India celebrates September 5 as Teacher's Day to mark the tribute and contribution made by teachers in society. India's former President, philosopher and Bharat Ratna Dr Sarvepalli Radhkrishnan was born on September 5, 1888, in Andhra Pradesh's Tiruttani to Brahmin parents. He was a bright child in academics and completed his education on several scholarships. He initially joined Voorhees College in Vellore but later moved to Madras Christian College in Chennai. In 1906, he completed his Master's Degree in Philosophy and became a Professor.
A Legendary Teacher
India's former President donned many hats after that. He went ahead to teach in Chennai's Presidency College and Calcutta University. He was very popular among his students. One of Dr Radhakrishnan's famous sayings is that "The true teachers are those that help us to think for ourselves." The Professor was knighted in 1931 and was awarded the coveted Bharat Ratna in 1954. After that, Dr Radhkrishnan was appointed as an honorary member of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963.
Radhakrishnan was one of the most admired and well-respected men of the 20th century. He was nominated 16 times for Nobel Prize in Literature and 11 times for the Nobel Peace Prize. The Times of India reported an anecdote of the great teacher's life, once in 1921, when Dr Radhakrishnan was heading towards the Mysore Railway Station from Mysore University. His students had arranged for a flower-decked carriage for the commute to the destination, and his students pulled the carriage.
The Story Behind Teacher's Day
When Dr Radhakrishnan became the second President of Independent India in 1962, his students approached him to celebrate September 5 as a special day. Instead, he requested his students to celebrate this day as Teacher's Day to commemorate teachers' contributions to making the world a better place. Thus, September 5 is celebrated across the country with full enthusiasm as a symbol of gratitude towards teachers.