Dr. Radhakrishnan Biography: Why Teacher's Day is celebrated on 5th September?

5 Sep 2023  Read 4908 Views

Teacher's Day is one of the most cherished memories for all of us, where we got to plan a special day for our teachers, filled with rehearsals & school decorations. However, we often overlook the man behind the celebration - Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, born on September 5, 1888. This remarkable philosopher, scholar, and India's second President dedicated his life to education and philosophy. 

So, have you ever wondered how Teacher’s Day originated in India? 

Let’s delve into this article and learn 10 most interesting facts on Dr Radhakrishnan along with a small heart-touching story on why we celebrate Teacher's Day on 5th September.

How did Teacher’s Day originate in India?

The story is very heart- touching. In 1962, some of his former students and friends approached & requested him to celebrate his birthday, but Dr. Radhakrishnan suggested that instead of celebrating his birthday separately, it would be a privilege if 5th September is celebrated as Teachers' Day to honor all teachers. So, Teachers day has been celebrated in India since 1962.

Dr. Radhakrishnan’s opinion for the teachers was that the right kind of education could solve many ills of society and India as a whole.

In this very context, “Teachers lay the foundation of a civilized and progressive society. Their dedicated work and the pain they encounter to ensure that students turn out to be enlightened citizens deserve high recognition”.

10 Interesting Facts on Radhakrishnan

How S Radhakrishnan managed to win 1962 presidential elections with Nehru's  support - India Today
Source: India Today
  1. Dr. Radhakrishnan: A true teacher- He was an Indian politician, but despite being involved in politics, he was a true teacher at heart. He was keenly interested in teaching & philosophy, so his birthday was declared as Teachers' Day.

  2. First Vice President of India- He became the first VP of India in 1952 and in 1962, he became the second President of independent India.

  3. Also, let's not skip this! When he became the President of India, he accepted only Rs 2500 out of Rs 10,000 salary and the remaining amount was donated to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund every month.

  4. He was elected to the Constituent Assembly in 1946 & served as an ambassador to UNESCO and later to Moscow.

  5. Radhakrishnan was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1954 and then in 1961, he was bestowed with the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. In 1963, he received the Order of Merit and in 1975, the Templeton prize for promoting the notion of “a universal reality of God that embraced love and wisdom for all people”. Did you know he awarded all this prize money to Oxford University? 

  6. Dr. Radhakrishnan left Mysore University in order to join the University of Calcutta. Amazingly, he was dropped at the station by his students from Mysore University in a carriage that had been decorated with flowers.

  7. He served as the Vice-Chancellor at Andhra University from 1931-36, and then from 1939-1948, he was the Vice-Chancellor at Banaras Hindu University. He also served as the Chancellor from 1953-1962 at Delhi University.

  8. What's not known to most of you is the fact that; Dr. Radhakrishnan earned accolades in Philosophy but studying this subject was not a choice but just a chance, when Dr. Radhakrishnan’s cousin passed on his philosophy textbooks to him, they automatically became his field. 

  9. Serving as a bridge between East and West:

He made significant contributions to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western philosophies. He introduced Indian philosophy to the Western world and promoted intercultural understanding. 

In June 1926, he had the honour of representing the University of Calcutta at the Congress of the Universities of the British Empire. He presented the Hibbert Lecture on the subject of life's ideals & this insightful lecture was subsequently published in book format under the title "An Idealist View of Life."

  1. He founded Helpage India, which is a non-profit organization for elderly and underprivileged people.


It is well said that "It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom." 

– Michael Morpurgo

Though he took his last breath on 17 April 1975, we can't forget such a humble man who valued education so much & despite being a politician, devoted his entire life to teaching & philosophy. He gave Indians a new sense of esteem by making contributions to spreading Indian philosophy in Western nations. 

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About the Author: Kakoli Nath | 275 Post(s)

She is a Legal Content Manager at Finology Legal! With a Masters in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), a BBA.LL.B from ITM University, and patent analyst training from IIPTA, she truly specializes in her field. Her passion for IPR and Criminal laws is evident from her advanced certification in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Profiling from IFS, Pune.

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