New Delhi: Each year, Teacher's Day is celebrated on the 5th of September in India. Teacher's Day is marked in honour of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was born on September 5, 1888. Dr Radhakrishnan was India's first vice president and second president. He was a great scholar, philosopher and Bharat Ratna recipient. Since 1962 - the year he became president - India has commemorated Dr Radhakrishnan's birth anniversary by paying tribute to its teachers and gurus on this day. Read on to find out more about the importance, significance and history of Teacher's Day in India.
Dr Radhakrishnan was a celebrated academic. He taught at Chennai's Presidency College and Calcutta University. He served as Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. In 1936, Dr Radhakrishnan was invited to fill the Chair of Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford which he retained for 16 years.
It was in 1962 when Dr Radhakrishnan became the President of India that his birthday came to be observed as Teachers' Day.
It is said that Dr Radhakrishnan's students were keen to celebrate his birthday. However, he suggested instead of celebrating his birthday, it would be his "proud privilege" if the day was observed as Teacher's Day instead.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who was one of Dr Radhakrishnan's closest friends famously said: "He has served his country in many capacities. But above all, he is a great teacher from whom all of us have learnt much and will continue to learn. It is India's peculiar privilege to have a great philosopher, a great educationist and a great humanist as her President. That in itself shows the kind of men we honour and respect."
On Teacher's Day, students across the nation honour the teachers and gurus in their lives. Often, special programmes are held in schools and colleges honouring educators and the important - and often, thankless - work they do daily. Social media platforms are flooded with tributes to teachers. On Twitter, many remember their teachers using the hashtag #TeachersDay. Many others offer their teachers greeting cards and hand-made presents.