Mahatma Gandhi’s Man Friday reveals… Where was Gandhi on August 15, 1947? What was he doing?

While the country was waking up to independence, Mahatma Gandhi was in Beliaghata, a suburb of Kolkata

Gandhi did not adopt Feroz nor did he change his last name
Gandhi did not adopt Feroz nor did he change his last name

In the night between August 14 and 15 1947, while Jawaharlal Nehru was making his famous “While the whole world was sleeping…” speech, a 78-year-old frail old man with his entourage was walking along the alleys of what was then Calcutta and pleading with Muslims not to kill the Hindus. “Ill never forget that day. The old man was none other than Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, who led the freedom struggle against the mighty British empire through nonviolent means like Satyagraha and fasts. While the whole world was anxious to know the whereabouts of the man who tamed the British, his self-styled disciples let him down by agreeing to do what he had despised, the partition of India,” says Venkataram Kalyanam, the private secretary of Mahatma Gandhi.

“To me, peace between Hindus and Muslims is more important than the declaration of independence,”
– Gandhi

It could be a strange coincidence that Kalyanam was born on 1922 August 15. He shares his birthday, with Indian Independence Day. But Kalyanam, who turns 95 this August 15 never celebrates his birthdays. “There is nothing to celebrate even today after what I have seen in Bengal and Calcutta,” said Kalyanam. He said the general impression is that Mahatma Gandhi was in Naokhali, a province deep inside Bengal on the day India gained independence. “It is not correct. Mahatma Gandhi and his entourage including me had left for Bengal immediately after the breaking out of riots in Calcutta on August 16, 1946, following the Direct Action Day call issued by Mohammed Ali Jinnah. The majority Muslim community launched a pogrom by butchering the Hindus which even the Police or Army could not control. The then chief minister of Bengal Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (he was designated as Bengal Prime Minister) had given orders to cleanse Bengal of all Hindus.

The rioters went on a frenzy and killed all the Hindus whom they could lay their hands on. It was Mahatma Gandhi’s pleadings with them which brought the rioting under control,” he said. According to Kalyanam, more than 10,000 persons were butchered and the majority of them were Hindus. “Both Jinnah and Suhrawardy were Islamic fanatics and wanted the Hindus to be killed. They did nothing to stop the rioting. This part of the history will never be written, Had the victims been Muslims, our historians and liberals would have churned out thousands of books by this time,” said a visibly upset Kalyanam.

Gandhi was totally against the concept of dividing India into two nations.

By early January 1947, Gandhiji and his team had reached Calcutta. “Mahatma went on a padayatra all over Calcutta pleading with the Muslims not to kill their Hindu brethren while requesting the Hindus to be restraint in their reactions. He told the community leaders not to avenge the killings but love and help each other,” reminiscences Kalyanam.

Venkatram Kalyanam, the last Private Secretary of Mahatma Gandhi
Fig 1.Venkatram Kalyanam, the last Private Secretary of Mahatma Gandhi

He said though Jawaharlal Nehru had asked Gandhiji to return to New Delhi in time for the so called transfer of power, the latter had bluntly denied the invitation. “To me, peace between Hindus and Muslims is more important than the declaration of independence,” Gandhi who was staying at Beliaghata, a suburb 5 km away from Calcutta, told Nehru. Gandhi was totally against the concept of dividing India into two nations. “He was for a united India but Nehru and Jinnah had their own agenda,” said Kalyanam.

Gandhi was successful in restoring peace and normalcy in Bengal. Lord Mountbatten thanked him profusely for the bold act and described Gandhi as a one-man boundary force. “Even if we had sent the para-military forces or the Army, we would not have been able to bring the riots under control. But you were able to do that and I salute you for that achievement,” Mountbatten said in a letter he wrote to Gandhi.

Kalyanam is a treasure house of hitherto unpublished and unreleased information related to India’s freedom struggle. When asked why he was not writing a memoir about his days with the Mahatma, he said in his characteristic style that he is “too small a fry” to venture out for such a mission. “See, I am a small person. My predecessors were Pyarelal and Mahadeo Desai. It was only after their passing away that I was appointed as Mahatma’s private secretary. How can I do something which has not been done by Pyarelal and Desai? They were real Titans who even used to advise the Mahatma,” said Kalyanam.

