Chandra Shekhar Azad Essay in 500 Words
“If yet your blood does not rage, then it is water that flows in your vein” ~ Chandra Shekhar Azad.
Throughout history, freedom fighters have fought relentlessly for the sake of their country’s freedom. They have toiled their sweat and blood to make their nation invincible. Every country has had its array of patriots who have sacrificed their lives at some point. India is no exception to that.
Out of all the heroic fighters of our country, some have created a revolution. We remember them for their bravery. One of the classic revolutionists who had a thirst for India’s freedom was Chandra Shekhar Azad. Today we are going to discuss some of his valiant deeds that made a mark in Indian history.
Early Life of Chandra Shekhar Azad
Chandra Shekhar Azad’s original name is Chandra Shekhar Tiwari. He was born to Pandit Sita Ram Tiwari and Jagrani Devi on July 23, 1906. His childhood days were spent in Bhavra village (of Jhabua district) in Madhya Pradesh. While his father was working in Alirajpur, his mother looked over all the requirements at their home.
Chandra Shekhar grew up with the children of the Bhil tribe (who resided in that area). He indulged in sports activities like wrestling, archery, swimming, etc. Being an extraordinary javelin thrower, he naturally became athletic and physically fit.
Azad’s mother wanted him to become a great Sanskrit scholar. For this very reason, he was sent to the Kashi Vidyapeeth (a Sanskrit Pathshala) in Varanasi.
And this place introduced Azad to the Indian Nationalist Movement. He became aware of the turmoil of his country. This drove him towards the struggle of attaining freedom.
Transformation of Chandra Shekhar: From Tiwari to Azad
The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place in Amritsar in 1919. This event showcased how the British officials blatantly ignored basic human rights. They used violence over a group of innocent and unarmed civilians.
Deeply troubled by this incident, Chandra Shekhar joined the revolutionary movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi declared the Non-cooperation movement during 1920-21. This triggered the first wave of nationalism. Chandra Shekhar was one of the teens who had actively contributed his role in these protests.
When 16 years old Chandra Shekhar was arrested in one of these events, the magistrate asked him his name. He introduced himself as Azad, the son of a free India. He added his father’s name was Swatantra (independence) and his home was the prison cell.
The furious magistrate sentenced him to receive fifteen whiplashes as a punishment for his outrageous behaviour. Chandra Shekhar faced punishment with absolute indifference. This is how he came to be known as the much revered Chandra Shekhar Azad.
Azad’s history of revolutionary activities
1. Azad and HRA:
The Non-cooperation movement was suspended in 1922. This came as a huge blow to the budding nationalist sentiments. At first, Azad was quite disheartened at Gandhi’s withdrawal. Over a while, he adopted more aggressive ideas to fulfil his desired revolutionary outcome.
With the help of Pranavesh Chatterji, Azad met Ram Prasad Bismil. Bismil was the founder of the HRA (Hindustan Republican Association). After joining the HRA, Azad devoted himself towards gathering funds for the HRA activities. He even attempted to rob the government’s treasure to raise funds for his association.
2. The Kakori Conspiracy:
To meet the expenses of the HRA activities, a group of young activists started looting government properties. Kakori conspiracy (1925) was one of the major incidents that involved Azad. Bismil wanted to acquire funds for the weaponry involved in HRA. So he envisioned the idea of looting a government train full of the treasury.
Security loopholes in the train allowed him to devise a fitting plan. The train which was travelling from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow was intercepted at Kakori.
The group invaded the guard cabin and took 8000 rupees. Consequently, a gunfight followed between the revolutionaries and the armed guards. One of the major implications of this event was the death of a passenger.
This was declared as murder, and the government initiated an intensified manhunt. Several activists, including Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan, were arrested. However, Azad managed to escape.
3. HSRA and Lahore Conspiracy:
When Azad reached the headquarters of HRA (Kanpur), he met other revolutionists. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were the most noteworthy acquaintances of Azad. With a rekindled enthusiasm towards the freedom of India, Azad transformed HRA.
He renamed it as HSRA (Hindustan Socialist Republican Association) in 1928. On October 30 of the very same year, Lala Lajpat Rai led a peaceful protest (against Simon Commission) at Lahore.
James Scott, the Police Superintendent, ordered Lathi charge to counter these protests. Lalaji was critically injured at this event. He died on November 17, 1928. To take revenge for Lalaji’s death, Azad and his group plotted an assassination of the responsible police superintendent.
Their plan was executed on December 17th. However, they ended up killing John P. Saunders, an assistant superintendent, by mistake. HSRA came upfront and took responsibility for the event. Bhagat Singh was arrested in Delhi on April 8, 1929.
Eventually, the bomb factories in Lahore and Saharanpur were raided. This led to the imprisonment of Rajguru, Sukhdev, and other members of HSRA as well.
Azad, along with the other activists, was charged for the Lahore conspiracy. Despite intense search operations launched by the British, he managed to elude. It was Azad’s agility and ability to disguise that gave him the nickname of “Quick Silver”.
Azad’s valiant death
Azad proved to be a terror for the British Raj. These officials wanted to capture him by all means: dead or alive. They even announced a reward of a huge amount of money on his head.
Owing to this announcement, Azad’s whereabouts were leaked by an informer. On February 27, 1931, Azad was going to meet his friends at Allahabad’s Alfred Park. Police were already present in the park and ordered Azad to surrender voluntarily. For arranging safe passage for his friends, Azad fought bravely against the officials.
He was able to kill three policemen but at the expense of being severely injured. Finding no means of escape, he utilized the last bullet to shoot himself in the head. The day he had changed his name to Azad, he has vouched for freedom. He kept his pledge by not being captured alive by the British.
The legacy of Chandra Shekhar Azad remains forever. He is a true hero who served his nation and sacrificed himself in the process. Alfred Park is now known as Chandra Shekhar Azad Park. Several other public institutions have been named after him.
Azad dreamt of a free and new India. The best way to commemorate his legacy is to adopt his unconditional love and devotion towards our country. Throughout his life and even after that, he continues to inspire us with his fierce nationalism.