Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

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Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Photograph of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan presented to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1962.jpg
2nd President of India
In office
13 May 1962 – 13 May 1967
Prime MinisterJawaharlal Nehru
Gulzarilal Nanda (Acting)
Lal Bahadur Shastri
Gulzarilal Nanda (Acting)
Indira Gandhi
Vice PresidentZakir Hussain
Preceded byRajendra Prasad
Succeeded byZakir Hussain
1st Vice-President of India
In office
13 May 1952 – 12 May 1962
PresidentRajendra Prasad
Prime MinisterJawaharlal Nehru
Succeeded byZakir Hussain
Personal details
Born(1888-09-05)5 September 1888
Thiruttani, Madras Presidency, British India
(now in Tiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu), India
Died17 April 1975(1975-04-17) (aged 86)
Madras (now Chennai, Tamil Nadu), India
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Sivakamu
Children5 daughters (including Sumitra, Shakuntla & Rukmini Kasturi)
1 son (Sarvepalli Gopal)
Alma materUniversity of Madras
Profession
AwardsBharat Ratna Ribbon.svg Bharat Ratna (in 1954)

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Sarvepalli Radhakrishnayya;[additional citation(s) needed] 5 September 1888 – 17 April 1975) was an Indian philosopher and politician.[1]

Positions[change | change source]

He served as the 2nd President of India from 1962 to 1967 and 1st Vice President of India from 1952 to 1962. He was also the 2nd Ambassador of India to Soviet Union from 1949 to 1952 & 4th Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University from 1939 to 1948.

One of the most distinguished twentieth-century scholars of comparative religion and philosophy, Radhakrishnan held the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science at the University of Calcutta from 1921 to 1932 and Spalding Chair of Eastern Religion and Ethics at University of Oxford from 1936 to 1952.

Philosophy[change | change source]

Radhakrishnan's philosophy was grounded in Advaita Vedanta, reinterpreting this tradition for a contemporary understanding. He defended Hinduism against what he called "uninformed Western criticism", contributing to the formation of contemporary Hindu identity. He has been influential in shaping the understanding of Hinduism, in both India and the west, and earned a reputation as a bridge-builder between India and the West.

Awards[change | change source]

Radhakrishnan was awarded several high awards during his life, including a knighthood in 1931, the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India, in 1954, and honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963. He was also one of the founders of Helpage India, a non profit organisation for elderly underprivileged in India. Radhakrishnan believed that "teachers should be the best minds in the country". Since 1962, his birthday has been celebrated in India as Teachers' Day on 5 September every year.

Books[change | change source]

He was the bridge-builder between East and the West due to his great knowledge. He had the ability to simplify complex ideas.

Dr. Radhakrishnan was critical of the way teaching of Western Philosophers. The basis of criticism was that theology dominated the western thinkers preventing freedom of expression. He wrote books on Indian philosophy according to Western academic standards, and made all efforts for the West to give serious consideration to Indian philosophy. In his book, Idealist View of Life, he compares different ways of thought process and favours the simplistic rational way. He is well known for his analysis of Human Way of Life by listening from elders (Upanishads), use of common sense (Bramha Sutra) and practical way of living (Bhagvad Gita). His birthday is celebrated as Teachers Day all over India.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]". iep.utm.edu. 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011.

Other websites[change | change source]