Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was one of the most distinguished diplomats, scholars and teachers of India, apart from being the first Vice President and the second President of the country. As a tribute to this great teacher, his birthday is observed as Teacher's Day across India. As a matter of fact, when his students and friends asked him for the permission to celebrate his birthday, it was he who asked them to celebrate the day as Teacher's Day, honoring the efforts of teachers across the country.
Birth & education
Dr. S Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888, at Tiruttani, forty miles to the northeast of Chennai (then Madras), in South India. His early years were spent in Tiruttani and Tirupati, both famous as pilgrim centers. He graduated with a Master's Degree in Arts from Madras University. In April 1909, he was appointed to the Department of Philosophy, at the Madras Presidency College. From then onwards, he was engaged in a serious study of Indian philosophy and religion, and went on to become a teacher of Philosophy.
In 1918, Doctor Radha Krishnan was appointed as the Professor of Philosophy, in the University of Mysore. Three years later, he was appointed as a Professor to King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science in the University of Calcutta. Dr. Radhakrishnan even represented the University of Calcutta at the Congress of the Universities of the British empire in June 1926 and the International Congress of Philosophy at the Harvard University in September 1926. In 1929, Dr. Radhakrishnan was invited to take the post vacated by Principal J. estin Carpenter, in Manchester College, Oxford.
In Oxford, Dr. Radhakrishnan lectured the students on Comparative Religion. From 1936-39, he served as the Spalding Professor of eastern Religions and ethic,s at Oxford University. In 1939, he was elected Fellow of the British Academy. From 1939-48, he was the Vice-Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University. He later held offices that dealt with India's national and international affairs. He was the leader of the Indian delegation to UNeSCO during 1946-52. Dr. Radhakrishnan served as the Ambassador of India to U.S.S.R. during 1949-52. He was also a member of the Constituent Assembly of India.
Dr. Radhakrishnan penned down a number of books during his lifetime, some of which are like The Hindu View of Life, The Idealist View of Life, Religion and Society, eastern Religions and Western Thought and A Source Book in Indian Philosophy. He had also written for some of the most reputed international journals.
Presidency Of India
Dr. Radhakrishnan was the Vice-President of India from 1952 to 1962 and the President, General Conference of UNeSCO, from 1952 to 1954. He held the office of the Chancellor, University of Delhi, from 1953-62. In May 1962, Dr. Radhakrishnan became the President of India, a post he served till May 1967. He was honored with Bharat Ratna in 1954. He was also knighted by the British government in the year 1931, but, he used only his academic title 'Doctor' throughout his life.