The Azad Photo-Op

Chandrashekhar Azad – The Man of Steel

We often sing songs like Apni Azaadi Ko Hum Hargiz Mita Sakte Nahi, Sar Kata Sakte Hain Lekin Sar Jhuka Sakte Nahin, but million dollar question still remains whether we understand what it means. Blue blooded men like Chandrashekhar Azad knew what it meant and his revolutionary status to this day remains unchallenged. However sadly we have reduced his status to a mere photoop.

It has taken an Indian PM to reach Azad’s village decades. PM Modi perhaps is the first to reach his village and got a closer look at the man whose surname itself meant freedom. But in Allahabad it is a different scene altogether.

In a selfie crazy nation like India, if you are keen to get a revolutionary selfie, then you can go to Allahabad and click a selfie with the gun with which Azad killed himself to avoid getting caught.

The decision has been taken by museum authorities following instructions from the ministry of culture to promote August Kranti Diwas and Independence Day celebrations.

The pistol interestingly is a Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless semi-auto.32 bore. Azad used it to shoot himself after a long firefight with British policemen at the Alfred Park, now known as the Chandrashekhar Azad Park, on 27 February 1931.

Pistol of Chandra Shekhar Azad at Allahabad Museum-Photo Courtesy-Krishna Kumar Yadav-Director Postal Services, Allahabad Region-KK Yadav-Alfred Park-Company Garden Allahabad
Chandrashekhar Azad’s weapon

In a nation where Azaadi in 2016 has a new meaning for a section of society, the image of a bare chested, moustache twirling, revolver flaunting youth still strikes a chord with the people. In a series of revolutionary acts through the twenties, Chandrashekhar Azad and his friends kept themselves in the news.

Narendra Modi is the first Prime Minister to visit birth place of revolutionary Chandrashekhar Azad at Bhabhra in Madhya Pradesh’s Alirajpur district . Modi launched ‘Azadi 70 Saal, Yaad Karo Kurbani’ campaign to commemorate the sacrifices of freedom fighters on the Quit India day on Tuesday.

Not surprisingly the BJP government in MP has rechristened Bhabhra as “Chandrashekhar Azad Nagar” in memory of the revolutionary leader.

The house where he was born on July 23, 1906 was developed into a memorial and named as “Azaad Smriti Mandir.

Alirajpur is part of the Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha constituency, which BJP lost to Congress in a by-election held last year. A Congress stronghold, the BJP had won it in 2014 when Modi wave swept through the country.


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