Teacher’s Day: Tribute to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
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Teacher’s Day: Tribute to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan

September 5, 2022

September, 5 is celebrated by Teachers’ Day all over India to pay homage to a great teacher. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. He is a role model to all the teachers in India. His life and writings have inspired millions of teachers irrespective of the subject or the level of teaching. Coming from the poor family he was an ordinary student and started teaching at Presidency College, Madras. During his career be developed himself as an eloquent speaker with exceptional command over English language. He was awarded the order of Merit by the queen of England.

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was a teacher among great philosophers and a great philosopher among teachers. He was a Statesman of great distinction and as an Ambassador to Russia, he played unique role promoting Hindu philosophy in Russia and other countries. He taught at a number of Indian and Foreign Universities and worked as a Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics in Oxford University.

Mysore University was one of the Universities which had the good fortune of having him on its faculty. As a professor at Maharaja’s College and as Vice Chancellor of Andhra and Benaras Universities, he served as role model to teachers and teacher administrators.

His speeches and writings have made a significant contribution to understand and interpret Hinduism and Hindu philosophy in India and abroad. He was awarded Bhart Ratna in 1955 and was elected as President during 1962. In all his writings he stressed the importance of rational and scientific thinking. He analysed the great role played by the teachers in shaping the density of future India. He warned teachers and intellectuals against complacency and intellectual laziness.

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In all his writings, he explained the great teachings of Hindu culture and deplored the fact that large number of people are following blind beliefs and rituals. In explaining the role of teachers, Dr. Radhakrishnan wrote: “The function of College is to produce not only men of high learning and scholarship but also provide best fitted and trained leadership for the community.”

 Here is another quote from his book Foundations of Civilization (page 79): “There are some men in our country who use scientific facts and theories to buttress their own pet prejudices. They argue that aeroplanes were found in ancient India and quote latest research to justify and defend the cruelties of caste. When passion and prejudice clothe themselves from true sense in the garb of scientific respectability, when they invent pseudo-science, to save themselves from the true science become more dangerous”. How valid are his observations even today!.

By K. Shamanna

Fellow, Indian Society for Training and  Development (ISTD)

[Professor Shamanna stated his career as a Lecturer in Manasagangothri in 1961 and taught in several Universities in USA, and Sri Lanka and Mysore. He has been a fellow and consultant to Indian Society for Training and Development. In his long career of more than 50 years, he has been greatly inspired by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan]

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