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By Alisha Upadhyay
Today marks the 114th birth anniversary of a name that is now synonymous to revolution, to rebellion, Chandra Shekar Azad. Many Freedom fighters fought to seal freedom for India. But Azad’s story has left a firm stamp in the minds of all.
Born in the family of Pandit Sitaram Tiwari and Jagrani Devi in Bhavra village, in present-day Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh, Azad’s family wished for him to become a Sanskrit scholar. But his destiny was to be written in history as an inspiration for all.
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Chandra Shekhar Azad’s call for freedom was immortalized by his slogan -“Dushman ki goliyon ka hum samna karenge, Azad hi rahein hain, azad hi rahenge” which means, “We will face the bullets of enemies. We were free and we will remain free.”
When Mahatma Gandhi launched the non-cooperation movement in December 1921, Azad took part in the movement and he was arrested by the British. Being produced before a judge, he gave his name as “Azad”, and his father’s name as “Swatantrata”.
He became even more devoted to freedom and thus more aggressive after the suspension of the non-cooperation movement. He later joined a revolutionary organization the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), formed by Ramprasad Bismil.
He is most famous for the Kakori Rail Dacoity in 1925 and the assassination of assistant superintendent of police John Poyantz Saunders in 1928.
He adopted the last name Azad, which means “free” in Urdu. Tales are told that while he adopted the name, he also made a vow that the police would never capture him alive.
Also Read: The Use of Language in Politics
On February 23, 1931, He was surrounded by the police making it difficult for him to escape. With one bullet in his pistol and outnumbered, he shot himself keeping his pledge of never being captured alive by the British.
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