On Teachers' Day, remembering an educator

On September 5, we celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan by honouring all teachers.

Updated - September 05, 2017 01:45 pm IST

Published - September 02, 2017 04:27 pm IST

DIPLOMAT AND PHILOSOPHER: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan with President Lyndon B. Johnson in New Delhi.

DIPLOMAT AND PHILOSOPHER: Dr. S. Radhakrishnan with President Lyndon B. Johnson in New Delhi.

Teachers’ Day is celebrated in India to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second President of India. He was an academician and a philosopher too.

Teacher at heart

Dr. Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888 in Tirutani, a small town near Chennai. He studied at the Tiruttani Primary School and then moved on to study at the Hermansburg Evangelical Lutheral Mission School in Tirupati. He was an intelligent student and won scholarships and accolades. In 1906, Dr. Radhakrishnan graduated with a master’s degree in Philosophy from the Madras Christian College, Tambaram. In 1909, he was appointed at the department of philosophy at the Madras Presidency College. Following that In 1918, he was offered the position of professor of philosophy by the University of Mysore.

Later, he became the Principal of Harris Manchester College, Oxford. He was knighted by King George V of the United Kingdom for his services to education. But, Radhakrishnan chose to be addressed by his academic title — doctor. He believed that complete education was the only way for the development of an individual.

During his tenure, he was also the Chancellor of Delhi University and Vice Chancellor of Benares Hindu University. He very believed in the importance of education, and was a celebrated diplomat, politician, scholar and above all, teacher. He also wrote on a number of issues and his books continue to be read widely. till today.

He emphasised on the need for a casteless, classless society. Radhakrishnan was appointed Indian Ambassador to the USSR in 1949.

He was popular with students and even after he became the President, his students wanted for his birthday to to be celebrated. He agreed, but stated that instead of merely celebrating his birthday, they must observe it as Teachers Day to celebrate all teachers. And this request of his

Dr. S Radhakrishnan served as the first Vice President of India (1952-1962) and as the second President of India (1962-1967). He is remembered as India’s most renowned academician as he wrote widely on comparative religion and philosophy and introduced Indian philosophy to the West. This in turn, helped to bridge the gap between both cultures. He was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1954.

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