The Complete History Of Teachers Day: The tradition of celebrating the most substantial contribution of teachers started off as a request made by the most celebrated teacher of Indian history, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. “Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if September 5 is observed as Teachers’ Day”, Dr. Radhakrishnan told his students, when they wanted to celebrate his birthday. Since 1962, 5th September of every year has been regarded as the day to honour and value teachers’ noble service.
Radhakrishnan was born in 1888 and belonged to a middle-class family in Tamil Nadu. He rose from being a professor of various colleges to assuming the post of the President of India (1962-1967). He was awarded Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in the country. It is said that the students had extensive love for him that they carried him in a flower decorated cart all the way from the University of Mysore to the railway station to bid farewell as he was leaving to Calcutta.
THE UNCELEBRATED TEACHERS OF HISTORY:
‘Madha, Pidha, Guru, Deivam’- is a popular Tamil saying that stresses the importance of Guru (teacher) as it ranked before Deivam (Divinity) and the same ranked after Madha (mother) and Pidha (father). The renowned psychiatrist, Karl Meninger once said what the teacher is, is more important than what he/she teaches. The influence of teachers is enormous that has the ability to shape the perspective of the students.
However, the teachers from marginalised communities such as Jyotirao Phule and his wife Savitri Phule, Fatima Sheik, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar and many others have been ignored in history based on social status like caste and religion.
Jyotirao and Savitri were from Maharashtra, constantly worked for the upliftment of Dalit and Bahujan women who were denied access to education. They both advocated the importance of education in order to fight against discrimination. Savitri built schools for girls in Pune. later, Jyotirao founded Satya Shodak Samaj- Truth Seekers Society as a social reform movement to raise awareness on gender equal society.
Fatima Sheik was the first Muslim woman teacher and was an associate of Savitri. They both together established a native library to encourage avid-leaners of lower castes. Rather as a lawyer, Dr.Ambedkar is well known as ‘Hero of Dalits’. He was also part of Phule’s anti-caste movement. He continuously voiced out for the rights of depressed classes and kept stressing the significance of education among Dalit women.
There are many such individuals who persistently strove hard to uplift and empower the lives of the oppressed classes. They deserve appreciation and respect for their noble efforts. So, we shall remember them and follow their footpath to make the earth a better place for everyone.