Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: On Teacher's Day, Congress pays homage to former president
Remembering his enduring wisdom and influence on education and philosophy, Jairam Ramesh saluted the philosopher president on his birth anniversary
The Congress on 5 September hailed the contribution of former president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan on his birth anniversary, saying that he left an indelible mark on education and philosophical thought and his "legacy continues to guide our values".
The birth anniversary of Radhakrishnan is celebrated as Teachers' Day in India.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "Today, we celebrate Teachers' Day and recall Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the great philosopher, educationist and author." Many of his books—like The Hindu View of Life, Indian Philosophy, Eastern Religions and Western Thought, as well as his editions of The Bhagavadgita, The Dhammapada and The Principal Upanishads are evergreen classics, Ramesh noted.
"Not a political personality by any means, Radhakrishnan had been persuaded by (Jawaharlal) Nehru to be India's ambassador to the USSR during 1949–52 when the communist conglomerate still looked upon India suspiciously. Thereafter, he was the first vice-president of India (in) 1952–62 and president till 1967," Ramesh said.
His son, the eminent historian Sarvepalli Gopal, produced one of the best biographies ever written anywhere of any public figure, the Congress leader said.
"The final line in that dispassionate book has become unforgettable", Ramesh said: 'In retirement he was determined, the freedom of silence being now his prerogative, to make no public appearances. Rather than becoming tiresome by airing his views irresponsibly on all subjects, he would cultivate the private graces and spend his time reading and writing on philosophical subjects... Finally, in the early hours of 17 April 1975, Radhakrishnan drifted out of the harbour on a silent tide.'
Incidentally, his granddaughter Girija and her former IAS spouse Viraraghavan are the most celebrated rose cultivators in India, based in Kodaikanal, he said. They have dedicated half their lives to the hybridisation of roses in the Subcontinent, Ramesh added. The Congress general secretary also shared a documentary on Radhakrishnan made years ago by the Films Division.
The Indian National Congress, in a post on X, said, "On his birth anniversary, we pay tributes to Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a revered educator, philosopher and statesman who served as the second president of India."
"Leaving an indelible mark on education and philosophical thought, his legacy continues to guide our values," the party said.