” A plane is always safe on the ground, but it is not made for that. Always take some meaningful risks in life to achieve great heights”

—- Chandrashekhar Azad

Chandrashekhar Azad’s name is synonymous with that of Bhagat Singh, Ramprasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan, who gave their all for the cause of the nation’s independence from British colonialism. Popularly known as Azad, Chandra Shekhar Azad was one of the most notable Indian revolutionaries who took part in India’s freedom struggle at a very young age. Azad was born on July 23, 1906, in Madhya Pradesh. His mother wanted him to study and become a great Sanskrit scholar.

He was just 15 years old when he joined the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1921, started by Mahatma Gandhi. The movement was at its peak and continued to gain momentum when he was arrested on December 21. Chandra Shekhar was arrested for joining the movement and produced before the magistrate and on being asked, he gave his name as ‘Azad’, father’s name as ‘Swatantra’ and residence as ‘jail'(prison). The title of Azad stuck thereafter, making him Chandra Shekhar Azad.

Azad’s involvement came to the fore during the Kakori train robbery in 1925. Under the leadership of Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan, the group robbed a train headed to Lucknow that carried money for the British treasury. The attack was two-fold- to fund the association and to prevent the Indian cash from going to the imperialist hands. After Ramprasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan were given the death sentence, Azad reorganised the HRA, becoming the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. Working closely with Bhagat Singh, they carried out activities to fight the British government, including shooting John P Saunders in Lahore to avenge Lala Lajpat Rai’s death.

Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his tribute to freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad on his birth anniversary. Calling him the “great son of Maa Bharati”, Modi said such “stalwarts epitomise courage and patriotism”. When remembering India’s brave freedom fighters, Chandra Shekhar Azad is remembered fondly. His undying love for the nation made him immortal in our country’s history.

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