Biography of Chandrashekhar Azad

by Feb 10, 2020


We know Chandrashekhar Azad as one of the violent revolutionaries of the Indian independence war. He was the chief commander of the “Hindustan Socialist Republic Association.” Above all, persons in Association were working against oppressive British rule. He didn’t tolerate the injustice done by Britishers on Indian people.

Most importantly, Chandrashekhar was a contemporary of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev. He was always proud of his accomplishments. Chandrashekhar Azad thought that to wake up the British Government, we would have to create challenging problems. Therefore, he created so many crises and issues for the British Government.

Birth of Chandrashekhar

Firstly, Chandrashekhar Azad was born on July 23, 1906, to the families of Sita Ram Tiwari and Jagrani Devi. In addition, he was born in the village of Bhavra (Bhabhra) in the Jhabua district (in the present-day Alirajpur district).

Moreover, Chandrashekhar Azad was born into a Pandit family. Therefore, his mother wanted her son to become proficient in Sanskrit.

Childhood of Chandrashekhar

He grew up with a community of the Bhil people in his village. Therefore, he learned the art of the Bhil Society. He became an expert in swimming with wrestling, archery, spear throwing, shooting.

He had been a devotee of Lord Hanuman since childhood. Naturally, he developed an excellent physique that would suit devotees of Lord Hanuman. On the other hand, he did his primary education at Bhabhra.

Education of Azad

As a student, he was average in the academic field. However, he decided to pursue further education in Sanskrit to fulfill his mother’s wishes. Therefore, he came to Varanasi for higher education in Sanskrit. Subsequently, he came in contact with many nationalists and revolutionaries.

In addition, we knew Chandrashekhar as “Azad” meaning “The Free Man.” Secondly, he was a brave hero from his early childhood age. He did not like living and sitting at home. So, he preferred to wander here and there and also liked to stay outdoors.

The thought of doing something for the country reflected in his thinking. In addition, he was an expert at disguise. Therefore, the British Government had to capture him. The task seems like climbing Mount Everest. His one of famous slogan is,

We will face the enemy’s bullets. We are free and will remain free forever.

Jallianwala Bagh massacre

They killed thousands of innocent people in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919. The British regime has witnessed brutal violence by tearing down fundamental human rights in the Constitution.

Most importantly, English officer Stock ordered the firing on a peaceful and unarmed mob. Despite this inhumane action, the British Government ignored the incident.

The British Government did not take any action against the concerned English officer. In short, the government remained silent about this incident. Therefore, the Indians started hating British rule even more.

In conclusion, because of Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the nationalist movement engulfed the entire India. “To free our beloved motherland from the enslavement of the British.”

All the revolutionaries had dedicated their lives to this one goal. They prepared to sacrifice their lives in this Yajna of Self-government. Chandrashekhar Azad was also working with a group of such revolutionaries.

Stature of Chandrashekhar Azad
Image Credits: Amit bugg, Source: Wikipedia

This journey from Chandrashekar Tiwari to Chandrashekhar Azad

This journey was just the beginning of Chandrashekhar Tiwari’s revolutionary work. Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement inspired the spirit of nationalism in the year 1920-21. In protest of the one campaign, a young man was arrested. British officials asked him his name, father’s name, and place of residence.

The young man replied, name “Azad,” father’s name “freedom,” and residence “custody.” This 16-year-old man was “Chandrashekhar Tiwari.” English authorities punished him up to 15 times, beat him with a whip. Later, this young man was known as Chandrashekhar Azad.

Hindustan Republican Association

On February 5, 1912, Gandhi suspended the Non-cooperation Movement. The decision shocked young revolutionary organizations. Azad suffered from anxiety as to how to fight further. Chandrashekhar Azad always felt that an aggressive approach for freedom of motherland was appropriate.

Ram Prasad Bismil was the president of the Hindustan Social Republican Association. Azad met Ram Prasad Bismil through Pranavesh Chatterjee.

He began his work with admission to the HRA. He focused his entire focus on raising funds for the HRA organization.

He made the bold decision to raise funds by looting the government treasury. This plan was executed, and the revolutionaries robbed the vault according to their plan.

Location of Kakori

The HRA organization needed funding to carry out various revolutionary tasks. For this, Ram Prasad Bismil gave the idea of robbing a railway carrying government treasury.

Chandrashekhar Azad devised a plan for this idea. Selected revolutionaries targeted train No. 8 that was going from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow. Some revolutionaries entered the train carrying money to the government treasury. The revolutionaries pulled a chain, and the train stopped at Kakori.

They looted eight thousand Indian rupees from the guard cabin of the train. But unfortunately, one passenger was killed in a skirmish between armed guards and revolutionaries. The British Government declared this a homicide and launched a campaign to capture all the revolutionaries.

