The importance of a teacher (guru) in the life of a person can be well understood by the above-mentioned couplet by Saint Kabirdas. Ancient Indian civilization has always given utmost respect and importance to the role of a teacher in our lives. For the same reason, mother is accorded the status of the first teacher of a child. Undoubtedly, teaching is a noble profession and the most influential job in the world. The contribution of a teacher in shaping the mind, thought process and knowledge is indelible in the life of a student. Teachers play a very significant role in imparting good values to children and turning them into responsible citizens. Teachers’ Day in India is celebrated on 5th September as a mark of respect to commemorate the memory of the second President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. He was an erudite scholar, an evocative philosopher, a dedicated teacher and a far-sighted leader. In 1962, he became the President of India. In 1965, his birthday was officially celebrated by many of his precocious students as ‘Radhakrishnan Day’. He did not like this self-eulogy, and while addressing the gathering, instead, advised the organizers to celebrate his birthday as Teachers’ Day, as a mark of respect for all the teachers. He wanted his birthday to be celebrated as a day of tribute to the greatest teachers of the country. Since 1967, 5th September is the chosen day for Teacher’s Day celebration in India. Dr. Radhakrishnan often said that any human activity is significant only if we are able to touch another life for good. A teacher is privileged to actually shape another life. In his book titled, “Political Thinkers of Modern India”, he signified the importance of teachers and education in a country like India, when democracy was still in its nascent stage. “A life of joy and happiness is possible only on the basis of knowledge and science” was famously said by this greatest teacher of India whose birthday is now a huge celebration day in every school and college of the country. He emphasized the role of teachers in nation-building and advocated high respect for teachers. He was one of the greatest stalwarts of Indian Philosophy and wrote many books, including the very famous book on Bhagvad Gita. In this book, he defined a teacher as “The one who emphasizes on presentation to converge different currents of thoughts to the same end”. In 1952, Dr. Radhakrishnan was chosen to be the Vice President of the Republic of India and in 1962, he was elected for the highest office of the state, as President of India. He was among the first 3 recipients of Bharat Ratna, highest civilian honour, in the very first year 1954, along with Sir. C. Rajagopalachari and Sir C.V. Raman.

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