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Teacher’s Day

Heisnam Jogen Singh
Early life and education of Dr. Radhakrishnan :
Dr. Radhakrishnan was born into a poor Brahmin family at Tiruttani in Tamil Nadu state, a town in Madras Presidency, British India, 64 km to the northwest of Madras (now Chennai). His early years were spent in Tirutani and Tirupati. His father was a subordinate revenue official in the service of a local Zamindar (landlord). His primary education was at Primary Board High School at Tirutani. In 1896 he moved to the Hermansburg Evangelical Lutheral Mission School in Tirupati.

Dr. Radhakrishnan was awarded scholarships throughout his academic life. He joined the Voorhee’s College in Vellore but switched to the Madras Christian College at the age of 17. He graduated with a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the Madras Christian College in 1906, being one of its most distinguished alumni. Radhakrishnan wrote his thesis for the M.A. degree on “The Ethics of the Vedanta and its Metaphysical Presuppositions”. He was afraid that his M.A. thesis, “The Ethics of the Vedanta” would offend his philosophy professor, Dr. A.G. Hogg. Instead, Dr. Hogg commended Radhakrishnan on doing an excellent job.Radhakrishnan’s M.A. thesis was published when he was only 20.

Dr. Radhakrishnan studied philosophy by chance rather than by choice. Being a financially constrained student at the time, when a cousin, after graduating from the same college, passed on his textbooks in philosophy to Radhakrishnan, it automatically decided his academic course. Later on he felt deep interest in his subject and wrote many acclaimed works on philosophy, both eastern and western.

Radhakrishnan was married to Sivakamu, a distant cousin, in 1904 at the age of 16. As per tradition the marriage was arranged by the family. The couple had five daughters and a son, Sarvepalli Gopal. Sarvepalli Gopal went on to a notable career as a historian. Sivakamu died in 1956. They were married for over 51 years.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan drawn by Bujjai and signed by Radhakrishnan in telugu as “Radhakrishnaiah”.
In 1918 Radhakrishnan was selected as Professor of Philosophy by the University of Mysore. By that time he had written many articles for journals of repute like The Quest, Journal of Philosophy and the International Journal of Ethics. He also completed his first book, The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore. He believed Tagore’s philosophy to be the “genuine manifestation of the Indian spirit.” Dr. Radhakrishnan’s second book, The Reign of Religion in Contemporary Philosophy was published in 1920.

In 1921 he was appointed as a professor in philosophy to occupy the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science at the University of Calcutta. Radhakrishnan represented the University of Calcutta at the Congress of the Universities of the British Empire in June 1926 and the International Congress of Philosophy at Harvard University in September 1926.
In 1929 Dr. Radhakrishnan was invited to take the post vacated by Principal J. Estlin Carpenter in Manchester College, Oxford. This gave him the opportunity to lecture to the students of the University of Oxford on Comparative Religion. For his services to education he was knighted by the British Government in 1931, but did not use the title in his personal life, preferring instead his academic title of ‘Doctor’.

He was the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. In 1936 Radhakrishnan was named Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at the University of Oxford, and was elected a Fellow of All Souls College. In 1939 Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya invited him to succeed him as the Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU).. He danced as its Vice-Chancellor till January, 1948.

When India became independent in 1947, Dr. Radhakrishnan represented India at UNESCO and was later Ambassador of India to the Soviet Union, from 1949 to 1952. He was also elected to the Constituent Assembly of India.

Dr. Radhakrishnan was elected as the first Vice President of India in 1952. He was elected as the second President of India (1962–1967).

Indian Teacher’s Day History :
India has been celebrating Teacher’s Day on 5th September, since 1962. The day commemorates the birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakhrishnan, a philosopher and a teacher par excellence, and his contribution towards Indian education system. Dr Radhakhrishnan believed that “teachers should be the best minds in the country”. On this day, we gratefully remember the great educationist, apart from honoring all the teachers that have made our life much more knowledgeable and fulfilled, as serving as our beacons of light.

The birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakhrishnan came to be celebrated as Teacher’s Day when, one day, some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday. In reply, Dr. Radhakrishnan said, “instead of celebrating my birthday separately, it would be my proud privilege if September 5th is observed as Teacher’s day”. From then onwards, Dr. Radhakrishnan’s birthday is observed as Teacher’s Day all across India.

Teachers’ Day is very important for all the people in India, as the teachers act as foundation for creating responsible citizens and good human beings. It is impossible to imagine our lives without teachers. They are the cornerstone of our future. We can never thank our teachers enough for their immense contribution in our life. Teacher’s Day is celebrated to show our acknowledgement and recognition of the hard work put in by our teachers towards our development.

Schools all over India celebrate Teacher’s Day by allowing the senior students to pose as teachers for a day. It is a fun-filled activity, which is enjoyed by both the acting teachers and their junior students. On this day, students bring gifts for their most admired teachers as well. It is an equally special day for teachers, as they get to know how much they are liked and appreciated by their students. Gifts to teachers include flowers, greeting cards and other items. Some students also write poems and messages for teachers.

Students look forward to Teacher’s Day with a lot of anticipation, for the sheer spirit of the occasion. Acting as teachers, they get a fair idea of the responsibility, so efficiently burdened by their teachers. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to be a good teacher and earn the fondness of the students at the same time. Teachers, on this day, are reminded of their school days and feel nostalgic. All in all, it is celebration mode for everyone!

Teachers mold the lives that they influence. Lessons learned from teachers remain with their students throughout life.  Teachers that break down barriers and reach into the souls of the students that they are responsible for do not get the recognition or gratitude they have earned. Many teachers are exhausted from their workload and responsibilities.  They have their own families, financial and life stresses that challenge them along with everyone else. We should always respect our teachers. Teachers need encouragement and support from the community to feel that their devotion to students is appreciated.
Socrates was an example of a good teacher.  He considered himself a learner as well as a  teacher. For Socrates, love and friendship were the proper contexts for the pursuit of wisdom and goodness. Socrates saw himself only as a catalyst. He felt it was not his teaching, but actually the power of the Divine which enabled the person he was talking with to improve himself.
Importance of teacher’s day :
A person who helps in shaping our life from our childhood days, a person who wipes our tears and makes us smile. She/He teaches us, scolds us, plays with us and helps us overcome our fears. These are people specially made by god to look after his small wonders. Come let’s celebrate all those people who have made an impact on us from day one. The day is celebrated to recognice the untiring work that our teachers do for us and all the pain they take to ensure that we turn out as civilised citizens of the country that we live in.
In India teachers day is celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm. 5th September announces the birthday of the great teacher and scholar, the second president of India DR Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who was a phenomenal teacher , philosopher, writer, orator, statesman, administrator and above all, a great man. As a mark of respect to this phenomenal teacher, his birthday came to be observed as Teacher’s Day in the country.

In India a teacher is known as ‘Guru’ as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ in today’s age. The role and position of a teacher is so great and highly important that we have even a sanskrit shlok to prove it, it goes” Guru Brahma, guru vishnu, guru devo maheswaraha, guru shakshat parabrahma tatmaishree guruwe namaha.” This shows that the teacher is given the important of god in the eyes of Hindu culture. We even have the famous Kabir quoting “ guru govind dau kahde kake lagu pai, balihari guru aap ne Govind diyo batai” meaning that if god and my teacher both were standing together, who should be respected first, Kabir continues saying that he show respect to his teacher as he was the one who showed him the path which leads to god. Muslims have their profit saying,’that to gain education is a must for every muslim man and woman”. All these show us the importance of education and teachers are specially created just for the purpose of imparting knowledge and creating a better universe.

Everyone parent looks upon the support of a teacher for the purpose of educating their child. It is therefore a great responsibility on the part of the teacher and they should do justice to this honourable position. Hiting the children and scolding them in front of their friends should be avoided. New and improved methods of teaching should be adopted by them for the purpose of seeing better results in their students.

The student in turn should treat their teachers with respect. Teachers day is a means of showing your love and affection for your teacher.It is a day which is looked forward with great enthusiasm on the part of both the student and teacher.
Come let’s wish our teacher a Happy Teachers Day!!



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