Chandra Shekhar Azad, at the age of 24, chose to make the supreme sacrifice rather than being caught by the British police in Allahabad on 27 February 1931.
“If yet your blood does not rage, then it is water that flows in your veins. For what is the flush of youth, if it is not of service to the motherland,” Chandra Shekhar Azad had said once.
Azad, as he is often referred to, was one of the most legendary Indian revolutionaries who continues to inspire youths. One of the heroes of the Indian freedom struggle, Chandra Shekhar Azad was born on July 23, 1906 in Madhya Pradesh.
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An independent India was Azad’s most cherished dreams. He had also trained Bhagat Singh and his comrades and was known for incidents such as Kakori train robbery, Central Legislative Assembly bombing and the shooting of British Police officer John Saunders in Lahore that jolted the British imperialist government.
At the age of 24, he chose to make the supreme sacrifice rather than being caught by the British police in Allahabad on 27 February 1931. The police surrounded him in a park after an informant told them about his whereabouts.
After a shootout, Azad chose to shoot himself dead with his last bullet, staying true to his pledge to never be captured alive by the British. The Colt pistol of Chandra Shekhar Azad has been displayed at the Allahabad Museum.
Today marks the 88th death anniversary of the fearless revolutionary; here are a few facts –
1. Born as Chandrashekhar Tiwari, he later took the name of Chandra Shekhar Azad. He often signed as Balraj while issuing statements as the commander in chief of the HSRA (Hindustan Socialist Republic Army).
2. Chandrashekhar’s mother had wanted him to become a Sanskrit scholar and therefore he was sent to Kashi Vidyapeeth, Banaras.
3. The Jallianwala Bagh tragedy in which hundreds were massacred proved to be a turning point in Azad’s life. He then took part in the Non-Cooperation Movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi in 1920 at the age of 15
4. Azad, was arrested for the first time for joining Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement and was given 15 whiplashes in punishment. It is said that, young Chandrashekhar said his name was ‘Azad’, father’s name as ‘Swatantrata’ (independence) and listed his residence as ‘Jail’ when he was produced before the judge.
5. He was disappointed when Mahatma Gandhi suspended the movement in 1922 and Azad joined the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) formed by Ram Prasad Bismil, Chatterji, Shachindra Nath Bakshi and Sachindra Nath Sanyal.
6. He quickly rose through the ranks and became one of the main strategists of the Hindustan Republican Association.
7. After Ram Prasad Bismil Ashfaqulla Khan, Thakur Roshan Singh and Rajendra Nath Lahiri were sentenced to death in the Kakori train robbery case, Azad then took charge of the organisation
8. Post the tragic death of Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhagat Singh joined Azad’s HRA to fight against the British imperialism and Azad and Bhagat Singh reorganised HRA as Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).
9. He rose into prominence after the 1925 Kakori Train robbery and the assassination of the assistant superintendent of police John Saunders in 1928.
10. Alfred Park in Allahabad was where he spent his last moments; the park was later renamed as Chandrasekhar Azad Park.