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74th Independence Day: Story of Chandra Shekhar 'Forever' Azad

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New Delhi, July 04: Chandra Shekhar Azad was deeply affected by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in his early teens and eventually the youngster joined Mahatma Gandhi in his call for non-cooperation.

But Gandhi's suspension of the non-cooperation movement prompted Azad to aggressively pursue his fight aganist the British.

74th Independence Day: Story of Chandra Shekhar Forever Azad

Soon Azad joined Ram Prasad Bismil's HRA (Hindustan Republic Association ) and became one of its most active members.

Early life

Chandra Shekhar Azad was born as Chandrashekhar Tiwari on July 23, 1906, in Madhya Pradesh. He was arrested at the age of 15 for participating in Gandhi's movement and in the jail when asked for name he promptly replied 'Azad' (the free). He became to be known as Chandrashekhar Azad since then.

But because of his age he was not imprisoned and given a severe flogging by British police. The Indian National Congress soon lionized him and Azad stepped in the freedom fight.

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Azad and HRA

In February 1922, after several policemen had been murdered by a revolutionary mob at Chauri Chaura, Gandhi suspended the noncooperation movement. Azad was deeply effected by the move.

Azad joined the radical Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) and participated in several violent crimes like the Kakori train robbery, in 1925, and the revenge killing of a British police officer in 1928.

After managing to evade the British police after the Kakori case, Azad sought the company of Bhagat Singh in reorganising the HRA and HRA became Hindustan Socialist Republic Association (HSRA).

The objective of HSRA was loud, that was the creation of an independent India on strong socialist principles.

The famous Kakori case

The new form of nationalist revolutionary movement in the country jolted the British government. The revolutionary which was inspired by the freedom fighter like Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad.

Meanwhile, the Kakori incident came as a shock to the British.

The Number 8 Down Train from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow was approaching the town of Kakori which is now in Uttar Pradesh.

The train was abruptly stopped by pulling the emergency chain by a man in the second class compartment.

Then the revolutionaries belonging to HRA looted the official cash that were transporting in the train.

British police went on a massive hunt to arrest members of the HRA after the incident and in few weeks arrested two dozen members of the HRA.

Among them four were hanged and close to 17 sentenced to life imprisonment.

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    There was one, Azad, however, who the British could not catch hold of.

    Azad was able to elude the police and its informants for several years.

    On February 27, 1931, Chandra Shekhar Azad committed suicide in Alfred Park in Allahabad after a police chase.

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