Teacher’s day in India embodies the very spirit of our traditional guru-shishya (teacher-student) bond. In present times with education fast turning into a mechanized process – computer smart boards, internet connectivity and global learning, this customary relationship gets a shot in the arm when students pay homage to their teachers on this special day.
It was on September 5, 1965 that a group of illustrious students of Late Dr S. Radhakrishnan decided to pay their respects on his birthday by organizing an event. Dr Radhakrishnan, the renowned teacher who by then had gained widespread regard, expressed his wish that instead of celebrating his birthday he would appreciate it better if the day was commemorated as ‘Teachers’ Day’.
Since then 5th September has been celebrated as Teachers’ Day and the trend continues till date. It was a rare, thoughtful gesture that stands us in good stead. The day denotes the cherished relationships students enjoy with their teachers. Traditional Indian culture as well as different religions of our country – Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism – all believe in the subliminal spiritual relationship and mentoring accorded by gurus or teachers.
Be it any genre of knowledge – academic, spiritual, musical, scholarly, professional – we all need a dedicated guru or teacher to guide and instruct us. It is while such knowledge is being imparted that students develop respectful relationships for their mentors. It is the teacher’s capacities to teach, drill, educate, instruct, inculcate, enlighten, and inspire that makes them so venerable. It is teachers who eventually mold the student’s minds to make them master their chosen field of education.
This day is therefore marked out as a tribute to the unfailing contributions made by teachers in all spheres of our lives. The birth anniversary of a great teacher transforms into a day for upholding the guru-shishya tradition in all its dignity and reverence. How better can it get. We all certainly do have our own memories of the way we celebrated in school. The one common thing done by seniors was to role play teachers to demonstrate appreciation.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan born on September 5, 1888, came from the pilgrim town of Tirutani. It was his brilliance that took him to Tirupati and later Vellore for further education. Subsequently he attended Christian College in Madras to study philosophy. His concentration and sense of conviction brought him recognition as a noted philosopher.
An evocative teacher he was quite popular with students. He became a professor at Calcutta University and then served as Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. In 1939 he was appointed Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University. Two years later, he took over the Sir Sayaji Rao Chair of Indian Culture and Civilization in Banaras. In 1952, Dr. Radhakrishnan was chosen to be the Vice President of the Republic of India.
September 5th therefore becomes the day to remember this great statesman whose humble submission to turn his birthday into Teacher’s Day speaks volumes of his humility and regard for teachers. Today is an occasion for us to remember our teachers and their role in contributing to our learning and development. It is our teachers from school and college who made it possible for us to be what we are today. It is day to appreciate their patience, industry and perseverance in shaping our minds and thought processes. It is a day to value their role in our lives.
गुरु ब्रम्हा गुरु विष्णू
गुरुः देवो महेश्वरा
गुरु शाक्षात परब्रम्हा
तस्मै श्री गुरुवे नमः
Gurur Brahmaa Gurur Vishnu
Gurur Devo Maheshwarah
Guru Saakshaata Parabrahma
Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah