A portrayal of a young man twirling moustache is very common in offices, schools and other institutional set ups. Having passed through several decades, the portrayal might have undergone concoctions and fabrications but one thing, that stays in every prototype of the photo is the fearlessness of the man under discussion. Yes, the moustache twirler is non-other than Chandrashekhar Azad.
Today, the nation observes the 113th Birth Anniversary of Chandrashekhar Azad. Remebering the freedom-fighter, PM Modi tweeted-
भारत माता के वीर सपूत चंद्रशेखर आजाद को उनकी जयंती पर मेरी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि। वे एक निर्भीक और दृढ़ निश्चयी क्रांतिकारी थे, जिन्होंने देश की आजादी के लिए अपने जीवन की आहुति दे दी। उनकी वीरता की गाथा देशवासियों के लिए प्रेरणा का एक स्रोत है। pic.twitter.com/nuHIfqi62J— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 23, 2019
Born on July 23, 1906 as Chandra Shekhar Tiwari in Bhambri village in today’s Madhya Pradesh, he went on to become the epitome of valour in India’s freedom struggle. Known for his stiff psyche, Azad, as the name suggests, wanted India and himself to be always free from the clutches of imperialism. From offering stoic resistance against ever-slouching British empire to nourishing the younger generation for struggle ahead, Azad was being exemplary for all the freedom-seekers.
It is believed that the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919 affected him to great extent and he decided to offer himself to the cause of nation.
A famous tale about Chandrashekhar suggests that when arrested at an early age of 15 for participating in the non-cooperation movement, he introduced himself as ‘Azad’, the son of ‘Swatantrata’. And from there, the journey of never getting back in the hands of Britishers started.
Azad who wanted freedom but not at the altar of brutal suppressions of non-violent struggles by the colonial forces, established Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA) with Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and others. The ‘motif’ of the group being to create ‘stir’ that could send a loud and clear message to the British Administration that India’s wait for liberty was getting prolonged.
On August 9, 1925, HSRA attacked a train transporting a cache of government funds in Kakori, in which Rs 4,500 was 'stolen'. Members of HSRA- Ashfaqallah Khan, Ramprasad Bismil, Roshan Singh and Rajendra Lahiri were arrested and sentenced to death. Azad managed to evade the police.
On February 27, 1931, Azad is reported to have shot himself after being surrounded by two police officers. His vow thus to remain free for his entire life remained sacred.