Chandra Shekhar Azad

Written by Super User. Posted in Pre-Independence

Chandra Shekhar Azad (23 July 1906 - 27 February 1931), popularly known as Azad, was an Industrial revolutionary who reorganised the Hindustan Republican Association under the new name of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) after the death of its founder Ram Prasad Bismil, and three other prominent party leaders Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqulla Khan.

He is considered to be the mentor of Bhagat Singh and chief strategist of the HSRA.

Azad was born Chandra Shekhar Tiwari on 23 July 1906 in Bhavra village, in the present-day Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh. 

In December 1921, when Mohandas K. Gandhi launched the non-cooperation movement, Chandra Shekhar, then a 15 year old student, joined. As a result, he was arrested. On being produced before a magistrate, he gave his name as Azad, his father's name as Swatantrata and his residence as Jail. From that day he came to be known as Chandra Shekhar Azad among the people.

After suspension of the non-cooperation movement in 1922 by Gandhi, Azad became more aggressive. He committed himself to achieve complete independence by any means. Azad also believed that India's future lay in socialism.

Azad died as Alfred Park in Allahabad on 27 February when he was returning from Anand Bhawan and as some records have that he met Jawahar Lal Nehru and had verbal fight with him after which he left for Alfred Park to meet his other revolutionary friend Sukhdev Raj. The police surround him in the park citing information from an informer. He was wounded in the process of defending himself and Sukhdev Raj and killed three policemen and wounded some others. His actions made it possible for Sukhdev Raj to escape. After a long shootout, holding true to his pledge to never be captured alive, he shot himself dead with his last bullet.

The body was sent to Rasulabad Ghat for cremation without informing general publc. As it came to light, people surrounded the park where the incident had taken place. They chanted slogans againts the British rule and praised Azad.