Stars often fall, heroes go unsung and martyrs most certainly die too young: John Baez.
The significance of the date 23rd July lies in the fact that today in the year 1906 a valiant patriot and an immortal revolutionary by the name of CHANDRASHEKHAR AZAAD was born in Brahmin family of Pt. Sitaram Tiwari and Jagrani Devi in the Bhabara, Madhya Pradesh. When India was in the hands of and throes of slavery, with colonial cruelty crossing all human limits. Those times were different- people were less egocentric, cynicism was rare and every man breathed the same wish – INDEPENDENCE!!
Azaad is a matchless and rare personality of the revolutionary movement in India. Though born into a family in the grip of stark poverty and deprivation, he considered personal interests negligible and made freedom of the motherland the objective of his life.
As his name ‘AZAAD’ indicates freedom, Chandrashekhar Azaad remained Azaad till the last breath of his life fighting with the British policemen at Alfred Park on 27th February 1931. Azaad believed that it was essential to have an armed revolutionary movement that would eradicate the British supremacy from India.
Chandrashekhar Azaad was a brave heart 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. Azaad was a symbol of courage, fearlessness, patriotism who has inspired millions of Indians to shun their lethargicness and perform their duties with responsibility.
A FEARLESS REVOLUTIONARY
Azaad was just 15 when the British first apprehended him while supporting the non-cooperation movement in 1921. When the British asked him, his father’s name and residence, he answered proudly “Azaad”,”Swatantrata” and “Jail” respectively and thus was born an immortal, brave heart, a courageous revolutionary who’s contribution in Indian freedom struggle is unmatched and unparallel.
Azaad joined Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement but the violence by the British infuriated him to such an extent that he turned a revolutionary. Later he joined HINDUSTAN REPUBLICAN ASSOCIATION as a freedom fighter and later became its leader. He was involved in KAKORI train heist, Central Legislative Assembly bombing incidents, Delhi Conspiracy and the shooting of British police superintendent Saunders at Lahore to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai.
Azaad lived up to his self-pride in not surrendering and in not succumbing to the enemy’s bullets. His fearlessness is signified by the fact that he continued fighting an army of British soldiers for several hours before sacrificing his own life when there was no way out, thus setting a rare example of bravery, courage, and devotion to the motherland. He was truly a one-man army who sacrificed his life for the sake of the independence of the nation.
Chandrashekhar Azaad was a unique person in every way. Three important aspects of Azaad make him unique:
- His ability to evade capture and remain a free man till his last breath is perhaps the most important. The very name AZAAD or free cast an aura of post-independence Indian.
- His very name and his Mack of being one man army made him the darling of the country.
- His final solitary stand against the bunch of policemen at Alfred park represents the undaunted and free spirit of the man- an inspiration for the generations to come.
AN UNSUNG HERO
Chandrashekhar Azaad, the understated and at times, underrated revolutionary, who gave India’s freedom struggle its moments of triumph by dint of his doughty spirit, lived by his pledge of justice and equality. The man who breathed courage, bravery, and sacrifice inspiring the revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru still hold a beacon to the modern society, scourged by meretricious principles, on what it means to live and die with honor.
While Bhagat Singh hogs all the limelight, Chandrashekhar Azaad the lionhearted revolutionary is lost into oblivion. The unsung heroes like Chandrashekhar Azaad, Ram Prasad Bismil etc deserve as much respect as Gandhi and Bhagat Singh. Since Indian freedom struggle was possible only because of the revolutionaries like Azaad. Leaders like Gandhi and Bhagat Singh were at the forefront of the freedom struggle got their due but those who slogged behind the scenes were never recognized or given credits for successful transformation of our nation from the British rule to an independent nation.
On February 27, 1931 Azaad shot himself dead while bravely fighting with the bunch of policemen at the Alfred park in Allahabad and attained martyrdom so that we Indians could rejoice in freedom. He was unfortunately betrayed by some of his traitor colleagues.
He lived and died by his name and remained free ever after his first capture. He was truly the bravest patriot ever born in this country who sacrificed his life for the sake of freedom of the nation.
THE IMMORTAL REVOLUTIONARY
Azaad did not die. He lives on in our hearts. He will live forever. He can be seen alive and confident in Chandrashekhar Azaad Park twirling his mustachios, musing with satisfaction at the great distance India has traveled since his time. Azaad’s contribution to the evolution of India as a nation will continue to encourage freedom lovers all over the world.
The saga of this extraordinary leader will always be remembered and recited to the young generation for endless decades. The debt of gratitude we owe to him can never be repaid.