CHENNAI: Declining to toe the government's stand that he required security, Mahatma Gandhi had told the authorities that he would leave Delhi if protection was insisted upon, Kalyanam who was secretary to the father of the nation said.
Although there were warnings to Gandhiji from the government - several weeks ahead of his assassination - that he faced threat to his life, the man who steered the nation's freedom movement told the authorities that he does not want security.
January 30, the day of the assassination of Gandhi in 1948 is observed as Martyr's Day. "Gandhiji said I don't believe in security, I don't want security, if you want me to have security, I will leave Delhi and will go somewhere else," Kalyanam said.
Had Gandhiji agreed to have security, people might have been frisked and his assassination could have been averted, he said.
Asked on memorable incidents with Gandhiji, the 96-year old recalled that Gandhiji had admonished a railway station master once for telling him that "you are a great leader why do you need a ticket to travel".
Kalyanam said he was tasked by Gandhiji to buy third class tickets for his entourage through the railway had earmarked a separate coach for the top leader.
Kalyanam joined Gandhiji in 1943 and served him till his death, when he was assassinated in 1948.