Happy Teachers’ Day 2019: Importance, significance and history
In India, Teachers’ Day is celebrated on September 5 to mark the birthday of former President, politician, scholar, philosopher and Bharat Ratna recipient, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was born on the same day in 1888.
Dr Radhakrishnan was the first Vice President, and second President of independent India, and in 1962, the year when Dr Radhakrishnan assumed the Presidential office, the first ever Teachers’ Day was celebrated. Dr Radhakrishnan was a staunch believer of education.
Dr Radhakrishnan was born in a middle-class family in Tirutani in 1888. He graduated with a master’s degree in Philosophy from Christian College, Madras.
Dr Radhakrishnan made many notable achievements in his life and received many honours and awards, too. In 1917, his first book, The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore, got the world’s eyeballs on Indian philosophy. He taught at Chennai’s Presidency College and Calcutta University, and was also the Vice Chancellor of Andhra Pradesh University between 1931 and 1936. Following this, Dr Radhakrishnan was invited to teach Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University between 1936 and 1952. He also served as the Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University till 1948, he was invited for the position by Madan Mohan Malaviya. Of the many honours and awards he received, the most prominent were his knighthood in 1931, the Bharat Ratna in 1954, and his honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963. Dr Radhakrishnan was also nominated for the Nobel prize multiple times.
Importance and Significance
It is believed that when Dr Radhakrishnan assumed the Presidential office, some of his former students came to visit him and requested to celebrate his birthday with them. To which Dr Radhakrishnan replied that he would be honoured if people observed September 5 as Teachers’ Day instead.
Teacher’s Day is celebrated with much fervour all across the schools, colleges, universities and educational institutions of India. Students put on performances, dances, skits and host elaborate shows for their beloved teachers.