Pro. Ram Mohan Pathak
This is the Diamond Jubilee Year of the Teacher’s Day tradition. This tradition started from 1962, recognizing the birthday of noted educationist, the then Vice President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (September 5) as Teachers’ Day at the national level. 60th Teacher’s Day should also be an occasion for introspection for us. What is the significance of Teacher’s Day? In the context of education-teacher-learner, what was the original resolution or goal of organizing this day, have we succeeded even a little in reaching that goal?
The basic resolution of Teacher’s Day is that the teacher should get due respect and importance in the society. May the teachers in real life and more than 15 lakh primary, secondary and higher education institutions of the country get that respect, excellent means of life and livelihood and respect, far beyond the messages or slogans of ‘Happy Teachers Day’. The inspiration behind this resolution has been the teacher personality of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. From the ‘temple village’ Tiruttani in the northwest of Tamil Nadu’s capital Madras (now Chennai), Radhakrishnan’s life is a role model not only for teachers, but for all classes and for the entire world. An ideal philosopher, philosopher, scholar Sarvepalli began his teaching role from the College of Madras and made historic contributions as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mysore, the University of Calcutta and the largest Banaras Hindu University in Asia. He would take philosophy classes, give lectures, which used to come from far and wide to listen to native and foreign inquisitors. A crowd of listeners would gather outside the lecture hall.
The British government tried its best to close down the university. But they overturned the plans of the British rulers to enter and occupy the Banaras Hindu University. At present, Radhakrishnan’s personality and contributions to teachers are inspiring and memorable in three ways – his scholarly nature, his unique interpretation of East-West life philosophy and his conversational personality. Radhakrishnan was never active in politics and kept writing his profession ‘teacher’ till the last moment of his life. His insistence on teachership and continuous study, the respect he got at the world level, is absolutely ideal and exemplary for today’s teacher class.
When Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s birthday was announced as Teacher’s Day and a plan was made to honor teachers at the national level on this day, the entire education and political world supported and appreciated it in one voice. It was a tribute to the personality of Radhakrishnan. Bharat Ratna, the highest honor in life, British honor and honor of many countries of the world, the first Vice President of India and second President Sarvepalli was an example of sacrifice. His speech embedded in thoughts is today respected all over the world. After this first book ‘The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore’ (1918), dozens of his books on Indian philosophy and thought tradition still hold a high place in the field of learning.
So that’s why Teacher’s Day is celebrated on 5th September, know what is the story and importance
On the basis of his books and scholarship on the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, the Brahmasutras and the religions of the East-West, he was bestowed with the most important title of ‘Brahma Vidya Bhaskar’. His contribution as the Chairman of the University Education Commission of India in 1948 and the relevance of the recommendations of the Commission is still acknowledged by all. He was the epitome of sacrifice. Even before the completion of his term, he had made it clear in his Republic Day speech in 1967, ‘I have no aspirations for the next term as President’.
In this diamond jubilee year of Teacher’s Day in memory of such an education sage, the entire teacher-education world should once again review the various aspects of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s life and assimilate them. Otherwise it will remain only as a ritual or ritual.
(The author is the Vice Chancellor of Nehru Gram Bharati University Prayagraj)
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author.