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Born on September 5, 1888 in Tirutlani (now in Andhra Pradesh), Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan rose to become one of modern India’s most respected scholars and statesmen.

He was born to teach as a major part of his life was spent as an academic. He taught philosophy at the universities of Andhra, Mysore and Calcutta. He also held a professorship in eastern religion and ethics at Oxford.

His distinguished academic career included the Chancellorship of Delhi University and vice–chancellorship of Benares Hindu University.

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan [Illustrations by: Neelima Bhushan]
Dr Radhakrishnan wrote many books popularising Indian traditions for the west. He emphasised the need for India to establish a casteless and classless society. As a philosopher, Radhakrishnan espoused a modern form of Hinduism that attempted to embrace and reconcile with the world religions.

His books on Indian philosophy include The Philosophy of Upanishads, Eastern Religions and Western thought, East and West: Some reflections. Radhakrishnan led the Indian UNESCO delegation in 1946. He was appointed Indian ambassador to USSR in 1949. He then became the vice president of India in 1952 and was finally elected as the President of India in 1962.

Radhakrishnan who had a British knighthood (1931) and an Oxford professorship, and who did not participate in India’s struggle for freedom, became important in the political life of independent India. As a tribute to this highly renowned and revered teacher Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan we celebrate his birthday as the Teacher’s Day.