Teachers’ Day 2016: Why is it celebrated on September 5 in India?

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Virswami became one of the most influential thinkers of Modern India

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: September 5, 2016 7:18 pm

Teacher's Day

As a mark of respect and to recognise teachers’ contribution towards the society, most countries celebrate Teachers’ Day. In India, we observe it on September 5, the day teacher and President Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Virswami was born. In USA Teachers’ Day is observed in the first week of May while the UK celebrates it on October 5.

It is said that when Dr Radhakrishnan became President (1962-1967), his students and friends wanted to him to celebrate his birthday. Known for his humble nature, he requested, “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5 is observed as Teachers’ Day.” Since then, his birthday has been observed as “Teacher’s Day”.

Born in a poor Brahmin family in South India in 1888, Dr Radhakrishnan became one of the most influential thinkers of Modern India. He was a bright student and through scholarships completed his studies.

He was a teacher of philosophy at the Madras Presidency College and was popular among his students. So much so, it is said, when he was leaving to join as a professor in Calcutta, a flower decked carriage was pulled by his students all the way from the Mysore University to the railway station.

Read: Teachers’ Day: 10 greatest teachers you need to know about

Some facts about Dr Radhakrishnan

He was the first Vice-President of India and the second President of the country (1962-67).
In April 1909, he was appointed to the Department of Philosophy at the Madras Presidency College.
in 1918, he was selected as Professor of Philosophy by the University of Calcutta
From 1931 to 1936, Radhakrishnan was the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University.
From 1936-39, he was the Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University.
In 1939, he was elected Fellow of the British Academy.

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