Indians all over the world, is celebrating today as Teacher’s Day, commemorating the birthday of former President Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. But not many might know the story behind this day.
Radhakrishnan started off as a professor, teaching in many colleges and universities including the Calcutta University and the Presidency College in Chennai. Gradually, he went on to wear the hat of vice-chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University, Andhra Pradesh University and Delhi University.
Radhakrishnan also chose to teach Eastern Religions and Ethics for many years, after he had received a proposal from the Oxford University in 1936.
Apart from his teaching career, he was India’s representative at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from 1946 to 1952. Besides this, he served as India’s representative to the Soviet Union from 1949-1952.
It was in 1952 that he became India’s first-ever vice-president. Ten years later, he became the country’s second President after Dr Rajendra Prasad.
During his tenure as the President, he was approached by his students who wanted to celebrate his birthday. Instead, Dr Radhakrishnan asked them to celebrate the day as Teacher’s Day and this practice has been going on ever since.
A Bharat Ratna awardee in 1954, Dr Radhakrishnan was also nominated 27 times for the Nobel Prize.
On his birthday, here are a few of his famous quotes that we need to know:
“Books are the means by which we build bridges between cultures.”
“A literary genius, it is said, resembles all, though no one resembles him.”
“When we think we know, we cease to know.”
“It takes centuries to make little history; It takes centuries of history to make tradition.”
“The end product of education should be a free creative man, who can battle against historical circumstances and adversities of nature.”