Gandhi, rather prophetically, made these statements on January 28, 1948, just two days before he was shot dead by Nathuram Godse. They were made to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, his former secretary and the then Minister for Health in the Indian government.
There appear be a couple of variants to this quote:
- If I’m to die by the bullet of a mad man, I must do so smiling. God must be in my heart and on my lips. And you promise me one thing; should such a thing happen, you are not to shed one tear.
- If I’m to die by the bullet of a mad man, I must do so smiling. God must be in my heart and on my lips.
(The second variant might have simply culled the last line for the sake of brevity or perhaps since they were particular to Rajkumari Amrit Kaur.)
Some witnesses to the assassination claimed that his last words were "Hey Ram". Others claimed that they were "Ram, Ram" or possibly, "Oh God". According to Nathuram Godse, Gandhi just said "Uhhh".