As his name ‘azad’ indicates freedom, Chandrashekhar Azad remained azad till the last breath of his life fighting with the British policemen at Alfred Park on 27th February 1931. Chandrashekhar azadji believed that it is essential to have an armed revolutionary movement that will eradicate the British supremacy from India.
Born on 23 July 1906 in Madhya Pradesh, he was the cute, blessed child of his parents Pandit Sitaram Tiwari and Jagrani Devi. Chandrashekhar’s childhood grew up watching the protest marches, inhuman lathi charges made on veteran freedom leaders by Cruel British officials. How could a true Indian tolerate this? Azadji plunged to join the freedom movement with millions of Indians to drive the British Empire who came as traders and enslaved our motherland. In 1921, when the non-cooperation movement was launched, Chandrashekhar actively participated in this protest against the tyrannical Britishers. This incident became the turning point in the life of Chandrashekhar where he was arrested and was punished with 15 lashes. He faced each stroke of the whip remembering motherland and took the oath to remain ‘azad’ forever till his death.
After the withdrawal of non co-operation movement, revolutionary parties were formed by youths with a determination to break the shackles of slavery. Later azad became the member of Hindustan Socialist republic association and continued his action by participating in Kakori Conspiracy and assassination of a cruel police officer Saunders with help of Bhagat singh to avenge the killing of respected leader, lala lajpatrai. Azadji was a role model and an inspiration for Bhagat singh, Raj guru, sukhdev and Jatin das.
Bhagat singh and Batukeshwar Dutt were arrested for hurling bomb in legislative assembly to protest against trade dispute bill and public safety bill. Bhagat singh’s arrest made azadji very upset as he had lost a great fighter in the struggle of freedom. All the attempts to release Bhagat singh turned futile and in this process bhagvati charan vora died in the tragic accident in which bomb exploded in his hand while testing it on the river of Ravi. One by one, Chandrashekhar azad was losing all his followers and this became a testing time which left him isolated in the journey of revolution.
During the year 1931, azad was staying in the Jhansi area of Allahabad. It has been recorded in the historical events that most of the great patriotic personalities lost their lives because of treachery and betrayal. Veerbhadra Tiwari, one of the associates of azad betrayed him by informing all the whereabouts of azad to British police for the greed of money. On 27th February 1931, azad was discussing with one of his colleague, sukhdevraj in Alfred Park, Allahabad regarding further plans. Suddenly, whole Park was surrounded by 80 policemen to capture azad. In the skirmish shootout, azad was fatally wounded in thigh which made his escape difficult. Azad ordered sukhdev raj to escape and preferred to stay fighting alone. Though he was mortally wounded, he fought like a lion shooting many officers from the bullets of his mouser pistol. This encounter continued for 30 minutes and he was left just with one bullet. Azad realized that his arrest was evident but he kept his promise to stay azad even at the last hour of his life. He placed the pistol and fired the last bullet in his head. When Bhagat singh got the news of azadji’s sacrifice, tears flowed down from his eyes as he had lost a great brotherly figure, an inspiration which motivated him to leap in the arena of freedom struggle. Chandrashekhar azad was a braveheart whose revolutionary actions filled terror in minds of British Empire and his efforts were finally paid with the independence of India on 15th August 1947.
Several film makers, stage companies and writers paid tribute to this brarveheart by making movies, stage plays and books retelling the great sacrifice of a Indian partiot whose efforts went unnoticed in the pages of history. Movies like Rang De Basanti, Shaheed, Legend of Bhagat Singh projected the thrilling revolutionary saga of chandrashekhar azad on silver screen. Alfred park, where azadji laid his life while fighting the britishers was been later known as ‘Azad Park’ and a statue of chandrashekhar azadji is been placed in his memory. Chandrashkehar azadji was a symbol of courage, fearlessness, partiotism who has inspired millions of Indians to shun their lethargyness and peform their duties with responsibility.
Statue of Chandrashekhar Azad at Azad Park, Allahabad
The saga of this extraordinary leader will always be remembered and recited to the young generation for endless decades.