The nation paid tribute to revolutionary leader Chandrashekhar Azad on his 113th birth anniversary on Tuesday. Azad was the mentor to freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
Azad's father Pandit Sita Ram Tiwari was a poor Brahmin, who left his native Badkara village in Utttar Pradesh in search of livelihood. The revolutionary leader was born on 23 July, 1906 in Bharva, Madhya Pradesh that now falls in the Jhabua region.
He received his early schooling in Bhavra, and grew up with Bhil tribals. He honed his hunting skills, thanks to the Bhils, but his passion for bow and arrows didn't go down well with his orthodox father. At a tender age of 14, he made his way to the temple town of Varanasi, and enrolled in a Sankrit pathshala, to fulfil his mother's cherished dream. He led an austere life, and embraced celibacy till he attained martyrdom.
Azad was drawn to Mahatma Gandhi's non-violence movement in 1920 — after the massacre of the Jallianwala Bagh in 1919 — and was arrested when he was only 15-year-old for his pro-freedom activities against the oppressive British Raj. He got the sobriquet Azad for his stoic resilience in the court against a magistrate who was notorious for his brutality towards freedom fighters. Azad was sentenced to 15 lashes of flogging.
The suspension of the non-cooperation movement inspired Azad to take part in various radical activities. Soon, he emerged as the chief strategist of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, or HSRA. He was involved in the Kakori conspiracy (1926), when he tried to blow up Viceroy Lord Reading's train that was carrying cash, the assembly bomb incident, the Delhi conspiracy, the killing of assistant superintendent of police, Saunders, in Lahore (1928) and the Second Lahore conspiracy.
Azad, who had vowed that he would never be captured alive, was allegedly betrayed by a traitor associate. On February 27, 1931, acting on a tip-off, he was surrounded by police in Allahabad's Alfred Park. Though he single-handedly kept the posse of police at bay with a pistol and limited cartridges, he soon ran out of fire power. He fired at his own temple with the last bullet, and kept his resolve that he would never be arrested alive.
Alfred Park has been renamed after Azad.
Updated Date: Jul 23, 2019 14:46:35 IST