The name of the person who married Indira was Feroz Ghandy. “How he became Gandhi is a mystery. Mahatma Gandhi had no role in the affair.

Having closely interacted with Jinnah and Suhrawardy, Kalyanam is of the view that both of them were Islamic fundamentalists and Hindu baiters. Kalyanam was the one who took down the Mahatma’s dictation asking for disbanding the Congress party. “Gandhiji had strong reasons for such a demand. The Congress was launched to agitate for Indian independence. It had no other missions. The party could mobilize the countrymen and draw the support of the whole country only because of the cause for which it was fighting. Once the country became free from the Colonial rule, the purpose of Congress too was over. What Gandhi asked the leaders was to disband the organization and set up a Lok Sevak Samithi towards working for the welfare of the whole countrymen,” said Kalyanam.

But the Congress leaders did not heed the suggestion or demand made by Gandhi. “What happened was that under the Congress rule corruption became rampant. I am happy that the government under Narendra Modi is doing well. Modi is proceeding in the right direction,” pointed out Kalyanam.

The current Gandhis are really Ghandys

Kalyanam who turns 95 on this Tuesday (August 15) is disappointed that the new generation does not know much about Mahatma Gandhi. “The Gandhis they know are Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi. Even the middle aged people are of the wrong impression that Mahatma Gandhi had adopted Indira Gandhi and hence the name,” he said. The name of the person who married Indira was Feroz Ghandy. “How he became Gandhi is a mystery. Mahatma Gandhi had no role in the affair. It could have been done by Feroz with some ulterior motives and see for yourself the damage it has done to the Mahatma’s name,” pointed out Kalyanam.

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  1. Only one thing I know, Gandhi did an experiment on India for his personal fancy which has miserably failed and left India to suffer for next many-many generations.

  2. There is some hegiographical error:
    1. Gandhi did accept himself the decision of Partition. He even went to the Congress Working Committee meeting in June 1947 to convince othe members. This he did to help Jawaharlal Nehru who was afraid the the Committee might refuse to accept partition. In fact, a son of Gandhi, perhaps Manu or Devdas (it is in collected works of Gandhi in exact detail) questioned him: why he (Gandhi) is going to convince unwilling CWC members about a sinful decision? He reminded that Gandhi was not even a member of the Committee. To which Gandhi replied, ‘I am going to help Nehru. He has made me a prisoner of his love.’ Thus, not only Gandhi went ahead to support Partition, but he did it so willfully that he gave strange and purile reasons to convince other leaders.
    Pl also remember that by doing all this Gandhi broke his declared promise to the millions of countrymen that partition will happen only on his ‘dead body’. It resulted in lacs of Punjabis and Bengalis being killed unprepared. Why! they believed Gandhi, and did care to make preparations for the eventuality. Forgetting this hard fact – just to absolve Gandhi’s blunders – is huge callousness, and unforgivable cruelty to the thousands of dead Hindus and Sikhs in 1947.
    Therefore, it is wrong to say that Gandhi was opposed to partition. He was a part, and active part, of the decision. Pl don’t make him what he was not!

  3. Kalyanam was correct,,He was too small a person and his accounts would have been rubbished anyway by those in power.Just look at the duo running this present govt,they have made DrSwamy a lilliput.That is what power does.When mahatma made nehru the congress head inspite of opinion of rest of congress leaders,he was instrumental in this mess called “partition” which killed many millions of people and displaced.Unlike Germans,we cowards do not have guts to bring to light the whole truth brushing aside killings of scores of people with huge level of dishonesty and inhumanness.Selection of team leader is very important process esp. for a country with deep divisions.It required a combination of broad vision of a statesman,capability of process specialist backed by track record of performance and honesty.Very difficult to get this in one person but three or four people.Congress had this in the combination of Rajaji and Sardar.If Gandhiji had backed them over nehru,there would have been different tale to tell.Gandhiji blundered when he had the power to decide.Nation paid a very heavy price.Gandhiji’s is also best example never to get entwined with money bags which nehru’s father / Birla were and his decision making became faulty due to machinations.Lessons for all that even a mighty mahatma can be fooled by clever men.

