Wed, 01 Jul 2020
Chandra Shekhar Azad (23rd July, 1906 – 27th February, 1931)
Azad was born as Chandrashekhar Tiwari on 23 July, 1906, in the presentday Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh. In December 1921, when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement, Chandra Shekhar, then a 15-year-old student, joined. As a result, he was arrested. On being presented before a magistrate, he gave his name as “Azad” (The Free). From that day he came to be known as Chandra Shekhar Azad among the people.
He became an active member of the HSRA and started to collect funds for HRA. Most of the fund collection was through robberies of government property. Being an expert marksman, he trained other members of his group in the art of shooting. He was involved in the Kakori Train Robbery of 1925, in the attempt to blow up the Viceroy of India’s train in 1926, and at last, the shooting of J. P. Saunders at Lahore in 1928 to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai. The insight of his revolutionary activities are described by Manmath Nath Gupta, a fellow member of HSRA in his numerous writings.
Azad died at Azad Park in Allahabad on 27 February, 1931. The police surrounded him in the park after Virbhadra Tiwari (their old companion who later turned traitor) informed them of his presence there. It is said that he used to keep a bullet to kill himself in the event of being caught by the British. The Colt pistol of Chandra Shekhar Azad is displayed at the Allahabad Museum.