“We will face the bullets of the enemy, we are free, we will remain free”– This slogan was given by revolutionary Chandra Shekhar Azad. At the young age of 25, that young man did such great things that his slogans continue to pass in the pages of history even today. Words fall short to write about the sacrifices he has made for the country. He had sacrificed everything in fighting the British. Chandra Shekhar was courageous and fearless since childhood. He never tolerated the tyranny of the British. Azad used to fight with the British with revolutionaries like Shaheed Ram Prasad Bismil, Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
Chandra Shekhar Azad was born on 23 July 1906 in Bhabra village. Bhabra village falls in the Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh. He was born in a Brahmin family. His father’s name was Pandit Sitaram Tiwari and his mother’s name was Jagrani Devi. His real name was Chandrashekhar Sitaram Tiwari. Being from a Brahmin family, Chandra Shekhar’s mother wanted to make him a scholar by teaching Sanskrit. Therefore, his family members sent him to Kashi Vidyapeeth in Banaras for the education of Sanskrit. Bhabra village was in the tribal area, so Chandra Shekhar learned to shoot bow and arrow with the Bhil boys there. That’s why his target was very accurate from childhood.
Banaras used to be a stronghold of revolutionaries when Chandra Shekhar went to Benares to study. At that time his mind shifted from studies to becoming a revolutionary. Gandhiji’s Non-corporation movement was behind his becoming a revolutionary. Gandhi started the non-cooperation movement after the Jalliyan Wala Bagh massacre in 1919. After that massacre, the flame of revenge was burning all over the country. Therefore, as soon as Gandhiji’s decree was issued, lakhs of people jumped into this movement, which was also Chandra Shekhar. He was arrested for participating in the movement. On asking his father’s name in front of the judge, he said “independence” and told his name as Azad. On this, the judge angrily sentenced him to 15 canes. In this way, Chandra Shekhar was arrested for the first time and was sentenced to beating with 15 canes. After this Chandra Shekhar became famous as Azad Chandra Shekar.
A Revolutionary Chandra Shekhar
After that incident, Chandra Shekhar became a complete revolutionary. He decided that he would breathe only after driving away from the British. He taught to target other people by staying in Jhansi. After the Chaura Chauri incident in 1922, Gandhiji withdrew the non-cooperation movement. Azad was very unhappy with this sudden decision. He and all the youth like him left the Congress. In 1924, Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, Shachindranath Sanyal Yogeshchandra Chatterjee formed a party, ‘Hindustan Republican Association‘ (HRA) with the revolutionaries of North India. Azad also joined this party. This team looted government establishments for money.
Rename of HRA
On 1 January 1925, the party distributed its well-known paper “The Revolutionary” throughout India in which armed revolution was discussed. Accordingly to the policies of this union, the Kakori incident was carried out on 9 August 1925. Firstly, the “Eight Down Saharanpur-Lucknow Passenger Train” left from Kakori Railway Station in Lucknow district was stopped by pulling the chain. After that, under the leadership of revolutionary Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, with the help of Ashfaq Ulla Khan, Pandit Chandrashekhar Azad and 6 other associates attacked the government officers. They looted the government treasury by killing the British officers.
After that incident, 4 revolutionaries were hanged and 16 were given rigorous imprisonment. Azad organized a meeting on 8 September 1928 at Feroz Shah Kotla ground in Delhi, in which Bhagat Singh was made the chief. After that, deliberation of everyone there, the name of “Hindustan Republican Association” was changed to “Hindustan Socialist Republican Association”, declaring socialism as one of the main objectives of the party. Chandrashekhar Azad became the Chief of the Army Staff (Commander-in-Chief).
In 1928, Lala Lajpat Rai, the leader of the Garam Dal, took part in a demonstration against the Simon Commission. There the British lathi-charged on him very badly. Lala Lajpat Rai died after being injured by the Britishers. However, his death was avenged by Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, and Rajguru. In addition, they surrounded the office of the Superintendent of Police in Lahore on the evening of December 17, 1928. As soon as J. P. Saunders came out, Rajguru shot him on the forehead. Bhagat Singh and Azad also killed him and his bodyguard. After that, they were appreciated all over India for this incident.
Delhi Assembly Bomb Incident
On April 8, 1929, a bomb was detonated in the Central Assembly of Delhi. This bomb blast was done jointly by Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt under the leadership of Chandra Shekhar Azad. This bomb blast was done in protest against the black laws made by the British government. The blast was successful but after that Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt got themselves arrested. Their aim was to make the court their propaganda platform. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were sentenced to death for being caught in the Saunders-Slaughter and Delhi Assembly Bomb Cases. Azad made a lot of effort to reduce the punishment of the three revolutionaries. Accordingly, he went to meet Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at Anand Bhawan on 20 February with this purpose. For this, he urged Pandit Nehru to insist on Gandhiji to Lord Irwin, to get the execution of these three converted to life imprisonment.
Death Of Azad Chandra Shekhar
On 27 February 1931, Azad went to meet a friend Sukhdev Raj at Alfred Park. The police got the information about this. Azad and Sukhdev were talking then suddenly CID’s SSP Babur came there. After that, the police also came in large numbers from Colonelganj police station. After this, there was a fierce battle from both sides. Azad did not come after preparing for this battle, so he had very few bullets. When the last bullet was left, he did not consider it appropriate to go before the police. He remembered the vow he made for Mother India that he would never come in the hands of the police. Thinking this, he shot himself. In this way, a precious son of India sacrificed his life for the country. People still remember this sacrifice of his.
After the independence of the country, the name of Alfred Park was changed to Chandra Shekhar Azad Park. In addition, the village of Madhya Pradesh where he was living was named Azadpura.