Education and literacy are such words, which begin to mingle with positive and negative thoughts. After all, why not? The modern education has been taken as a form of business. This is the reason why even today the works of Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan is being remembered with great respect. He not only emphasized on the personality development of the student, but also presented the ideal life of a teacher and served as the Vice-Chancellor of BHU. Perhaps this is the reason why we celebrate his birthday on September 5 every year as Teachers’ Day.
Birthdate of India’s former President Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan is celebrated as a teacher’s day, but how much he has been connected to Kashi? It only can be estimated that for nine years he served as Vice-Chancellor of BHU (from 1939 to 1948). His selfless spirit never fails to create Impact on anyone either there is a matter of taking a salary as a Vice-Chancellor or it is a matter of resolving the problems of students.
According to Acharya Padmashri Professor Rajeshwar Acharya of BHU’s one of prominent Music Faculty, in the year 1964, as he was leading Culture Secretary Student Council, BHU team in the National Youth Festival New Delhi. And having a dream to meet President Radhakrishnan personally as he was a chief guest at the event. Organizers had already instructed him that there must not be any movement of individuals at any place during the program. But we wanted to meet him and as soon as the President Dr. Radhakrishnan came in front of the people the team of BHU started singing BHU’s ablation (Kulgeet) and the President stopped immediately and he himself came forward to meet him. Being a former Vice-Chancellor and a President his simple behaviour attracted everyone present at that time.
As the second President of India, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, who has given new heights to education in the country, has a deep connection with Kashi. The documents related to his memories as Vice-Chancellor in Banaras Hindu University do not get tired of appreciating his ability and contribution. He was so dedicated to education that he even avoided taking salary.
Service for Nine years
Even before independence, the importance of Banaras Hindu University as a major centre of education was well known in India and as well as abroad. The country was a slave when Dr. Radhakrishnan took the responsibility of the university amidst the declining health of Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya along with the responsibilities of its establishment and operation. From 1939 to 1948, he served as the Vice-Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University.
Service of BHU with Oxford University
Earlier, he was serving as Professor of Philosophy at Calcutta University and also Professor of Eastern Philosophy at Oxford University. After joining BHU, he resigned from Calcutta University in view of the pressure of discharging responsibilities at three places and engaged in discharging the responsibilities of BHU with Oxford University simultaneously.
Saviour of University during the Freedom Struggle
During his tenure, he became successful in failing the British intentions. The British government tried to shut down the University in 1942 during the freedom struggle. As there was huge involvement of students from BHU. In such a situation, Dr. Radhakrishnan tried to save BHU and did not let the British government’s intentions succeed. He believed that this is the national institution, so selfless service is the true national service. In his life including educational contributions in Varanasi, he successfully discharged his obligations as a teacher.
Radhakrishnan Memories in BHU
Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishna’s memories have been treasured and saved even today in BHU, as it is called Mahamana Ki Baghiya. There is a hostel on his name in BHU. The protection of documents in various departments including Bharat Kala Bhawan, Radhakrishnan Auditorium etc is made in his memory.
Died on April 17, 1975
Due to a long illness, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan died on 17th April, 1975, which was a tragic and huge damage to the country. In 1975, he was honoured with the Templeton Award by the US Government, which is provided in the religious sector. He was probably the first one to be honoured with such an award who is Non-Christian.