As synonymous is 2nd October with father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, so is 5th September with the second President of India, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. India will never be able to repay Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's contribution to the education system of India. It is no wonder that we celebrate September 5, the birthday of the genius as Teacher's Day to express our gratitude to him and pay respects to all the teachers of India.
How It All Started
There never was a day in India before it was proposed by Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, when teachers or gurus of the olden times were remembered with respect and gratitude. While serving as the President of India, when some people wanted to celebrate his birthday, he had proposed that if people genuinely wanted to celebrate his birthday then let it be celebrated as day for teachers. Thus, was introduced the tradition and festival of celebrating Teacher's Day.
Who was Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the first Vice-President of India and the second President of India. He was also a teacher and a philosopher of a high caliber renowned in the West, United Kingdom as well as the United States of America. Even prior to India's Independence Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan had been summoned to the world famous Oxford University to deliver lectures on Hindu Philosophy. An Indian being called to the Universities of the West was unheard of during those times and was very rare.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on 5 September 1888 at Tirutani, Tamil Nadu in a Brahmin family. He pursued Philosophy during his graduation and post-graduation. Due to the prevailing customs during those times, he was married at the age of 16 to Sivakamuamma, though that did not stop the philosopher from pursuing his education. He had read and mastered the philosophies of not only Hindu origin but of the West too, including teachings of Plato and Karl Marx. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan has also made his mark as a philanthropist.
Some of the eminent positions held by him and managed efficiently: Lecturer in Philosophy, Presidency College, Madras; Professor of Philosophy, Mysore University (1918-1921); King George V Professor of Philosophy, Calcutta University (1921-1931), (1937-1944); Vice-Chancellor of the Andhra University (1931); Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics, Oxford University (1932-1953); Chairman of the University Education Commission (1948) appointed by the Government of India; President of UNESCO (1952) and President of India. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan has been an epitome of dedication and integrity who rose from a small town common man to one of the most inspirational characters of Modern India.
The Hindu View of Life and The Principal Upanishads are among his famous books on philosophy. Dr. Radhakrishnan breathed his last on April 17, 1975.
Whenever there are discussions on teachers and students, there has never been an instance when Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's name is not mentioned. He stands as a greatest character in the world of teaching in India. As a chairman of University Education Commission formed after the Indian Independence in 1948, the Radhakrishnan Committee's suggestions helped formulate the education system for India. Teachers have been asked to follow a pattern of selfless service and impart education citing examples of the great teacher, philosopher and leader.
A teacher who has been given the responsibility of molding children into responsible citizens is one of the key factors in shaping a child's life and character.
Just one day(September 5) cannot be enough to honour the teachers who spend their entire lives serving the nation by rendering education to the children, however, it is a very noble thought to set aside one day to remember the teachers who have a hand in shaping the youth of the nation.
I believe it was a mistake that under the sub title "Who was Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan" , Dr.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the first vice president & first President of India. Actually he was the second President of India