Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975)

- September 3, 2020


By Samyukhtha Sunil Illustration: Saboo Achu Over the years, Teachers’ Day has become a symbol of appreciation and acknowledgement of educators across the country for the countless hours they put into guiding and moulding India’s younger generations. This is why, on the eve of every Teachers’ Day, the National Teachers Awards are given to the country’s best teachers by the President of India. But did you know that Teachers’ Day also marks the birthday of former Indian president Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a philosopher, academician and educator par excellence?  Dr Radhakrishnan’s immense contribution to post-independent Indian society has been lauded by leaders across the globe. Dr Radhakrishnan was no ordinary guru. His clarity and creative methods of imparting knowledge brought him into the spotlight as a teacher extraordinaire. He was a popular philosopher, a scholar and an influential diplomat. Such was his vision and wisdom that he is considered to be one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. Born on September 5th, 1888, to a poor Brahmin family in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruttani village, Dr Radhakrishnan’s parents decided to dedicate their meagre income to educate him. His dedication and passion towards learning were undeterred since childhood, but after he completed his secondary education, he was requested by his parents to discontinue his studies and assist them by working as a priest at the local temple. It was after a very long and arduous struggle that Dr Radhakrishnan was able to avail the luxury of higher education. A devoted student of philosophy, he began focusing on Hindu schools of thought, which he soon gained immense prowess over. He then expanded his area of interest to include Buddhist teachings and theories, and was soon studying the works of ancient and modern Western thin...

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