The birth date, [5 September 1888], of the second President of India, academic philosopher Dr. SarvepalliRadhakrishnan, is celebrated day, where teachers and students report to school as usual but the usual activities and classes are replaced by activities of celebration, thanks and remembrance. In some schools, on this day senior students take the responsibility of teaching in order to show their appreciation for the teachers.
SarvepalliRadhakrishnan (5 September 1888 – 17 April 1975) was an Indian philosopher and statesman who was the first Vice President of India(1952–1962) and the secondPresident of India from 1962 to 1967.
One of India's most distinguished twentieth-century scholars of comparative religion and philosophy, his academic appointments included the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science at the University of Calcutta(1921–1932) and Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics at University of Oxford(1936–1952).
His philosophy was grounded in Advaita Vedanta, reinterpreting this tradition for a contemporary understanding. He has been influential in shaping the understanding of Hinduism, in both India and the west, and earned a reputation as a bridge-builder between India and the West.
Radhakrishnan was awarded several high awards during his life, including a knighthood in 1931, the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India, in 1954, and honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963. Radhakrishnan believed that "teachers should be the best minds in the country". Since 1962, his birthday is celebrated in India as Teachers' Day on 5 September.
When he became the President, some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday, 5 September. He replied,
"Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if 5 September is observed as Teachers' Day."
His birthday has since been celebrated as Teachers' Day in India.
On the occasion of Teacher's day, various cultural programs and activities take place in schools. Senior students dress up as teachers and take up their roles, giving out lectures and teaching the students of primary level. By doing so, the students get a hands-on experience and realize how it feels to be a teacher. In some schools feasts are arranged and in some reunions are organized between the old students and teachers. People call up their childhood teachers and let them know that they are still remembered, giving them immense happiness and appreciating them for all that they did for them.
Most students offer gifts like greeting cards, flowers, chocolates, pens, show pieces, books, etc. to their teachers on this special occasion. A gift reflects the love and respect for the teachers by their students. Each one of us has been a student at some point of our lives, therefore Teachers' Day should be celebrated by all of us and not just the teachers and students alone.
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