Chennai: V Kalyanam, the last personal secretary of Mahatma Gandhi, passed away in Chennai on Tuesday due to age-related ailments. He was 99.
Kalyanam was Mahatma Gandhi’s personal secretary from 1943 to 1948, working with the Father of the Nation until his assassination in 30 January, 1948. According to Kalyanam, he was just behind Gandhi when he was killed.
Kalyanam’s younger daughter Nalini said he breathed his last at her residence in Padur at 3.30 pm.
His last rites will be held at Besant Nagar crematorium later today.
Kalyanam was born in Shimla on 15 August, 1922.
Kalyanam’s biographer Kumari S Neelakandan said, ‘Kalyanam was in Sevagram Ashram in Maharashtra and was engaged in compiling the letters to Mahatma Gandhi in various languages. He had been assisting the Father of Nation for four years.’
Kalyanam, a long-time resident of Chennai, had once said that his role under Gandhi included receiving, reading and funneling Gandhi’s mail, and writing out the letters that Gandhi would dictate to him. He had archived most of Gandhi’s letters.