Chandra Shekhar Azad is one of the most prominent freedom fighters in the history of Indian Independence Movement. He worked with noted revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Ramprasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan and others as an armed struggle for independence was at the peak during 1920s and 1930s. After evading British forces for years, he was surrounded in a park in Allahabad and firing ensued. Injured, he decided to take his own life before allowing himself to being captured by the imperial police.
He died bravily on February 27, 1931.
Here is brief biography of Azad:
Azad was born to Pandit Sitaram Tiwari and Jagran Devi in the Bhavra village in Madhya Pradesh. Azad's mother wanted him to be a Sanskrit scholar and hence convinced his father to send him to Kashi Vidyapeeth for education.
Azad joined the non-cooperation movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi when he was just 15 years old. He reorganized the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) after the death of its founder Ramprasad Bismil.
Azad played a pivotal role in Kakori Rail Dacoity in 1925, the train carried cash that belonged to the British treasury. He was also involved in the killing of assistant superintendent of police John Poyantz Saunders in 1928.
He adopted his last name ‘Azad’ which means ‘free’ in Urdu. On being produced in court, he mentioned his name as ‘Azad’, father’s name as ‘Swatantrata’ meaning independence and residence as ‘Jail’. He also declared that the police would never capture him alive.
The courageous freedom fighter mastered the art of archery from the tribal Bhils of Jhabua district which helped him a lot in his struggle. He was fondly called as ‘Quicksilver’ by his mentor Ram Prasad Bismil for his alertness and restless attitude.
On February 27, 1931, Azad killed three policemen and injured several others in Alfred Park while defending himself and Sukhdev Raj. Sukhdev Raj was able to escape but Azad was not. Holding true to his pledge of never getting caught alive, he shot himself with his last bullet.
The park has been renamed as Chandrashekhar Azad Park. Apart from that, several schools, colleges and public institutions are named after him. Azad played a pivotal role in India's struggle for Independence and his heroics will continue to inspire generations.
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