Chandrashekhar Azad then launched his next expedition from Jhansi without coming to the notice of the British.

Lahore Conspiracy

Chandrashekhar Azad then traveled to Kanpur. At that time, Kanpur was the headquarters of the HRA. In Kanpur, he met influential young men like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru. They became a good friend of Chandrashekhar Azad. It gave them a new zeal. With all of them, he restored the Hindustan Republican Association. Azad called the organization as the “Hindustan Socialist Republican Association.”

Death of Lala Lajpat Rai

On October 30, 1928, Lala Lajpat Rai protested peacefully. Still, police officer James Stock ordered to beat with the cane. British police seriously injured Lalaji in this unjust act. Finally, on November 19, 1928, Lalaji died tragically.

Killing of John P. Sanders:

Chandrashekhar Azad, along with his accomplices, decided to seek revenge from the police officers, James Stock, responsible for the death of Lalaji. For this, they plotted the planned conspiracy against James Stock.

On December 17, 1928, the revolutionaries implemented as per their plan. But because of the lack of proper identification, they targeted the wrong person. That’s why Assistant Superintendent of Police John P. Sanders gets killed.

Acknowledgment of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association

On the next day, the HSRA accepted responsibility for the incident. They arranged posters throughout Lahore city for acknowledgment. This event included all individuals at the top of the British Most Wanted list.

The arrest to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru and 21 members of HSRA

Bhagat Singh was protested in the Delhi assembly. As a result, he arrested on April 8, 1929. After the bankruptcy of the HSRA bomb factory in Lahore and Saharanpur, a selected number of members got approval for the state.

After that, Brirish government arrested Rajguru and Sukhdev along with 21 others. The Lahore conspiracy involved 28 revolutionaries, including Chandrashekhar Azad.

Capture of Chandrashekhar Azad

The police squad was ready and working hard to apprehend Chandrashekhar Azad and his accomplices. However, the English police often failed to catch them.

So, to capture Chandrashekhar Azad, the British Government has finally announced a reward of Rs. 30,000. Someone with the desire for money tells the Azad’s location to the British police team. So, the police squad finally found out about whereabouts of Chandrashekhar Azad.

Chandrashekhar Azad visited Alfred Park to meet his friends in Allahabad on February 27, 1931. Someone reported this news to the British police. Therefore, the police surrounded the park and asked Azad to surrender.

Death of Chandrashekhar Azad

He bravely fought with the British police to get their friends out. His shooting was exact, so he killed three police officers in the firing. But, policemen seriously injured him when he left the park. In the long run, a skirmish with the limited ammunition of Chandrashekhar Azad had ended.

Besides, there was no other way to escape out. Since the situation was ultimately the opposite, he decided to finish himself with the last bullet. He finally shoots himself in his head. Thus, Chandrashekhar Azad died bravely.

Love of Chandrashekhar Azad for Motherland

Chandrashekhar Azad had promised not to surrender to British Police until the last breath. Until the end, his will to liberate the motherland has destroyed the foundation of the British monarchy. Azad devoted his whole life to the freedom of motherland. His work was undoubtedly inspirational to his contemporaries and the future generations.

He had become a significant problem for British. He desired to break the repression of British imperialism. Chandrashekhar Azad created this ambition in the hearts of every countryman.

Two-way fight to oppressive British Rule

The non-violent way of Mahatma Gandhi and the revolutionary idea of Chandrashekhar Azad, both paths fueled patriotism among the hearts of compatriots. Today, we remember Azad as one of the brave and unique revolutionaries among the Indian revolutionaries.

Dream of Chandrashekhar Azad

He dreamed of an independent India-based on socialist ideals. He had committed himself to making that dream come true. Azad understood the true meaning of Swarajya, nurtured by Shiv Chhatrapati. His invaluable contribution did not lead to immediate independence. However, by his sacrifice, the Indian revolutionaries were on fire to resist the British.

Azad Still Alive in Every Indian citizen

After the independence of India, we renamed Alfred Park as “Chandrashekhar Azad Park” as a salute to the incredible courage and sacrifice of Azad.

Indian Patriotic Films on Chandrashekhar Azad

In Indian patriotic films, various film actors portrayed the character of Chandrashekhar Azad.

In the year 2002, the film “The Legend of Bharat Singh”, Akhilendra Mishra played the role of Chandrashekhar Azad.

Also, in the year 2006, in the Superhit film, “Rang De Basanti” starred Chandrashekhar Azad, Pandit Ramprasad Bismil, and Ashfaq Ullah. In this film, the famous Bollywood actor Amir Khan played the role of Chandrashekhar Azad.

Featured Image Credits: Wikimedia

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