"If yet your blood doesn't rage, it is the water that runs in your veins" is a famous quote by Chandra Shekhar Azad (Chandrashekhar Azad). A revolutionary leader and freedom fighter, he was born on 23 July 1906 in Bhabhra, a small village in Madhya Pradesh. This brave freedom fighter was deeply moved by the Jalliawala Bagh Massacre (1919) and at the age of 15, he participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920 after being inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.
Azad was barely 24 years old when he laid down his life for this country (India) on 27 February 1931. On his death anniversary, let's go through some facts about him.
1. Chandrashekhar Azad was born as Chandrashekhar Tiwari to mother Jagrani Devi and father Sitaram Tiwari.
2. In 1921, he was sent to Banaras Hindu University to pursue his higher studies and gain deep knowledge in Sanskrit. However, he joined the Non-Cooperation movement in 1921.
3. Sooner Chandrashekhar Azad was arrested and was brought before the Magistrate. When the Magistrate asked Chandrashekhar about his background, Chandrashekhar introduced himself as 'Azad' which means free, 'Swatantrata' meaning independence as his father and 'jail' as his home. Since that very day, he came to be known as Chandrashekhar Azad.
4. Later Chandrashekhar Azad was introduced to Ram Prasad Bismil, another freedom fighter and the founder of the Hindustan Republican Association. Chandrashekhar Azad joined this association and took the responsibility of raising funds for the same.
5. Chandrashekhar Azad was a part of the Kakori Train Robbery that took place in 1925. The robbery was planned and was mainly executed by Ashfaqullah Khan, Rajendra Lahiri and Ram Prasad Bismil to rob the then government's property which allegedly belonged to India. The intention behind robbing the property was to avoid it from being transferred to the British Government and purchase weapons that could be used in the revolutionary activities.
6. It was in 1927, after the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, a freedom fighter, Chandrashekhar Azad shot J.P Saunders, a British police officer, in order to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.
7. After the Kakori Train Robbery incident, the British government officials arrested some of the freedom fighters such as Roshan Singh, Ashfaqullah Khan, Rajendra Lahiri, etc and sentenced them to death. However, Chandrashekhar Azad escaped the capture and reorganised the HRA along with Bhagat Singh and other revolutionary leaders.
8. He wanted to train the member of his revolutionary group. Therefore, he chose Orchha, a place 15 km away from Jhansi, to train his men in shooting and other warfare skills.
9. While living in Jhansi, Azad adopted the alias name, Pandit Harishankar Brahmachari. During this time, he taught local children, trained his men secretly and also learned driving.
10. He had made a vow that he will never be caught alive by the police officers during the British Raj. Therefore, while battling in the Alfred Park in Prayagraj (also known as Allahabad), finding no way to escape from the police, Chandrashekhar Azad shot himself with the last bullet in his gun.
11. The park where he died, was later renamed as Chandrashekhar Azad Park as a tribute to the brave freedom fighter. Today there are many streets and public places under his name.
In Chandrashekhar Azad's words, "We will face the bullets of enemies. We were free and we will remain free."