” before he fell to assassin Nathuram Godse’s bullets exactly 60 years ago?Well, a new book ‘Mahatma Gandhi: Bramhacharya Ke Prayog’ (Mahatma Gandhi: Experiment with celibacy) does not seem to think so.

Its author Dayashankar Shukla ‘Sagar’, a journalist with a well-known Hindi daily here, questions the widely held belief and contends that the Mahatma’s granddaughter Manu only heard him utter: “Hey Ra…”.

He goes on to claim that Godse had also said Gandhi had uttered “aah..” and not “Hey Ram” when he shot him on January 30, 1948.

The author dwells in detail about the “experiments” by Gandhi with ‘bramhacharya’ (celibacy) and says these and the controversies arising from them had “an effect on Gandhi’s views on the freedom struggle”.

“With his experiments on celibacy, Gandhi had opened a new front in addition to the objective of freedom which was unnecessary,” the book says.

The book, published by Vani Prakashan, is to be released by senior journalist and Gandhian thinker Prabhash Joshi at the International Book Fair in New Delhi on February 7.

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