Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the first vice president of independent India. He was famously known as Dr. S. Radhakrishnan in the political circles of India. He was born on the 5th of September, 1888 at Chennai into a traditional and orthodox south Indian Brahmin family.
The exact place of his birth is at Tirutthani, which is a small village situated somewhere in between the borders of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. He was basically from a financially downtrodden family and his father did not have any ideas of sending him to school for his education.
He rather wanted his son to become a priest at the temple at Tirutthani and serve his life in god’s name. But it was out of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan’s own desire that he enrolled in a school, mush against his father’s wishes and started studying there.
He initially enrolled in a primary school at Tiruvallur and later went to Tirupati for completing his high school studies. Philosophy was Dr. S. Radhakrishnan’s favorite subject and he did both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in the same subject and graduated from the Madras Christian College.
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Early Life Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Once after completing his master degree in philosophy, he chose to become a lecturer at the Madras Presidency College and served there as an assistant lecturer in the year 1909. The exposure Dr. S. Radhakrishnan received when he worked at Madras Presidency College was something to be proud of.
He received an opportunity to read through Hindu philosophy to the core and mastered many of the underlying doctrines of Hindu philosophy in the form of Vedas, Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita.
He ardently studied through the scriptures and preaching of great saints like Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya and Madhwacharya and became familiar with their practices and approach towards life. He became well versed with their teachings and could particularly relate to many of them.
Not only this, he even went a step ahead to read about the philosophies of western thinkers like Plato and could easily differentiate between western and Indian philosophies and realized the idealistic connections and where they stood or fell apart from each other.
With this extensive treasure of knowledge of the philosophies of India and the western world, he was now ready to take on the world on a different level.
It gave him enormous self confidence and he started to teach philosophy. Now he was an eminent professor in his field and hence he served as professor of philosophy, first at the university of Mysore and then at the university of Calcutta.
Through his tenure at university of Calcutta, he reached many milestones in his life. He authored a book of his own, which was based on his research and studies of both Indian Hindu philosophies and that of the western world.
His book was named, ‘Indian Philosophy’ which was published in the year 1923. Another feather in his cap came when he went overseas to Oxford University to deliver lectures on Hindu philosophies.
Contribution in the Field of Education
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan’s contribution to the field of education is outstanding and this can be attributed majorly through his experiences as professors of philosophies in addition to the fame he earned for delivering lectures at such coveted universities of world fame.
He never stopped learning, reading books and studying through philosophical doctrines and documentations had become part of his life. He spent a major part of his life in his quest of knowledge, to know more about the various philosophies that various Indian and western worlds dealt with.
After his return from the Oxford University, he stepped another milestone as Vice Chancellor of Andhra University. He was well appreciated for his wonderful efforts and initiatives that he took. He was a well received man at all the major universities where he served and one achievement led to another.
He soon took over the position of vice chancellor at Banaras Hindu University and at this center, the contributions he made to the field of education is highly remarkable.
Looking at his outstanding performance and the mass wealth of knowledge that he had earned for himself, the country thought it right to appoint him as the ambassador to UNESCO.
He represented India at the UNESCO and his experiences were further widened and responsibilities were further added to this noble man. He handled his duties so well and made remarkable achievements wherever he went.
India achieved Independence in the year 1947. Looking at the significant efforts that Dr. S. Radhakrishnan had undertaken in the educational field and the measures that he brought in, he was appointed as the chairperson of the University Education committee in the year 1948.
The guidelines and principles he laid down for the education system in our country is one of its kinds and there has not been any other person whose contribution could be counted on par with that of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan’s efforts.
He reformed the entire education system of the country by chairing a committee and providing valuable feedback’s and suggestions for the country to put them into practice.
The education system of our country needed strong teachers who could guide children in the correct paths and help them make the right career options. In the year 1952, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was elected as the first vice president of independent India.
His contributions and achievements in the field of education are not only remarkable, but something that nobody has achieved till now. His mass strength of knowledge combined with wisdom and a foresight to reform the country’s education system made him a favorite teacher of the masses.
Hence, his birthday is celebrated as Teachers’ day throughout the country and his remarkable feats for the welfare of the education system and particularly teachers are remembered on that day.
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan received the Bharat Ratna from the government of India in the year 1954 for his outstanding contribution in the field of education. After serving the country as vice-president, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was then recommended for the post of president and thus he served as the president of India in the year 1962.