The Last 144 Days of Mahatma Gandhi

By V Kalyanam

September 9, 1947: Reached Delhi from Kolkata never to leave again, as refugees from West Punjab occupied Harijan Basti, Gandhiji was motored straight to Birla House (now Gandhi Smriti, the national memorial of Mahatma Gandhi)

September 10: Visited camp of displaced persons and Jamia Millia; Lady Mountbatten called in.

September 11: Visited wounded persons in Irwin Hospital.

September 12: Visited camp of displaced persons

September 13: Visited camp of displaced persons; disapproved proposal to erect his statue.

September 14: Called on Lord Mountbatten

September 16: Spoke at exhibition organized by Rastriya Swamsevak Sangh near Balmiki temple; called on Lord Mountbatten and said, "If Pakistan continues to behave dishonestly war will break out between her and India."

September 17: Lord and Lady Mountbatten called in; visited Kishanganj labour locality; reiterated previous day's warning.

September 18: Discussion with Muslim leaders at Asaf Ali's residence. He said, "When my work here is finished I shall go to Pakistan." Reiterated the warning.

September 19: Discussion with Hindu leaders

September 23: Attended Working Committee meeting of the Indian National Congress

September 24: Meeting continued. Jam Sahib came in; health not good

September 25: The meeting continued. Called on Lord Mountbatten; rather unwell

September 26: "I am opposed to war; but if it is impossible to have justice from Pakistan and if she refuses to see her mistake, war between two countries is inevitable."

September 27: Attended Working Committee meeting of the Indian National Congress

September 30: Chinese delegates to UNESCO called in

October 1: Attended working committee meeting of

October 2: Gandhiji's birthday. He said, "It is more proper to offer condolences than to offer congatulations; I do not wish to live long."

October 3: He said, "Nobody now listens to what I say."

October 11: Gandhiji's birthday according to Hindu calendar, he fasted and received a purse from local Gujaratis

October 19: Called on Lord Mountbatten; Lord Addison(Commonwealth Minister) and Lady Addison called in.

October 25: Offered prayers in jail and planted a mango tree there

October 29: Dilip Kumar Roy recited some songs

November 1: Horace Alexander called in

November 3: Gandhiji spoke in favour of lifting food control.

November 8: Lady Mountbatten called in

November 11: Attended Working Committee; said Nawab of Junagad had no authority to accede to Pakistan without people's consent.

November 12: Broadcasted message to displaced persons

November 20: Visited displaced persons camp in Okhla.Called on Rajaji, acting Governor General.

November 25: Lady Mountbatten and Kanji Dwarkadas called in

November 27: Called on Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan and Lord Mountbatten; Sheikh Abdullah of Kashmir called in

November 28: Addressed devotees of Guru Nanak.

December 4: Prime Minister of Burma Thakin Nu called in

December 11: Attended Talimi Sangh

December 12: Addressed merchants in Hardinge Library

January 3: Visited Wavell Canteen Camp for displaced persons

January 12: Declared his intention to fast for an indefinite period impelled by the Communal riots. Called on Governor-General Lord Mountbatten.

January 13: The fast started; Gandhiji could not attend Lord Mountbatten's party but he asked other invitees to attend.

January 14: The fast continued

January 15: The fast continued. Delivered post prayer speech on mike from his room.

January 16: The fast continued. "I do not wish to live if peace is not established in India and Pakistan."

January 17: The fast continued. Condition causing anxiety.

January 18: On receiving assurance from all communities, Gandhiji broke fast by taking Orange juice from Maulana Azad.

January 20: A bomb exploded during prayer.

January 21: Pleaded for mercy towards person who had thrown the bomb.

January 27: Wrote 'Congress Position'; suggesting that Congress should cease as political body and should devote to people's service. Also attended annual celebration at Bakhtiar Chisti's Dargah.

January 29: Drafted constitution for Congress Service Militia; as outlined in Congress Position.

January 30: The day of martyrdom, was shot dead while on his way to evening prayer ground at Birla House (now Gandhi Smriti) by Nathuram Vinayak Godse.