Teachers Day 2021: Know about Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, in whose memory Teacher's Day is celebrated
Teachers Day 2021 - PC : Amar Ujala

On 5th September, Teacher's Day is celebrated every year in India. This day is observed to mark the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the first Vice President of India. Dr. Radhakrishnan was the second President of India from 1962 to 1967. A symbol of education, Radhakrishnan was a famous philosopher, statesman as well as a teacher. Dr. Radhakrishnan is remembered for being one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century as well as for introducing Western philosophy to Indian society. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888, in a middle-class family in Thiruthani, Tamil Nadu.


He was appointed as Professor of Philosophy to King George 5 Chair of Mental and Moral Sciences at the University of Calcutta (CU). His association with the university lasted for about 12 years from 1921 to 1932. During his tenure at the university, he represented CU at the Congress of Universities of the British Empire in June 1926, as well as at the International Congress of Philosophy at Harvard University in the US in September 1926. Dr. Radhakrishnan was appointed as the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics at the University of Oxford. This designation was specifically created by HN Spalding in 1936 as he was impressed by Radhakrishnan's lectures in London, and also by his personality.


Radhakrishnan was nominated 16 times for the Nobel Prize in Literature and 11 times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was greatly admired and respected by his students. In 1921, when he was on his way from Mysore University to Mysore railway station, his students arranged a flower-laden carriage to take him to the destination. The car was pulled by the students themselves. During his tenure as Vice President, Radhakrishnan was in charge of the Rajya Sabha (upper house) sessions. Whenever there was a heated conversation during the session, Radhakrishnan would quote slogans from Sanskrit classics or biblical quotes to soothe the agitated audience.


Leading the Indian delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Dr. Radhakrishnan was elected Chairman of the Executive Board of UNESCO in 1948. Dr. Radhakrishnan taught in various colleges from the University of Mysore to the University of Calcutta.


He died on 16 April 1975 in Chennai.