  4. PGurus Team,
    Commendable work , to bring out the realities.
    Salute to sir Kalyanam !
    Sir, please celebrate independence day still we have many more good reasons to do that, if we have got few not to.

    Since a month had been trying to figure out facts about ghandy becoming gandhi, googled but din find this article at all …
    Please work on the SEO of ur site, and articles, add Ghandy also in the tags list.

  5. Congress should be disbanded was Mahatma Gandhi’s last wish which Jawhar Lal Nehru sabotaged for, he wanted to take advantage of the goodwill prevalent in the public domain then. This ‘Thaka Hua Man’ signed the document of partition of India and not that of Independence of India. Congress gave partition and not independence to India. Congress rejected Gandhi for his ideas of economic uplift and rural empowerment were not suited to Nehru’s pro-socialist Russia approach.
    A very revealing article. This side of the history is always kept in the dark from the generations post independence. Congratulations to the writers for bringing out the facts as they are.

  6. I was in a suburban town of Calcutta on 15th August 1947. Though I was still a kid in half pants, I used to follow the political developments closely. Reports of Gandhiji’s appeal for surrendering weapons and hand grenades were often flushed in the Bengali News Papers. But I never saw any statement against the partition of India by him. We all Bengalis used to look upon Gandhiji as a God Man and thought the cause of the Bengalis would never be betrayed by the Indian National Congress (by then Jawahar Nehre became verypopular for fightinhg for the INA POWs). But I never came across any statement by him condemning the partition. However, my elders told me that Gandhiji had advised Nehru not to agree to such proposal, to which he replied that the situation is beyond his control. Gandhi then advised him to go back to the people and appeal to them. Nehru had replied “Mujhme Etna Takat Nehi Hai.” But my admiration for Gandhiji very soon ebbed when he went on “hunger strike” to give more money to Pakistan. I simply could not understand why he did not go on hunger strike to prevent the partition.
    As to Feroz Ghandy, it is a fact that most of us believed that Feroz was adopted by Mohandas K Gandhi. But the name itself is not enough proof of Feroz Ghandy being a Muslim since it is a Parsi name and that it could belong to a Zoroastrian.

    • Regardless of what religion Feroz Ghandy was, its the use of Gandhi surname , which rode Indira to success later in her career.
      M born in 70s , i donno the actual history, but has been dished out with all beliefs, make beliefs.
      My grand parents always voted for congress, and proudly said “indira gandhi congress mahatma gandhi ki party hai , inhone hame azaadi dilavayi hai ” – I was a child then.
      Now, when i ask my parents why did such important lineage get so distorted and look at the amount of damage caused to india in congress led muslim appeasement politics. They have put everything at stake pitting against vote banks.
      my blood boils , was print media at that time was so weak ? who do we blame for all this now ?
      current media has become dramatic … the media has great responsibility coz what they do today goes down the history as truth.

    • Being a kid u knew all these partition and riots stuff and how did Gandhiji were so offensive to the country…what a bluff talk..what is ur age now !!If yes are you ready to take an interview with Mr Kalyanam??

  7. Mahatma Gandhi forced Subhas Bose to resign from President ship of Congress in favour other politicians.Gandhi also forced Patel to leave the post of PM for Nehru.Lastly freedom never came as result of movements by Gandhi , but from the refusal of Indian armed forces to take command from Britishers who were trying to take action against INA members who fought for freedom of India

  8. The riots finally stopped because the Hindus fought back under the able leadership of Gopal Chandra Mukherjee. The then chief minister of Bengal had also ordered the police not to take any action to stop the riots, killing and rape. So there wasn’t any choice left, other than the Hindus having had to take up arms

  9. Forward this to the Italian lady who howls now & then just because she is the d i l of Indira. No other qualifications to her or for her kith’s. It is a shame of the Congress members to follow her and lick her boots.

