Chandrashekhar Azad was a revolutionary who vehemently believed in liberating India from the British Rule and fought fervently for the freedom. He was born in February 1931 in Madhya Pradesh. His surname was Tiwari and Azad was a self-proclaimed name, meaning liberated.
As per his mother’s dreams of his becoming a Sanskrit scholar, Azad went to the Sanskrit Vidyalaya in Varanasi. Even in his growing up years he was influenced by Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement. When he was arrested he is known to have told his name as ‘Azad’. From this point he came to be known as Chandrashekhar ‘Azad’.
He pledged that he would always be free and never be caught.
In early years Azad came in touch with Ram Prasad Bismil, the founder of Hindustan Republican Association. Bismil was impressed by Azad as he held his hand over a flame to prove his unflinching determination to liberate India. Azad later renamed this organisation to Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. He associated with the revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Rajguru.
While helping a friend in Alfred Park in Allahabad, he was surrounded by the police who were tipped of his presence by an informant. As he helped his colleague flee, he was unable to join him. He did not surrender but shot himself and thus remained ‘free’ as he had pledged.
Chandrashekhar Azad still remains a legend in India.