Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was much more than just a name; he was a revered philosopher, accomplished author, and the second President of India. His influence and contributions are celebrated through the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest honor, which he received in 1954. Every year, on September 5th, Teacher’s Day is celebrated in his honor as a mark of gratitude and respect. The first Teachers’ Day was observed in 1962, marking his 77th birthday. Here are some remarkable aspects of Dr. Radhakrishnan’s life:
Early Life and Background
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born in 1888 in Turmani, a village in Tamil Nadu, India. He hailed from a modest Brahmin family, and his father was a knowledgeable pundit in the village. Despite his humble beginnings, Dr. Radhakrishnan went on to achieve great heights in his academic and political career.
Marriage and Family
At the tender age of 16, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan entered into matrimony. He had five daughters and one son. Remarkably, he pursued his entire education through scholarships, showcasing his commitment to knowledge and learning.
Philosophy and Inspirations
Dr. Radhakrishnan was a distinguished philosopher, with Swami Vivekananda serving as his guiding light in the realm of philosophy. His academic journey included teaching positions at renowned institutions, including Oxford University.
He held significant educational and political positions throughout his career. Dr. Radhakrishnan transitioned from the Chancellorship of Presidency College, Madras, to the role of Vice President of India from 1952 to 1962. Subsequently, he assumed the presidency, serving as India’s second President from 1962 to 1967.
Philanthropy and Humility
When Dr. Radhakrishnan took office as President of India, he made a remarkable gesture by accepting only Rs 2500 out of his monthly salary of Rs 10,000. He generously donated the remaining amount to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund each month, reflecting his selflessness and commitment to social causes.
Legacy and Honors
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s contributions did not go unnoticed. He was not only awarded the prestigious Bharat Ratna in 1954 but also received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 1961. Additionally, he was bestowed with the Order of Merit in 1963 and the Templeton Award in 1975.
The life and work of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan continue to inspire generations, serving as a testament to the enduring impact of knowledge, humility, and service to society.