Teachers Day will be celebrated today in India on September 5th, Monday to remember the contribution of former President of India Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan to India.
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This report will cover some of the best facts and quotes from his life that will inspire you to become the best version of yourself. His work in the fields of politics, philosophy, comparative religion, and eastern and western philosophies helped India to become more conscious and educated.
Who was Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan?
Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was an Indian scholar, philosopher and politician. He served as the second President of India from 1962 to 1967 and the First Vice President of India from 1952 to 1962. Apart from that, he served as India’s second Ambassador to the Soviet Union between 1949 and 1952.
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Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s Birthday: Top 20 Lesser Known Facts
1. He was appointed Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University and elected a Fellow of All Souls College.
2. He was knighted in 1931 by the British since then he was called Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan but later he became Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan in 1947.
3. He was awarded Bharat Ratna (1954), German Book Trade Peace Prize (1961), Order of Merit (1963) and Templeton Prize in 1975 for promoting the idea of a “universal reality of God who embraced love and wisdom for all”. Interestingly, he donated the entire prize money to Oxford University
4. In 1946 he was elected to the 1946 Constituent Assembly and served as Ambassador to UNESCO and later to Moscow, Russia.
5. Dr. Radhakrishnan was a student of Mysore University but left to join Calcutta University.
The University of Oxford has launched the Radhakrishnan Chevening Scholarships and the Radhakrishnan Memorial Award to honor Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
6. In 1962, the anniversary of his birth, September 5, began to be celebrated as “Teachers’ Day”.
7. He was the founder of Helpage India, a non-profit organization for disadvantaged and elderly people.
8. He was nominated 16 times for the Nobel Prize for his contribution to literature.
9. He was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 11 times.
10. He accepted only Rs 2,500 out of a salary of Rs 10,000 and donated the remaining amount to the Prime Minister’s national relief fund every month.
11. He was also the first person to be awarded the coveted Sahitya Akademi Scholarship.
12. Some of his best books were, Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore, An Idealist View of Life, The Hindu View of Life, Kalki or the Future of Civilization, Gautama the Buddha, Reign of Religion in Contemporary Philosophy, The Religion We Need, India and China, and many others.
13. British officers used to come for his instruction in Telugu and Sanskrit. His expression of any language was immaculate, perfect with a resonant cadence.
14. He was also Vice Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936.
15. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan believed that Tagore’s philosophy was the “true manifestation of the Indian spirit” and wrote his first book, “The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore”.
16. Mr. Sarvepalli Gopal his child is a renowned historiographer. Former VVS Test cricketer Laxman is his great-grandnephew.
17. His father wanted him to become a priest, but he was sent to a college in Tiruttani.
18. He did his masters in philosophy because his cousin had a degree in philosophy and he gave free textbooks to Radhakrishnan.
19. Coming from a poor family, Radhakrishan studied on a scholarship for most of his life.
20. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan got married when he was 16 years old. His wife was six years younger than him.
Birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: Best Quotes
1. “Man is a paradoxical being – the constant glory and scandal of this world.”
2. “A life of joy and happiness is only possible on the basis of knowledge and science.”
3. “Books are how we build bridges between cultures.”
4. “The end product of education should be a free creative man, able to struggle against historical circumstances and the adversities of nature.”
5. “It is not God who is worshiped, but the group or authority that claims to speak in his name. Sin becomes a disobedience to authority and not a violation of integrity.
6. “The word Atma (Soul) means the ‘breath of life’. The Atma is the principle of man’s life, the Soul which pervades and transcends his being, his breath and his intellect. The Atma is what remains when all that is not the self is eliminated. It is the unborn and immortal element of man, which should not be confused with body, mind or intellect.
7. “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5 was celebrated as Teachers’ Day.”
(Written by Zuhair Zaidi)