Teacher’s Day in India: Honoring Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Teacher’s Day in India is celebrated to honor the significant contribution made by the students in the life of the students and the country. The day is celebrated every year on September 5 to mark the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a renowned philosopher, teacher, and second President of India.
History of Teacher’s Day in India
The history of Teachers’ Day in India can be traced back to the year 1962. It was on this occasion that Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, whose birth anniversary falls on 5 September, assumed the office of President of India. Dr. Radhakrishnan was not only a distinguished philosopher but also a dedicated teacher. His students and friends approached him with a proposal to celebrate his birthday in honor of his contributions to education and the nation.
However, Dr. Radhakrishnan politely declined the offer, suggesting that instead of celebrating his birthday on this day, it would be more appropriate to honor all teachers. He believed that teachers should be honored for their selfless dedication and commitment to nurture the future generations of the country. His request was heeded and since then, September 5 is celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: A Brief Biography
Date of Birth: Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888.
- Birthplace: He was born in Thiruttani, a town in Tamil Nadu, India.
- Names of parents: His father’s name was Sarvepalli Veeraswamy and mother’s name was Sarvepalli Sita.
Father’s Occupation: Dr. Radhakrishnan’s father worked as a subordinate revenue officer in the service of a local landlord.
Dr. Radhakrishnan’s early life was full of financial difficulties, but his thirst for knowledge and dedication to studies led him to overcome these obstacles. He excelled in his academic pursuits and eventually earned a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Madras.
His journey as a teacher began when he joined the Department of Philosophy at Madras Presidency College in 1909. Over the years, he made significant contributions to the field of philosophy and became a noted scholar, known for his deep insight into Indian philosophy and spirituality.
His illustrious career in academia took him to prestigious institutions in India and abroad and eventually he became the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University and later Banaras Hindu University. His remarkable scholarship and dedication to teaching earned him the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1954.
Dr. Radhakrishnan’s contribution extended beyond academia when he served as India’s ambassador to the Soviet Union and later as the Vice President of India. In 1962, he took over as the President, where his request to celebrate Teacher’s Day instead of his birthday left an indelible mark on Indian education and culture.
Teachers’ Day in India is a day dedicated to honoring teachers and their important role in shaping the future of the nation. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s humility and commitment to the teaching profession made him a fitting icon for the celebration. His life story is a testament to the transformative power of education and the profound impact teachers can have on the lives of their students. Teachers’ Day reminds us of the importance of education and the debt of gratitude to those who dedicate their lives to imparting knowledge and intelligence.