‘Dushman ki goliyon ka hum saamna karenge. Azad hi rahein hain, azad hi rahenge.’ —Indeed! a man who will remain ‘Azad’ forever.
This Hindi couplet is the only poetic composition of the legendary Chandra Shekhar Azad which he used to fondly recite during the freedom struggle in India.
Today, July 23 marks the 115th birthday of the iconic Indian revolutionary freedom fighter of India, Chandra Shekhar Azad.
Azad was killed on February 27 in 1931 in Alfred Park, Allahabad after an associate betrayed him during the fight for freedom of India.
The legendary hero, Chandra Shekhar Azad had single handed fought the British Police who were well armed with a few cartridges in his small pistol for quite some time but shot himself in the head to death when he was left with only one bullet.
The great hero killed himself only so that he would not have to get arrested by the British Police who would later hang him.
We all remember Azad for his sacrifice for the freedom of India. He has inspired generations of Indians by his massive contribution to the freedom struggle of India and many other social causes.
Chandra Shekhar Azad was born as Chandra Shekhar Tiwari on July 23, 1906, in the family of Pandit Sitaram Tiwari and Jagrani Devi in Bhavra village, in present-day Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh.
Azad’s mother wanted him to be a Sanskrit scholar for which she convinced Azad’s father and sent him to Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi. When he was a scholar student there, Azad joined the freedom struggle in 1921.
Azad took part in the non-co-operation movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1921 and was arrested by the British. When hewas produced before a judge, he said that his name as “Azad”, and his father’s name as “Swatantrata”.
After the suspension of the non-co-operation movement by the British in 1922, Azad became more aggressive and joined the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), a revolutionary organisation formed by Ramprasad Bismil.
Azad is most famous for the Kakori Rail Dacoity in 1925 and the assassination of assistant superintendent of police John Poyantz Saunders in 1928 in India.
Azad, means “free” in Urdu, he as a revolutionary adopted his last name that meant to be free. Legends from the freedom struggle say that when Azad adopted this last name, he vowed that he would never be captured alive by the British Police in India.
After the merciless Jalianwallah Bagh Massacre of 1919 when British army killed hundreds of innocent and left thousands wounded including children and old aged people, Azad did not feel that violence was unacceptable during the freedom struggle. The tragedy of 1919, deeply disturbed him.
Police surrounded the 25 year old young Azad on February 23, 1931 and shot him on his right thigh, after which Azad could not escape. He decided to kill himself with just one bullet left in his pistol, thus keeping his vow of never being captured by British Police alive.