Every year, Teachers' Day is celebrated on 5th September in India to honor and pay tribute to Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. India's former President, who always had a belief and emphasized that "teachers should be the best minds in the country".
Teachers' Day 2019 will commemorate Dr. S Radhakrishnan's 131st birth anniversary.
He was requested by his students and friends to allow them to celebrate his birthday on September 5. But he said, "Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5th is observed as Teachers' Day." The tradition of celebrating Teachers' Day started in 1962.
He was Born on 5th September 1888, in a middle-class family in Thiruttani, a town in Tamil Nadu. He served as the first Vice President of India between 1952 and 1962 and the second President of India between 1962 and 1967. His father was a subordinate revenue official in the service of a local zamindar (local landlord). He received his primary education at K V High School at Thiruttani.
Throughout the academic life, Dr. Radhakrishnan received scholarships. He initially joined Voorhees College in Vellore but moved to the Madras Christian College at the age of 17. He graduated in 1906 with a Voorha master's degree in Philosophy. His thesis in MA was on "The Ethics of the Vedanta and its Metaphysical Presuppositions". His thesis was extolled by his philosophy professor Dr. Alfred George Hogg and was published when he only 20.
He described how, as a student, "The challenge of Christian critics impelled me to make a study of Hinduism and find out what is living and what is dead in it. My pride as a Hindu, roused by the enterprise and eloquence of Swami Vivekananda, was deeply hurt by the treatment accorded to Hinduism in missionary institutions." This inspired him to undergo a critical study of Indian philosophy and religion and lifelong defense of Hinduism against "uninformed Western criticism".
Some of the works by Dr Radhakrishnan are "The philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore", "Indian Philosophy", "The Hindu View of Life", "An Idealist View of Life", "Eastern Religions and Western Thought", "Religion and Society", "The Bhagavad Gita", "The Dhammapada", "The Principal Upanishads" to name a few. He was awarded numerous high awards during his life including a knighthood in 1931. In 1954, he was honored with the Bharat Ratna. He was also one of the founders of Helpage India, a non-profit organization for elderly underprivileged in India. He was nominated sixteen times for the Nobel prize in literature, and eleven times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The importance of Teachers' Day in our lives is vital. Teachers play an integral part in our lives by giving their endeavors in making us successful in career and business. Not only they teach us to become a good human being in society, in modern terminology, but they also fill our brains with data and information to analyze. To respect's teachers' contribution to our life, the majority of the countries celebrate Teachers' Day separately, while World Teachers' Day is globally celebrated on October 5.
Dr. Radhakrishnan stretched the citizens of India to keep in touch with the history or past while paving the way to future. His teachings continue to inspire both teachers and students across the nation. He left the mortal world on April 17, 1975, at the age of 86.