His Life: The Hero of Freedom Struggle
- Year 1906 – Born in Bhavra village, Alirajpur district, Madhya Pradesh.
- Year 1921 – Joined Non-Cooperation Movement.
- Year 1925 – Executed Kakori Conspiracy.
- Year 1926 – Conspired to blow up the train of Viceroy of India.
- Year 1928 – Lala Lajpat Rai was killed.
- Year 1928 – Avenged the death of Lalaji by killing Saunders.
- Year 1931 – Took his life with his own bullet.
“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 was an Indian freedom fighter who is remembered for his fearless arms struggle against the Britishers. Popularly known as Azad, he was the chief strategist of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), which was famous for incidents like Kakori Conspiracy, Assembly bombing and killing of English police officers.
He was born as the Chandrashekhar Tiwari to the Pandit Sitaram Tiwari and Jagrani Devi Tiwari. He was born on July 23, 1906 in Bhavra village, Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh. As a kid, he learnt archery, wrestling, javelin throw and swimming from the tribal Bhils living in the Jhabua district. The skill of archery helped him greatly during his armed struggle against the British Imperialism.
Her mother wanted him to be a Sanskrit scholar and sent him to Kashi Vidyapeeth, Benaras for studies. He joined the Non-Cooperation Movement initiated by the Gandhiji as a student at the age of 15. His participation in the movement got him some jail time and 15 whiplashes. When he was produced before the judge, he said my name is Azad (The Free), the father’s name is Swatantrata (Independence) and my residence is Jail. Since then he has become famous with the name Azad.
The Jallianwallah Bagh Massacre of 1919 shook the country’s foundation and revealed the true colors of British Imperialism. In the wake of the event, Gandhiji launched the Non-Cooperation movement in 1920. Many revolutionaries like Azad joined the movement from every corner of the country. But the Chauri Chaura incident of February 25 made Gandhiji call off the movement. The suspension of the movement enraged many freedom fighters throughout the country including Azad.
After the movement Azad met Ramprasad Bismil and joined his organization Hindustan Republican Association (HRA). He began participating in the HRA’s activity and started collecting funds for the organization through robbing the government. He was involved in the Kakori Kand of 1925 and in the conspiracy to blow the train of the Viceroy of India in 1926. After the Kakori Conspiracy, the HRA got disbanded and the top leaders were either hanged or arrested by the police.
In 1928, Chandra Shekhar Azad reconstructed HRA as the HSRA with the help of other revolutionaries like Sheo Verma, Mahaveer Singh and Bhagat Singh. The newly formed organization worked on the same principles as their predecessor. On October 30, 1928, Lala Lajpat Rai was leading a peaceful procession in Lahore to protest against the Simon Commission established by the British government. Superintendent of Police, James A Scott ordered a lathi charge on the protesters. Lalaji got heavily injured in the charge and succumbed to his wounds on November 17, 1928.
Azad and Bhagat Singh vowed retribution for the killing of Lalaji. They planned to kill Scott but mistakenly killed John Poyantz Saunders in Lahore on December 17, 1928. Azad and HRSA caught the eye of British government. They announced a bounty of 30,000 on his head. On February 27, 1931 someone tipped the police about Azad’s whereabouts when he was meeting with his friends at the Alfred Park in Allahabad. Police surrounded the park inciting a gunfight between them.
He managed to kill three policemen while getting fatally wounded in the process. Anticipating his fate, he killed himself with his last bullet fulfilling his resolve to stay Azad forever.