1. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was a great philosopher, statesman, the second President, and the first Vice-President of independent India. He was a prominent scholar and academician. His birthday (5 September) is celebrated as Teachers Day in India.
2. Radhakrishnan’s father wanted him to become a priest at a temple rather than to study. But he worked hard to win a scholarship from the Madras Christian College that enables him to pursue his graduation and passed his BA with first-class honors in 1906.
3. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was invited to take the post of a Professor of Mental and Moral Science by the Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University. He interacted closely with Rabindranath Tagore in Calcutta.
4. 3. He became Vice President of India in 1952 and before it, he was appointed as the ambassador to UNESCO in 1946 and then to the Soviet Union. He laid the foundation of India’s relationship with the Soviet Union (now Russia).
5. Do you know that when he became President in 1962, some of his students requested him to celebrate his birthday then he replied “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5 is observed as Teacher’s Day”.
6. His name was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for five consecutive years. But he never won the Nobel Prize. He won several other prestigious awards and titles including the Bharat Ratna in 1954, a knighthood from George V in 1931, and an honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963.
7. One more astonishing fact about him is that after becoming the President of India, he remained a humble man. He only accepted Rs 2500 out of his salary Rs 10,000 and donated the remaining amount to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund every month.
8. “The end-product of education should be a free creative man, who can battle against historical circumstances and adversities of nature”. – Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan