Date of Birth : Jul 23, 1906
Date of Death : Feb 27, 1931
Place of Birth : India
Chandrasekhar Azad was a great Indian freedom fighter and revolutionary thinker. Revered for his audacious deeds and fierce patriotism, he was the mentor of Bhagat Singh, the famous Indian martyr. Chandrasekhar Azad is considered one of the greatest Indian freedom fighter along with Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Ram Prasad Bismil, and Ashfaqulla Khan. Chandrasekhar Azad’s parents were Pandit Sita Ram Tiwari and Jagrani Devi. He received his early schooling in Bhavra District Jhabua (Madhya Pradesh). For higher studies he went to the Sanskrit Pathashala at Varanasi. Young Azad was one of the young generation of Indians when Mahatma Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement. But many were disillusioned with the suspension of the struggle in 1922 owing to the Chauri Chaura massacre of 22 policemen. Although Gandhi was appalled by the brutal violence, Azad did not feel that violence was unacceptable in the struggle, especially in view of the Amritsar Massacre of 1919, where Army units killed hundreds of unarmed civilians and wounded thousands in Amritsar. Young Azad and contemporaries like Bhagat Singh were deeply and emotionally influenced by that tragedy. As a revolutionary, he adopted the lastname ‘Azad’, which means “Free” in Urdu.There is an interesting story that while he adopted the name “Azad” he made a pledge that the Police will never capture him alive. Azad and others had committed themselves to absolute independence by any means. He was most famous for The Kakori Rail Dacoity in 1925 and the assassination of the assistant superintendent of Police John Poyantz Saunders in 1928.
Azad and his compatriots would target British officials known for their oppressive actions against ordinary people, or for beating and torturing arrested freedom fighters. Azad was also a believer in socialism as the basis for a future India, free of social and economic oppression and adversity. Bhagat Singh joined Azad following the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, an Indian leader who was beaten to death by police officials. Azad trained Singh and others in covert activities, and the latter grew close to him after witnessing his resolve, patriotism and courage. Along with fellow patriots like Rajguru and Sukhdev, Azad and Singh formed the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, committed to complete Indian independence and socialist principles of for India’s future progress. Betrayed by an informer on 27 February 1931 Azad was encircled by British troops in the Alfred park, Allahabad. He kept on fighting till the last bullet. Azad is a hero to many Indians today. Alfred Park was renamed Chandrasekhar Azad park, as have been scores of schools, colleges, roads and other public institutions across India.