Teachers’ Day in India, observed annually on September 5th, is a day dedicated to honoring Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the nation’s distinguished leader who served as its first Vice President and later as President. Born on this day in 1888, Dr. Radhakrishnan’s legacy as a scholar, philosopher, and recipient of the Bharat Ratna award is celebrated on this special occasion.
Dr. Radhakrishnan’s educational journey is an inspiring tale of determination and scholarship. Overcoming financial challenges, he pursued his education, ultimately earning a master’s degree in Philosophy. In 1917, he furthered his academic contribution by authoring ‘The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore,’ a testament to his profound understanding of philosophy.
His impact extended beyond the classroom into administrative roles in higher education. He served as Vice-Chancellor at Andhra University from 1931 to 1936 and later at Banaras Hindu University in 1939, where he left an indelible mark on India’s educational landscape. In recognition of his monumental contributions, he was honored with the Bharat Ratna in 1954 and admitted as an honorary member of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963.
The significance of celebrating Teachers’ Day on September 5th lies in a poignant moment from Dr. Radhakrishnan’s life. In 1962, when he assumed the presidency, his former students expressed a desire to celebrate his birthday as a special day. However, with humility and wisdom, he declined this request and proposed that September 5th be observed as Teachers’ Day instead.
Dr. Radhakrishnan’s rationale was rooted in his deep admiration for educators. He believed that teachers should be the best minds in the country and saw their role as pivotal in shaping society and nurturing the intellectual growth of young minds.
Throughout India, September 5th has evolved into a day of exuberant celebrations across educational institutions. Students engage in various activities, including performances, dances, and elaborate shows, to express their heartfelt appreciation for their teachers. Even those who have graduated from educational institutions seize this opportunity to express gratitude, acknowledging the profound influence teachers have had on their lives.
In essence, Teachers’ Day on September 5th is a heartfelt tribute to the dedication, wisdom, and unwavering commitment of educators who serve as the cornerstone of quality education. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s vision continues to inspire generations, reminding us of the pivotal role teachers play in shaping individuals and the nation. Teachers take pride in their students’ success, and Teachers’ Day provides a meaningful occasion to reciprocate their invaluable contributions. It serves as a reminder that the impact of a great teacher lasts a lifetime.