Teachers’ Day 2020: Reverence for the teachers is manifested throughout one’s life. In India, we have two special days to commemorate the contribution of the teachers and gurus who enlighten us with wisdom and profound truth — one is Guru Purnima and the other is Teachers’ Day. Every year on September 5, Teachers’ Day is celebrated. The day also marks the birth anniversary of former President of India Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was the second President of India, had said “teachers should be the best minds in the country.” Students across the country honour this belief of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. In the era of the digitalization of education and online classes, the significance of commemorating the Teachers’ Day as well as the birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, holds immense value more than ever. Dr Radhakrishnan, who was a teacher par excellence himself, followed Buddhist philosopher Nagarjun’s sutram in Pali – ‘shikshanam shrenitam, rida shesham’ (teaching is the noblest profession and the rest doesn’t matter) – as his motto in life. This motto signifies the pivotal role that a teacher plays even though the medium has transformed into a virtual one. A student only prospers under the tutelage of a teacher and that’s what Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan preached during his lifetime.
Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan received the Bharat Ratna award in 1954 much before becoming the President of the country. He became the titular head of state on May 13, 1962 and held the position till May 13, 1967. Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888. He had a master’s degree in philosophy and an accomplished academic career. He taught at the Presidency College in Chennai and Calcutta University. He was the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra Pradesh University. He was also invited to Oxford to impart knowledge on Eastern Religions and Ethics in 1936, was held a position at that University for 16 long years.
During the pandemic, it won’t be the usual celebration of Teachers’ Day by holding cultural programmes. However, all students can seek blessings through video conferencing. Most importantly assimilation of the values that teachers impart remains utmost pivotal to become a civilised individual. Students must remember Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s quote “True teachers are those who help us think for ourselves.”