Bhubaneswar, Sept 5: The nation is celebration Teacher's Day today to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan-who served as the second president of India from 1962 to 1967. He previously served as the first vice president of India from 1952 to 1962. He was an an emblem of academia and education, was not only a statesman but also a revered philosopher and teacher.
India has a rich history of education, and its educators and teachers have made significant global contributions. Let's honor some of the greatest teachers of all time.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Every year, on September 5th, India observes Teachers' Day in honor of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the country's first Vice-President. He was a distinguished scholar and recipient of the prestigious Bharat Ratna award. September 5th marks his birthday, a date chosen to commemorate his legacy.
Dr. Radhakrishnan excelled academically, earning numerous scholarships. He studied philosophy at the Christian College, Madras, and went on to become a Professor of Philosophy at Madras Presidency College and the University of Mysore. He also served as the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University and later as the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at the University of Oxford.
Savitribai Phule was India's first female teacher at the country's first women's school. She is also celebrated as a pioneer of contemporary Marathi poetry. In an era when women's abilities were often underestimated, she passionately advocated for women's empowerment and education. Alongside her husband, she established a school specifically for girls from the untouchable caste.
Despite facing ridicule and physical attacks from orthodox upper-caste individuals opposing her efforts, she remained committed to education. Her dedication eventually earned recognition from the British government for her outstanding contributions to education.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
Known as the 'missile man' and 'People's President,' Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was a distinguished scientist and the 11th President of India. He believed that education should not be limited to academic qualifications but should also encompass personal skill enhancement, vital for shaping one's career and life.
In addition to his presidential duties, he served as a guest lecturer at prestigious institutions like IIM Shillong, Ahmedabad, and Indore. He also held honorary positions as a fellow at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, teaching Information Technology at IIIT Hyderabad, and technology at both Banaras Hindu University and Anna University.
Renowned as Kautilya, Chanakya is India's earliest celebrated scholar. He began his academic journey as a professor of political science and economics at Takshila University, located in the region now part of Pakistan. He continued to share his knowledge as a teacher at the same prestigious institution.
Chanakya is best known for his authorship of two influential texts, "Arthashastra" and "Neetishastra."
Swami Dayanand Saraswati
The founder of the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform movement rooted in the Vedic tradition, Swami Dayanand Saraswati was a renowned scholar deeply knowledgeable about the Vedic scriptures and Sanskrit language. He advocated for gender equality, including women's rights to education and access to Indian scriptures. His commentary on the Vedas, presented in both Vedic Sanskrit and Hindi, remains highly regarded.
Swami Vivekananda, the visionary leader who established the 'Ramakrishna Mission,' united monks and laypeople to promote Practical Vedanta and various forms of social service. His teachings applied this reimagined interpretation to education, faith, character development, and relevant social issues in India.
He also advocated for the Gurukula system, emphasizing the integration of educational institutions and the home environment, fostering holistic learning and growth. Swami Vivekananda's contributions continue to inspire and shape the educational landscape of India.
On this Teachers' Day, let's celebrate the remarkable legacy of these influential educators who have left an indelible mark on the world of education and beyond.