The Man Behind it All- Happy Teacher’s Day!

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

In India, 5th of September is celebrated as Teacher’s Day marking this as a tribute to all the contributions made by teachers for our society.

Though World Teachers’ Day falls on October 5, in India, it is observed on September 5. The date 5th September is the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the first Vice President of India and the second President of India from 1962 to 1967. 
 Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was a staunch believer of education, and was a well-known diplomat, scholar, the President of India and above all, a teacher.
 The story goes that when Dr Radhakrishan became the President of India in 1962, his students approached him for permission to celebrate September 5 as a special day. But he in turn made a request of them, which was to observe September 5 “as Teachers’ Day,” to recognise the contribution of teachers to society.

A little anecdote of one of the best teachers/physicists, Richard Feynman- depicting the kind of long lasting impact a good teacher has on students.

Few examples from our history about the special bond of a Teacher and a Student

  1. Chandragupta Maurya and Chanakya: After a major defeat in a battle, Chandragupta, the most respected king of all, returned to his kingdom dismayed immediately went to meet Chanakya seeking advice.
    Chanakya suggested Chandragupta to have some food before the discussion. Although Chandragupta was in no mood to eat, he could not defy Chanakya’s order. 
    They sat down for dinner, and suddenly Chanakya said, “ I have a wonderful plan; let us finish the dinner quickly.” The dinner, freshly served was too hot to be eaten by hands. Seeing Chandragupta nearly burning his mouth and hands, Chanakya advised him to pick rice from the corners instead of eating from the middle of the pile. Second after finishing the food, Chandragupta asked Acharya Chanakya to suggest him something for the victory. Chanakya replied, “ The lesson is already been taught. Attack the enemy at their weak points instead of directly attaking on their strong points.Just as it was easy to eat the rice when started from the corner of the plate rather than the center.”
  2. Gopal Krishna Gokhale & Gandhi : Only a few people know the man who influenced Gandhi to come back to India permanently was his political guru G.K Gokhale. Gokhale asked Gandhi to return from South Africa and serve the people of India. 
    Gandhi writes in his book ‘Satyagraha in South Africa’ — ”Every word of Gokhale glowed with his tender feeling, truthfulness and patriotism. Gokhale prepared me for India”.On February 27, 1914, Gandhi wrote to Gokhale“I propose to leave for India in April. I am entirely in your hands. I want to learn at your feet and gain the necessary experience. My present ambition is to be by your side as your nurse and attendant. I want to have the real discipline of obeying someone whom I love and look up to. I propose to use the funds you have sent for our passages”.
    The politics of India was to take a different turn, if Gokhale hadn’t been the mentor of Gandhi. Gandhi’s achievements during the freedom struggle were a result of the role of Gokhale in his life.

A teacher is incomplete without the love of her/ his students. Here is some creativity by kids on www.plowns.com on this day.

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Written by Plowns team: www.plowns.com.