7 secret about the brave founder of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA)

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Chandra Shekhar's mother wanted to make her son a great Sanskrit scholar and so she persuaded his father to send him to Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi to study Sanskrit.
Chandra Shekhar's mother wanted to make her son a great Sanskrit scholar and so she persuaded his father to send him to Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi to study Sanskrit.

Chandra Shekhar Azad (23 July 1906 – 27 February 1931), popularly known as Azad (“The Liberated”), was an Indian revolutionary who reorganised the Hindustan Republican Association under the new name of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) after the death of its founder, Ram Prasad Bismil, and three other prominent party leaders, Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqulla Khan. He is considered to be the mentor of Bhagat Singh and chief strategist of the HSRA.

  1. Chandra Shekhar’s mother wanted to make her son a great Sanskrit scholar and so she persuaded his father to send him to Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi to study Sanskrit.
  2. As a revolutionary, he adopted the last name Azad, which means “free” in Urdu. Legend has it that while he adopted the name, he vowed the police would never capture him alive.
  3. Azad was also a believer in socialism as the basis for future India, free of social and economic oppression and adversity.
  4. Azad did not feel that violence was unacceptable in the struggle, especially in view of the Jalliawallah Bagh Massacre of 1919, where Army units killed hundreds of unarmed civilians and wounded thousands. Young Azad was deeply and emotionally influenced by the tragedy.

  1. Bhagat Singh joined Azad following the death of Lala Lajpat Rai after he was beaten by police officials. Azad trained Singh and others in covert activities.
  2. On February 23, 1931, police surrounded Azad and he was hit on his right thigh making it difficult for him to escape. With one bullet in his pistol and surrounded by police, he found himself outnumbered. He shot himself keeping his pledge of never being captured alive.
  3. Alfred Park in Allahabad, where Azad died, has been renamed Chandrashekhar Azad Park. Several schools, colleges, roads and other public institutions across India are also named after him.

Why was he shoot himself? 

If your question refers to the incident leading to his death, then, to begin with, Chandra Shekhar Azad was not shot. He famously shot himself rather than surrender to the British. Azad was born in Bhavra village, in present-day Madhya Pradesh. He was arrested shortly after getting the first taste of independence movement at the age of 15 when he joined the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1921.

When produced in front of a magistrate, he said that his name was ‘Azad’ meaning free, thus adopting the widely renowned name. Azad was involved in a series of revolutionary acts, notably the Kakori Train Conspiracy, near Lucknow in 1925.

The .32 bore Colt pistol that Azad used in his final confrontation is currently housed in the Allahabad Museum. He also shot dead British officer JP Saunders in 1928, making himself most wanted by the British. Azad worked with other freedom fighters including Ashfaqullah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil and Bhagat Singh. He met his death at the Alfred Park in Allahabad in 1931. He had gone there to meet an accomplice when an informer alerted the British. In a daring face off with the police, he shot himself rather than surrender. He was only 24.

 

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