Chandra Shekhar Azad, popularly known as 'Azad', was an Indian revolutionary who still continues to inspire and motivate generations of Indians. Azad was born on July 23, 1906 in Bhavra village in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh to Pandit Sitaram Tiwari and Jagarani Devi. The freedom fighter received his early education at Bhavra and was sent to the Sanskrit Pathshala at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh for higher studies.
Azad joined the Indian freedom struggle in 1921 and at a very young age, got involved in revolutionary activities. He joined the non-cooperation movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi. As per history, the legend was caught by the British police while indulging in revolutionary activities he was sentenced to 15 whiplashes as his first punishment at the age of 15. It was after this incident, that the Chandra Shekhar assumed the title of Azad and came to be known as Chandra Shekhar Azad. Chandra Shekhar Azad’s 87th Death Anniversary: Here How the Nation Paid Tribute to the Revolutionary Freedom Fighter.
Today, on his 113th birth anniversary, here are some interesting facts to know about the life of the great legend who never surrendered himself to British rule.
- The Indian Revolutionary became extremely popular because of the Kakori Rail Dacoity in 1925 and the assassination of policeman John Poyantz Saunders in 1928.
- The legend adopted the last name Azad as it meant ‘free’ in Urdu. He promised the British police that they would never catch him alive.
- Azad learned the art of archery from the tribal Bhils which was helpful during the arms struggle against Britishers.
- Despite being a student, Azad joined Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement in December 1921 and was only 15 years old when he was arrested.
- Bhagat Singh joined Azad following the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, after he was beaten by police officials. Azad trained Singh and others in covert activities.
- Azad died at Alfred Park in Allahabad, now Prayagraj, on 27 February 1931. The park has been renamed to Chandrashekhar Azad Park to honour the incredible sacrifice of this legend. Police had surrounded him in the park after Virbhadra Tiwari (their old companion who later turned traitor) informed them of his presence there.
- Azad was wounded in the process of defending himself and Sukhdev Raj and killed three policemen and wounded others. His actions made it possible for Sukhdev Raj to escape. After a long shootout, he succumbed to the injuries, his postmortem reports revealed. The Colt pistol of Chandra Shekhar Azad is displayed at the Prayagraj Museum.
A statue of Azad — muscular, bare-chested and twirling his moustache — has also been installed near the Park. Work of the legendary freedom fighter has been highlighted in several films in India. Starting from Manoj Kumar's 1965 film Shaheed, many films have featured the character of the legendary freedom fighter. Also, the 2018 television series Chandrashekhar chronicles the life of Chandra Shekhar Azad from his childhood to the legendary revolutionary leader.