Chandrashekhar, a fearless revolutionary and a great freedom fighter, was born on July 23, 1906 in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh. He was the son of Pandit Sita Ram Tiwari and Jagrani Devi. He started his education in Bhavra and at the age of 14 he went to Varanasi where he was taught to live the austere life of a Brahamachari.
During his stay in Varanasi he was highly inspired by the Non Cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi. He actively participated in the movement for which he was sentenced to fifteen lashes of logging at the age of 15. In the court he addressed himself as ‘Azad’, and gave his father’s name as ‘Swadhin’ and his mother’s name as ‘Dhart Ma’. With endurance, courage and fortitude he tolerated all the lashes. With each stroke of the whip he shouted ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. From then, he was honored and titled as ‘Azad’ by the local Indians. Thereafter, he got the name Chandrashekhar Azad. When he was released, he took a pledge that he would never be arrested by the Britishers and will die as a free man.
When the Non Cooperation Movement was suspended due to Chauri-Chaura incidence, Azad switched over to armed revolution and formed ‘Hindustan Socialist Republican Association’ with other revolutionaries to spread the message of complete independence. He actively participated in revolutionary activities and was involved in Kakori Train Robbery and the attempt to blow up the Viceroy’s train in 1926. For British Government, he was a terrorist because he killed John Poyantz Saunders to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.
On 27th February 1931, Azad was betrayed by one of the associates who informed the British Police. In Alfred Park, Allahabad he was besieged by the British police. He fought bravely for quite some time but seeing no other way he shot himself and fulfilled his desire to die a ‘free man’. A great Indian leader, Chandrashekhar Azad was the heart of all revolutionary leaders and his poetic composition, ‘Dushman ki goliyon ka hum samna karenge, Azad hee rahein hain, azad hee rahenge’ is still recited by Indian soldiers fighting for free and Happy India.