“The true teachers are those who help us think for ourselves.”
Teachers are the most influential people in our lives. After our parents, it is our teachers that shape our ideas, develop our minds and help us become confident human beings. 5th September is the day that students all across India celebrate the unique role that teachers play in our lives. And the man behind it all is Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
In 1962 Teachers’ Day was celebrated for the first time in India, the birthday of the ‘Philosopher President’: Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
He was the first vice-president and the second president of India. But above all, he was one of the greatest teachers in the country. He was also a philosopher and is credited for bringing western ideas into to the Indian minds as well as Indian ideologies to the West.
He was born into a poor Brahmin family, in 1888, in Tirutani, Madras. He went to school in Tirutani and attended the Voorhees College in Vellore, later moving to the Madras Christian College to study philosophy. He taught as a professor at the Presidency College in Madras as well as the University of Calcutta. He had also been the Vice Chancellor of Andhra University and Banaras Hindu University, the Chair of Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions at Oxford and was elected Fellow of the British Academy. He was very popular among his students and was known as one of the most brilliant and supportive teachers.
In India, Teacher’s Day is celebrated with the great enthusiasm and zeal, including cultural programs, performances by students, etc. Students often take roses, chocolates and gifts for teachers.