Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was an eminent scholar of comparative religion and philosophy, a great educator and the second president of India. Today is his birthday. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan- the man behind teacher’s day in India.
Let us remember him today by knowing some lesser known facts about him:
1. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on 5th september, 1888 at Tiruttani in Tamilnadu. His father and mother were Sarvepalli Veeraswami and Sitamma.
2. He was knighted in the year 1931 and from then till the attainment of Independence, he was addressed as Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. In the year 1936, he was named as paddling professor of Estern Religions and Ethics at the University of Oxford. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1946. He served as the ambassador to UNESCO and later to Moscow.
3. In 1952, he became the first Vice President of India and in 1962, he became the second President of Independent India.
4. He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1954. In 1954, he received the German, ” Order pour le Merite for Arts and Science” and in 1961 the Peace prize of the German Book Trade. In 1963, he also received the Order of Merit and in 1975, the Templeton Prize for promoting the notion of universal reality of God that embraced love and wisdom for all people. He donated the entire prize money to Oxford University.
5. Do you know about joining the University of Calcutta when Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was leaving Mysore University; the students of Mysore University took him to the station in a carriage which had been decorated with flowers.
6.From 1931-1936 he was the Vice- Chancellor at Andhra University and from 1939-1948, he was the Vice-Chancellor at Banaras Hindu University. At Delhi University, he was the Chancellor from 1953-1962.
7. Let us also know that, in the memory of Dr. Radhakrishnan, Oxford University started the Radhakrishnan Chevening Scholarships and the Radhakrishnan Memorial Award.
8. He had founded Helpage India which is a non-profit organisation for elderly underprivileged people.
9.Since 1962,Teacher’s Day has been celebrated on 5th september every year to pay tribute to Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan on his birth anniversary.
We can’t forget such a humble man who devoted his entire life to promote the value of education and also gave Indians a new sense of esteem by gracefully interpreting Indian thought in western terms.
By Bhumika Joshi.