Chandrashekhar Azad, often called, Panditji (Brahman ji) was the founder of Garam Dal. After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, he was first among many Indian revolutionaries to use arms in their fight for independence against the British rulers. A devout Brahmin, he believed that it was his "dharma" (duty) to fight for others. He also believed that a soldier never relinquishes his weapon.
Born to Pandit Sitaram Tiwari and Jagaraani Devi, Azad spent most of his childhood and received primary education in Badarka village in Unnao District, Uttar Pradesh. He then went to the Sanskrit Pathashala at Varanasi for higher education. Azad was an ardent follower of Lord Hanuman and once disguised himself as a priest in a Hanuman temple to escape a British police dragnet.
Chandrashekhar Azad was deeply troubled by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar in 1919. In 1921, when Mahatma Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation movement, he actively participated in the protest movement. He was arrested and received his first punishment at the age of fifteen for this act of civil disobedience. When the magistrate asked him his name, he said "Azad" (meaning free). For this, he was sentenced to fifteen lashes. With each stroke of the whip, young Chandrasekhar shouted "Bharat Mata Ki Jai"["Hail The Motherland!"]. From that point onwards, Chandrashekhar assumed the title of Azad and came to be known as Chandrashekhar Azad.
After suspension of the non-cooperation movement, Azad was attracted by more aggressive and violent revolutionary ideals. He committed himself to complete independence by any means. Towards this end, he formed the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and was mentor for revolutionaries such as Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Batukeshwar Dutt, and Rajguru. HSRA's goal was full Indian independence and wanted to build a new India based on socialist principles. Azad and his compatriots also planned and executed several acts of violence against the Britishers. He was involved in numerous such activities like the Kakori Train Robbery (1926), the attempt to blow up the Viceroy's train (1926), and the shooting of John Poyantz Saunders at Lahore (192 to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai.
Azad was a terror for the British police. He was on their hit list and the British police badly wanted to capture him dead or alive. For his part, Azad had also vowed that he would never be arrested by the British police and that he would die a free man. On February 27, 1931 Chandrashekhar Azad met two of his comrades at Alfred Park, Allahabad. He was betrayed by an informer, the police surrounded the park and ordered Chandrashekhar Azad to surrender. Azad fought alone and killed three policemen but got shot in the thigh. After nearly exhausting his ammunition and foreseeing no means of escape, he shot himself in the head with his last bullet.
Most of his revolutionary activities were planned and executed from Shahjahanpur.
Chandrashekar Azad's dead body kept on public display by the British to serve as a warning message for other revolutionaries.Azad was one among a young generation of Indians who were deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and the launch of the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920 and took an active part in it. But like many, Azad was disillusioned with Gandhi's suspension of the struggle in 1922 due to the Chauri Chaura massacre of 22 policemen. Although Gandhi was appalled by the brutal violence, Azad did not feel that violence was unacceptable in such a struggle, especially in view of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919, when a British Army unit killed hundreds of unarmed civilians and wounded thousands in Amritsar. The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre deeply influenced young Azad and his contemporaries.
He once claimed that as his name was "Azad," he would never be taken alive by police. That is why he killed himself towards the end of a shootout with the police. Azad also believed that India's future lay in socialism. Allegedly, he was aware of the informer who betrayed him to the police.
 His friendship with Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil
Azad was a very good friend of Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil. Azad and Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil were the founding members, and pillars of HRA.
 In Jhansi
In his very brief life of less than 25 years, Chandrashekhar Azad had made Jhansi his organisation's hub for a considerable duration. He chose the forest of Orchha (15 kilometers from Jhansi) for practising shooting. He was a brilliant shooter and he used to train other members of his group here. Near the forests, on the banks of a small river called Saataar, near the temple of Lord hanuman, he established a small hut. He started living there in the disguise of Pandit Harishankar Brahmachari. He started teaching kids of the residents of nearby village Dhimarpura, and established good rapport with the local people. The village Dhimarpura is now named after him and is known as Azadpura.
In Jhansi, he learnt how to drive a car at Bundelkhand Motor Garage in Sadar Bazaar, in cantonement area. In Jhansi, he met Sadashiv Rao Malkapurkar, Vishwanath Vaishampayan, Bhagwan Das Mahaur and they all became integral part of his revolutionary group. The then congress leaders from Jhansi Pandit Raghunath Vinayak Dhulekar and Pandit Sitaram Bhaskar Bhagwat were also close aides of Chandrashekhar Azad.
Chandrashekhar Azad stayed in Master Rudranarayan Singh's house at Nai Basti and Pandit Sitaram Bhaskar Bhagwat's house in Nagra.
Jhansi was a safe place in Chandrashekhar Azad's words and as soon as he left Jhansi, he became a victim of betrayal from one of his former group members.
 With Bhagat Singh
The Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) was formed by Sachindranath Sanyal just after one year of the Non co-operation movement in 1923. In the aftermath of the Kakori train robbery in 1925, the British clamped down on revolutionary activities. Sentenced to death for their participation were Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, Thakur Roshan Singh and Rajendra Lahiri. Two escaped capture, Sunderlal Gupta as well as Azad. Azad reorganized the HRA with the help of secondary revolutionaries like Shiva Varma and Mahaveer Singh. He was also an associate of Rasbihari Bose. Azad, along with Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, and Rajguru, transformed the HRA into the HSRA (Hindustan Socialist Republican Association) in 1927, whose goal was complete Indian independence based on socialist principles.
In 1931 azad was living in Jhunsi area of Allahabad. One of his close friend Tiwari shook hands with the Britishers on the cost of heavy wealth. On 27 Feb 1931 Azad was planning some activities with Sukhdev. Tiwari saw him there and reported their presence to police. Within few minutes policemen surrounded the whole park. on the initial encounter Azad suffered a bullet on his thighs thus making it impossible to escape. But he somehow made the chance of Sukhdev to survive by covering him. After sukhdev escaped he kept the police on hold for a long time. At last only one bullet was left. Being surrounded, Chandrashekhar Azad shot himself, keeping his pledge to not be captured alive. It is said that the Indian soldiers who saw him die did not approach his dead body for 20 minutes. He had always induced the guilt of Indian soldiers and policemen working for the British government, wherever he went, claiming that 'they were not of the true Indian blood'. His COLT pistol is still kept in Allahabad Museum and is a great attraction of tourist. His very rare photographs are also placed there in museum.
Chandrashekhar azad at alfred park
 Azad a legend
Azad is a hero to Indians today. Alfred Park was renamed Chandrashekhar Azad Park, as have scores of schools, colleges, roads and other public institutions across India. Ever since Manoj Kumar's film, Shaheed Bhagat Singh in 1964, Azad's character has become central to any film or commemoration of the life of Bhagat Singh. He was played by Sunny Deol in 2002, in the movie 23rd March 1931: Shaheed. In the movie "The Legend of Bhagat Singh", starring Ajay Devgan, Azad (played by Akhilendra Mishra) had a prominent role as well.
The patriotism of Azad, Rajguru, Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqulla Khan was also depicted in Rang De Basanti, a contemporary Bollywood film starring Aamir Khan that was released in 26 January 2006. The movie, which draws parallels between the lives of young revolutionaries such as Azad and Bhagat Singh and today's youth, also dwells upon the lack of appreciation among today's Indian youth for the sacrifices made by these men. Aamir Khan reprised the role of Azad. The film also depicts the famous Kakori train robbery.