In 1921, when Mahatma Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation movement, Chandrasekhar Azad actively participated in revolutionary activities. He received his first punishment at the tender age of 15, when he was caught while indulging in revolutionary activities. He was produced in court before the magistrate. When the magistrate asked him his name, he said “Azad” (meaning, ‘free’). The magistrate sentenced him the punishment of fifteen lashes. With each stroke of the whip, the young Chandrasekhar shouted “Bharat Mata ki jai”. From then on Chandrashekhar assumed the title of Azad and came to known as Chandrashekhar Azad. After being released, Chandrashekhar Azad vowed that he would never be caught again by the British police and would die as a free man.
On 27th February 1931, Chandrashekhar Azad met two of his comrades at the Alfred Park in Allahabad. He was betrayed by an informer, who informed the British police about his whereabouts. The police surrounded the park and ordered Chandrashekhar Azad to surrender. However, Chandrashekhar Azad refused to surrender and fought alone valiantly. He killed three policemen, but finding himself surrounded and seeing no route for escape, he shot himself. Thus, he kept his pledge of not being caught alive by the British police.
Chandrashekhar Azad gave up his life for the Nation at a young age of only 25 years. Such was his devotion towards the Nation, that inspite of knowing that there is no route for escape, he refused to surrender and instead, preferred to give up his life. How many of us have the courage to sacrifice our life for the Motherland at such a young age ?