UPSC Exam Preparation: This Day in History – Feb 27

27 February 1931

Death of Chandrashekhar Azad

What happened?

Chandrasekhar Azad is an important freedom fighter and so his life history should be a part of your IAS preparation. In this article, you can read his brief biography and contributions to the freedom movement for the UPSC exam.

Great revolutionary freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad shot himself when he had one last bullet left in a shootout with the police at the Alfred Park in Allahabad. The park is now named Chandrshekhar Azad Park.

  • Chandrashekhar Azad was born Chandrashekhar Tiwari to Sitaram and Jagrani Devi on July 23, 1906 at Bhavra, Alirajpur District in present-day Madhya Pradesh. Bhavra was then part of the Central India Agency, British India.
  • Azad was sent to Banaras to study at the Kashi Vidyapeeth. When he was 15 years old, he joined the non-cooperation movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The young boy was arrested because of his participation in the movement. When produced the magistrate, he proudly announced his name as ‘Azad’, his father’s name as ‘Swatantrata’ and his place of dwelling as ‘Jail’. It was from then on that the name ‘Azad’ stuck to him.
  • Azad was disappointed when Gandhi withdrew the non-cooperation movement owing to the violence at Chauri Chaura. He then got acquainted with Ram Prasad Bismil, one of the founders of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA). He then became a revolutionary and started collecting funds for HRA’s activities.
  • The group of young patriots started looting government properties to meet their expenses for their revolutionary activities. Azad was involved in the 1925 Kakori Conspiracy.
  • Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan were captured by the government and hanged but Azad eluded capture.
  • Other cases Azad was involved in include the 1926 attempt to blow up the viceroy’s train, and the shooting of J P Saunders in 1928. Saunders was assassinated to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.
  • Azad was an excellent marksman and also trained his fellow revolutionaries in firearms. He used the Orchha forest for his training.
  • He was a close associate of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and others and transformed the HRA into the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928.
  • On 27 February 1931, an informant tipped the police about Azad’s presence at the Alfred Park in Allahabad.
  • The police arrived there and there ensued a shootout between the police and the revolutionaries.
  • Azad got injured while defending himself and his friend. He had made a resolve never to be captured alive. When he had all but one bullet left, he shot himself dead. This also enabled his friend to escape. Azad was only 24 years old.
  • The police cremated his body without informing the public. When the people came to know about the incident, there was a big protest.
  • Azad is truly a hero of the highest order, who sacrificed himself for the sake of the nation. Today, there are several public institutes and places named after him.
Also on this day

1854: Jhansi annexed by Lord Dalhousie under the Doctrine of Lapse.

1912: Birth of great Marathi writer, Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar (Kusumagraj). This day is celebrated 
as ‘Marathi Language Day’ across Maharashtra.

1956: Death of the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar.

2010: Death of social activist and Padma Vibhushan awardee Nanaji Deshmukh.

See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.

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