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Teachers Day is celebrated on 5th September every year to honour the teachers who shape the next generation for a better tomorrow. It is observed on the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli RadhaKrishnan, a great teacher and philosopher. He is also the first vice-president and second President of independent India.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born in a Telugu-speaking family in Tiruttani of Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, which is now in Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu. The surname “Sarvepalli” is the name of the village in Andhra Pradesh, representing his ancestral origin.
Radhakrishnan studied Philosophy at Madras Christian College, where the Christian teachers criticized Hinduism and that compelled Radhakrishan to study Hinduism. He researched profoundly on Vedas and Hinduism. He asserted that “Hinduism is more of a science than a mere belief”. He consistently defended Hinduism from western criticism through his entire life.
His works on Advaita Philosophy made him a prominent philosopher and speaker. And he enunciated that the Vedas embrace the true essence of life.
Radhakrishnan worked as a professor at Madras Presidency College, University of Mysore, University of Calcutta, and at the University of Oxford. He also performed his duties as Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University.
Radhakrishnan represented India at UNESCO (1946–52) and was also appointed as the Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union. He was also the member elected to the Constituent Assembly of India, which was meant for drafting the constitution.
Some of his students asked him to allow them to celebrate his birthday when he became the President of India. But, he replied that it would be a proud privilege for him if his birthday is observed as Teachers’ Day. Since then, 5th September has been celebrated as Teachers’ day.
Did you know?
- Dr. RadhaKrishnan was conferred with the country’s highest civilian award, “Bharata Ratna” in 1954.
- He was nominated for eleven occasions for the Nobel Peace Prize and sixteen times for the Nobel Prize in literature.