On Teachers’ Day Today: Ode to Dr Radhakrishnan
Chandigarh: Since 1962, India has been celebrating Teachers’ Day on 5th September as a symbol of tribute and honour to the contribution made by teachers to the society. The day marks as a day of gratitude and respect to the selfless efforts of teachers. This day is also celebrated to honour Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the great teacher, academic philosopher and India’s Second President as he was born on the same day in 1888.
Hence, to compliment this esteemed personality, we bring you a few lesser known facts about him:
- He was born in a poor Brahmin family in South India in 1888. He rose to become one of India’s great philosophers.
- As Indian ambassador to the Soviet Union, he had once patted the cheek of Soviet dictator Joseph D. Stalin. Dr Radhakrishnan became India’s first vice president and in 1962 he became India’s second president.
- In April 1909, he was appointed to the Department of Philosophy at the Madras Presidency College. From then on, he was engaged in the serious study of Indian philosophy and religion, and was a teacher of Philosophy.
- N. Spalding, who had also listened to Dr Radhakrishnan’s lectures in London, was so fascinated by their content and his personality that he decided to found a chair at Oxford for Eastern Religions and Ethics. The Chair, established in 1936 was offered to Radhakrishnan.
- In 1918, he was appointed Professor of Philosophy in the University of Mysore. Three years later, he was appointed to the most important philosophy chair in India, King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science in the University of Calcutta.In 1929, Radhakrishnan was invited to take the post vacated by Principal J. Estin Carpenter in Manchester College, Oxford.
- For his services to education, he was knighted by the British Government in 1931, but did not use the title in personal life preferring instead his academic title ‘Doctor’.
- He was the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. From 1936-39, Radhakrishnan was the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University. In 1939, he was elected Fellow of the British Academy.
This constant learner and educator breathed his last on April 17, 1975. Thou shall rest in peace, dear President.