Chandra Shekhar Azad 113th Birth Anniversary: 7 Interesting Facts about the Freedom Fighter

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Popularly known as Azad, Chandra Shekhar Azar was an Indian revolutionary who reorganised the Hindustan Republican Association under its new name of Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA) after the death of its founder, Ram Prasad Bismil, and three other prominent party leaders, Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqulla Khan.

One of the most well-known freedom fighters in India, he was born as Chandrashekhar Tiwari on 23 July 1906 in Bhabhra village (town) , to Jagrani Devi Tiwari, the third wife of Sitaram Tiwari. While his mother wanted him to be a great Sanskrit scholar, in 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.

It is believed that on being presented before a magistrate, he gave his name as "Azad" (The Free), his father's name as "Swatantrata" (Independence) and his residence as "Jail". From that day he came to be known as Chandra Shekhar Azad among the people.

On his birth anniversary, the Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu tweeted, "My tributes to revolutionary freedom fighter, Chandra Shekhar Azad on his death anniversary. His patriotism & courage inspired others of his generation to join India's struggle for Independence. #ChandrashekharAzad."

As India remembers one of its greatest revolutionaries on his 113th birth anniversary, here's taking a look at a a few interesting facts about him:

He adopted the last name Azad as it meant ‘free’ in Urdu. He promised the British police that they would never catch him alive.

The Jallianwala Bagh tragedy which took place in 1919 was when he decided to join the Non-Cooperation movement led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920.

He was the chief strategist of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).

Bhagat Singh joined Azad following the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, after he was beaten by police officials. Azad trained Singh and others in covert activities.

He became very popular after the Kakori Train robbery in 1925 and the killing of the assistant superintendent Saunders in 1928.

Azad was wounded in the process of defending himself and Sukhdev Raj and killed three policemen and wounded others. His actions made it possible for Sukhdev Raj to escape.

He was martyred at Alfred Park, which was renamed as Chandra Shekhar Azad Park.