- Name : Mr. Chandra Shekhar Azad
- Date of Birth : Jul 23, 1906
- Passed Away On : Feb 27, 1931
- Religion : Hindu
- Death Place : Bhavra
- Address : Bhavra, Alirajpur, Central India Agency, British India
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Chandrashekhar Azad born as Chandra Shekhar Tiwari was an Indian revolutionary who gave a new identity to the organization; Hindustan Republican Association and renamed it as Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) after the death of its founder, Ram Prasad Bismil, and others viz. Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqulla Khan.
Chandra Shekhar Azad was born as Chandra Shekhar Tiwari on July 23, 1906 in Bhavra village in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh. His father was Pandit Sita Ram Tiwari and mother was Jagrani Devi who was the third wife of Sitaram Tiwari.
His childhood was mostly spent amongst Bhils who inhabited the area. It was at this time that he learnt wrestling, swimming and archery. Chandra Shekhar Azad was an ardent follower of Lord Hanuman from a very young age.
He received his early schooling in Bhavra. His mother wanted him to become a scholar of Sanskrit language and hence she persuaded his father to send him to Kashi Vidyapeeth, situated in Banaras (Present day Varanasi) for higher studies.
In December of the year 1921, Mohandas K. Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement. Being a patriotic soul, Chandra Shekhar, who was then 15-year-old student, joined the movement. Consequently, he was arrested and was produced before a magistrate who named him as "Azad" (The Free), his father's name as "Swatantrata" (Independence) and his residence as "Jail". Since then, he is popularly known as Chandra Shekhar Azad among the people.
Life as a Revolutionary
Gandhi suspended non-cooperation movement in the year 1922 and due to this Azad became even more aggressive. It was during this time that he met Pranvesh Chatterji, who was a young revolutionary. Chatterji introduced him to Ram Prasad Bismil who had formed the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) that was a revolutionary organisation. To prove his endurance Azad put his hand over a lamp and did not remove it till his skin started burning. Bismil was impressed by Azad’s brave act and made him an active member of HRA. Azad used to collect funds for HRA and most of it was through robberies of the government property.
In another incident, Azad was involved in the Kakori Train Robbery of the year 1925.
Furthermore, he was in the attempt to blow up the Viceroy's train in the year 1926. Another of his revolutionary act was the shooting of J.P. Saunders at Lahore in the year 1928 to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai.
To support his endeavours, Motilal Nehru regularly gave money in support of Azad, despite being a member of Congress.
Activities in Jhansi
Jhansi was the main centre of his organisation's activities for a brief time. As per records he used the forest of Orchha that is situated 15 kilometres from Jhansi, as a site for practicing shooting.
Formation of HRSA
Azad along with Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, formed the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association or HRSA. The organization was committed to Indian independence, socialist principles and India’s progress in future.
Azad was a terror for British police and was on their hit list. The British police had an aim to capture him dead or alive. On February 27, 1931 Azad met two of his comrades at the Alfred Park Allah bad. It was during this meeting that he was betrayed by an informer who had informed the British police. Consequently, the British police force surrounded the park and ordered Chandrashekhar Azad to surrender but Chandrashekhar Azad on the contrary fought alone with utmost bravery and killed three policemen.
As he found himself surrounded by the police and saw no route for escape, he shot himself and kept his pledge of not being caught alive.
To Commemorate Him
• To commemorate the great freedom fighter, the Alfred Park in Allahabad, where Azad died, is rechristened as Chandrashekhar Azad Park.
• Several schools, colleges, roads and other public institutions across India are also named after him to pay tribute to the National Hero.
• There are a lot of movies dedicated in his honour. Some of them are:
Shaheed: Manoj Kumar's film in the year 1965,
23rd March 1931: Sunny Deol portrayed Azad
The Legend of Bhagat Singh: The movie starred Ajay Devgan and Azad’s character was portrayed by Akhilendra Mishra.
Rang De Basanti: The lives of Azad, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Bismil and Ashfaq were depicted in this movie that released in the year 2006 with Aamir Khan portraying Azad.
Mother : Jagrani Devi
Father: Pandit Sitaram Tiwari