Radhakrishnan: The great teacher

Gautam Guha: Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was first Vice President and second President of India. He was also a philosopher and introduced the thinking of western idealist philosophers into Indian thought. He was a famous teacher and his birthday is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in India.

Radhakrishnan believed in freedom, democracy, accommodation, tolerance and the wisdom of our ancient saints and teachers. He added new dignity, dimension and brilliance to the high office of the President of India by his so deep and wide knowledge, wisdom and towering personality. He followed the principle of “Do your best” in every field of life and served the country and the entire humanity in an exemplary way. Unfortunately, his wife expired in 1956 and it grieved him a lot. They had five children. He paid a State visit to the USA in 1963 and delivered lectures urging the people to remove poverty, illiteracy, and exploitation from the world. His voice was taken as the voice of the conscience and that of the downtrodden and deprived. Later he paid a State visit to England. He laid down this high and dignified office in 1967 at the age of 79. Dr. Zakir Hussain succeeded him as the President.

In May 1967 he returned to Madras (Chennai), his home town amidst roaring welcome and cheers. Finally, he passed away on April 17, 1975; and the whole of India was drowned in a sea of gloom and mourning.

He was a lighthouse of Indian wisdom. In his death, India lost a towering and remarkable personality that dominated the world scene with his work for such a long time. As a tribute to his loving memory and great achievements, 5th September is celebrated as the teachers day. So like Dr. Radhakrishnan, every teacher should adapt their path and devote to students as their child. They teach them for becoming educated, not for professional.

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