  10. My father used to say that Mahatma Gandhi was very much for the disbanding Congreess party after we got independence. Congress was formed with the objective of getting people of India unite, and get freedom from british. That was the objective.
    Well the surname Gandhi was added to Indira , Feroz just to fool the general public. To show that they are attached to th Gandhijji family. A plot to cheat ybe public and get support as the whole of India respects Gandhi.
    I have a board in my house which has a quote of Mahatma Gandhi” TO DIVIDE INDIA INTO TWO IS WORSE THAN ANARCHY”

  11. यह सत्य है कि श्री फिरोज घन्धी जो श्रीमती इंदिरा नेहरु के पति थे, उनके पूर्वज तेल का धंधा करते थे | तेल का धंधा करने वाले को घन्धी कहते थे और आज भी कहते हैं | फिरोज के पिता की तेल बेचने की इलाहाबाद में दुकान थी | उन्होंने कभी भी स्वयम होकर गांधी नहीं लिखा | यह षड्यंत्र इंदिरा और जवाहर का रचा है | धिक्कार है | आर्टिकल / लेख बहुत उत्तम है इसे प्रकाशित करवाना चाहिए |

  12. Now, this is something we are getting to know from the closest associate of Mahatma Gandhi. This “Untold Story” from the horse’s mouth and must be told to the people of India who are fed by some fabricated stories about Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Jinha. I was myself wondering all the time Where was the Real man Mahatma when Nehru was unfurling the flag at the midnight on August 15th 1947? He was killed on Jan 30th 1948. Why was he not present at the stroke of midnight on Aug 15th when India got its independence? He certainly played an important lead role in the freedom struggle with lot many others. But Congress never told the nation the truth. Even today Congress claims full credit for the independence of India which is not true. Again, this story about Indira Gandhi getting married to Feroz Khan or Feroz Ghandy who was a Muslim. How did they get “Gandhi” name which too is a mystery and it is also said that it was Mahatma Gandhi who changed their name to “Gandhi” to sound Hindu name. We do not know what is the real story behind it. But it is a shame that, on 15th Aug 1947 when we got our independence, Mahatma Gandhi was not present in those midnight celebrations. From the talk of Mahatma’s Man-Friday, it looks like Congress led by Nehru was the real villain who presented fabricated history on many counts to misled the nation in making Nehru Gandhi family were the only heroes in the independence struggle. We also come to know from Mr Venkatram Kalyanam, the Man-Friday of Mahatma that Mahatma Gandhi was of the firm view to liquidate Congress organization after the Freedom struggle was over, but Nehru did not do it and for self-serving political reasons Congress continued led by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to reap political benefits and the Gandhi Dynasty did profit itself by staying in power for over 65 years. The fact is, We have been taught politically fabricated history about our Freedom struggle by the historians who worked for Congress and never recorded the historical truths about the Roles of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose and many others.

  13. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Indian nation,and the people of the world at this time are really looking for following up his all times teaching of Nonviolence to keep our so far expressed only planet the Earth to last for years to come for all. However a genuine architect of superb quality as a human being Mahatma Gandhi will evoke on searching from different corners, truths of extending dimensions only to solidify the ground for more convinced foundation.,I,believe so to my sense of thoughtful conclusion.

  14. everyone has reason for their silence or otherwise. he would have been silenced by the sonia gang had he opened his mouth during the congress regime.

  15. Fantastic job PGurus Investigating team! Even as Venkat shiues away from a book, PGuru must take it upon itself to get it all out from the man. I suggest you employ one seasoned journalist to put the questions to Venkatam and two stenographers who will take down the answers to all the controversial questions on Gandhi era, especially the post-independence one in which Nehru started the destruction of India. If these answers are well edited and put in a proper sequence, PGurus will have an international best seller book to its credit. Take the challenge, Mr Iyer.

    • Dear Arvind, You have hit the nail on the head. I hope and pray that Sri Iyer takes the challenge to bring out the truth to destroy the rapists,looters of our Mother India.

  16. The Article is great and I hope it would open eyes of many blind folded Congress supporters. Nehru and Congress did maximum damage to the country till date. Even Modi ji is trying to do many good things, but congress is still proving themselves as slave of Gandhi(Gandy) dynasty.
    People of today’s generation have to open their eyes and look where they want, India should head towards. Graveyard(Slavery) or Freedom and development.

  17. good news…untold history..our history was manipulated in favour of a certain section of then congress people and brainwashed all Indians ….

  18. He must write a book on what he know about Ghandhiji. He cannot run away from this responsibility. He can use the help of some one if his age dont permit him to write it on his own. He would be doing a great disservice to the nation if he dont do it.

