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The Legacy of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan


General Knowledge  •  5 Sept, 2023  •  3,571 Views  •  ⭐ 5.0

Written by Shivani Chourasia


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India's Teacher's Day, observed annually on the 5th of September, celebrates the invaluable contributions of educators to society. But beyond this, it commemorates the birth anniversary of a remarkable individual, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who wore many hats – as a philosopher, educator, and statesman. This post seeks to explore his profound influence and why India dedicates this day in honour of him.

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Early Life: The Humble Beginnings

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan 46th Death Anniversary: Check out 6  lesser-known facts about the legendary philosopher
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Born in 1888 in the town of Tiruttani in Tamil Nadu (then part of the Madras Presidency), Radhakrishnan grew up in a middle-class family. Despite the financial constraints, his early life was rich with intellectual pursuits, something that laid the foundation for his illustrious career ahead. Also, by emphasizing the universality of human experience, Radhakrishnan hoped that education could become a tool for global peace and understanding.

Education: A Quest for Knowledge

Essay On Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (in English) for Classes 1, 2 & 3: 10  Lines, Short & Long Paragraph
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Dr. Radhakrishnan's academic journey began at Voorhees College in Vellore, followed by studies at the Madras Christian College. Here, he was introduced to the works of Western philosophers, which he would later bridge with Eastern philosophy, thus becoming a beacon of Indian philosophy on the global stage. To Radhakrishnan, education had the power to liberate the mind, helping individuals transcend material confines and achieve spiritual enlightenment. This perspective made him a staunch advocate for integrating values and ethics into the educational curriculum.

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Career: An Educator and More

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan: Model World Citizen, Philosopher, Scholar -- An  Inspiration for Teachers, Students Alike - News18
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Radhakrishnan's career was a blend of academic and public service:

  • Academia: His academic journey took him to several renowned institutions. He served as a professor at the University of Mysore, and later as the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at the University of Oxford.
  • Public Service: Beyond academia, Radhakrishnan took on roles of national importance. He was appointed the first Vice President of India in 1952 and, a decade later, became the nation's second President.

The Birth of India's Teacher's Day

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When Radhakrishnan assumed the role of President, several of his admirers and former students approached him, wishing to celebrate his birthday. Instead of personal accolades, he expressed his wish that the day be celebrated as Teacher's Day, reflecting his deep respect and reverence for his fellow educators. His humility and dedication shifted the nation's focus from the individual to the larger community of teachers, highlighting their pivotal role in nation-building. His teachings also underscored the importance of cultural understanding. In a world with diverse cultures and traditions, he believed education should serve as a bridge, fostering mutual respect and global harmony.

Radhakrishnan's Philosophy on Education

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For Radhakrishnan, education was not just about acquiring knowledge; it was a means to self-realization. He believed that true education should not merely focus on rote learning but inspire curiosity and foster critical thinking. Rooted in the Indian philosophical tradition, he emphasized the moral and spiritual aspects of education, considering them essential for holistic human development. He often highlighted the role of teachers as not just knowledge transmitters but as moulders of character and cultivators of virtues.

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Conclusion

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's life and legacy remain a testament to the transformative power of education. His teachings, writings, and ideals continue to inspire generations of educators and learners alike. As India celebrates Teacher's Day, it is a reflection not just of gratitude towards our teachers but also a nod to the vision and ideals of a man who believed in the sanctity of the teaching profession.

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