  19. Two important factors have come out of Kalyanam’s statement. One he agrees with Modyji. Two he has questioned Feroze Gandhy, and the Gandhi’s Lack of knowledge of Indira’s playboy.And last but least once the so called independence went as power to that swine Nehru’s head he went berserk.He was basically responsible for destroying My mother land. The last nails were put in by Sonia,Maun singh P.C and other SOB’s. Our dear Sri Narendrabhai is in the act of cleaning up.

  20. It is unfortunate Mahatma Gandhi didn’t go for indefinite or fast to death to disbanding Congress headed by Nehru. Nehru not only killed spoiled india fortunes and killed Hindus in the name of secular. Like Jinnah declared Islamic nation, india would have been strong Hindu country with ideals, principles and discipline citizens. Now the History shows even after 70 years, all wealth in the hands of congress and their chelas. God is great, adharma is being controlled by few selfies individuals. Optimists like me wait for peace and welfare of mankind!!!

  21. History and historical personages are seldom understood correctly by succeeding generations of citizens who unabashedly are reaping the fruits of their monumental exertions.
    Not for nothing did Albert Einstein say this about The Mahatma, That – ” Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.”
    At a time of unprecedented churning in human history, in an era of industrial slaughter of WW 1 and WW 2, in that diabolical age of communist gulags, fascist states and Hitler’s Holocaust when untold millions perished, at a time when the anthems of all the major world powers were dipped in blood and gore and the inhumanity of man against man, the deployment of nonviolence by a frail old man to oust an Empire and give birth to a Nation without shedding a drop of blood will stand out centuries hence as something that will stretch our credulity and stir the collective soul of Nations.

  22. Before the inevitable happens kalyanam should write or dictate every little detail of his life with the mahatma. .that will be the greatest service he can render to the nation.

  23. Authentic,unprejudiced memory of an honest man,speaks of hitherto hidden truth.
    Memoir or not it would have helped India if he came out with these at least 50 years back when Indira took over after Shastriji died mysteriously.
    Why he didn’t do it then and done now,only he can tell.
    But the present Gandhis will laugh him away having been reinforced in power for decades under the FALSE GANDHI FACADE.

  24. We all have to respect what Mahatma stood for as it embodies all the wonderful teachings of our sages of the past.What however he couldn’t foresee was that leech which stuck on to him cleverly,used him fully,humoured and conned him into believing that he really was the real deal whose stupid ideas later sucked the blood out of this land by peddling a dynasty of crooks.Long live Mahatma in our hearts and our deeds..

  25. Mediacrooks rightly calls fake Gandhis as chinese Gandhis…even Kalyanam is puzzled how “Ghandy” got peddled as “Gandhi”,,since Independence this country has been in the hands of deviants/crooks/diabolics..Time we get another independence which benefits all the people living in this land

  26. Very insightful!

    Hope these observations of Sri Kalyanam are video recorded & posted on to the internet!
    These insightful observations are very critical in the coming days!

  27. NE man is right, its not true that Gandhi is genuine but Nehru and jinna are only culprits. no voter will believe this. Its like Kanchi Chandrasekara swamiji has spent 25+ years with Shri Jeyendirar, but Chandrasekara saraswathy did not know Jeyendhirar’s agenda.

    • absolutely true, I had a chance of serving vijayendra saraswathy when he was young and when Maha periyava or chandrasekara saraswathy was alive. jayendrar and vijayendra were abslolutely different souls

  28. It is too naïve for a leader like Gandhi not to understand the concept of Islamic Uma as khalifat movement would have easily waken up anybody with an open mind.Had partition not taken place, the present bombs of Islamabad and Karachi would have now exploded in Delhi and north India beyond Delhi would be majority Islamic. It would be Islamic Bengal and entire north east would be by now Islamic. You cant even control the Bangladeshi immigrants now, what happens with Bangladesh in the union???.A complete population exchange should have taken place , those who opposed including Gandhi have done a great damage and coming generations will continue to suffer for many years to come.

    • There are lot of places in india still where muslims are in majority, no such incidents have happened. The point is if partition were not to happen, pakistan and bangladesh would have been in under indian government control and hence would not have become safe havens for terrorism.


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