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On Teachers' Day: Remembering The Most Prominent Indian Teachers
World's most famous physicist Albert Einstein rightly quoted, "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." The word 'teacher' represents knowledge. It is an undeniable fact that the foundation which builds a person's life is to a great extent based on the knowledge one gets from the teacher.

In India, Teachers' Day is celebrated on 5th September every-year. On this day, the country as a whole acknowledges the teachers who are working relentlessly to guide the children of the country. It is a way of expressing love and respect to the unnoticed, hard working souls who are called as Guruji, Master, Sir and Maam.

On this Teacher's Day, we bring you the best and the most prominent Indian teachers the country has ever produced.


Dr.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan:
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The first Vice President and the second President of the country, Dr.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was first and foremost a teacher.

Dr. Radhakrishnan started his career as teacher and went on to become a great philosopher who built a bridge between the traditions of East and West. Born in a middle class family in the town of Tirutani, his father wanted him to become a priest instead of learning English.

He was honored with the highest civilian award in India, Bharat Ratna. He also received British Knight Bachelor award and the Commonwealth Order of Merit, but he refused to use the title ‘Sir’, as a protest against British rule.

Soon after, he was elected to be the President of India, some of his students and friends asked if they could celebrate his birthday. He replied: "Instead of celebrating my birthday, it would be my proud privilege if 5 September is observed as Teachers' Day." Since then, his birthday is celebrated as Teachers day across the country.


Savitribhai Jyotirao Phule:
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The first female teacher of the first women's school in India, Savitribai Phule was a social reformer who along with her husband, Rashtrapita Jyotirao Phule, played an important role in changing the women's rights in India. The couple together fought against casteism culture. In the year 1852 she opened a school for the girls of the lower caste.

Phule was born in Naigaon village in Maharashtra to LaxmiBai and Khandoji Navse Patil in the year 1831. She did not know how to read and write as she had never attended school before.

Life was never been easy for Phule as a teacher in the school, she faced oral abuse from all quarters of the village specially the upper caste people who were against setting up school for the girls. During this time, Phule also voiced her views against child marriage and Sati.


Guru Rabindranath Tagore:
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One of the most respected figure in India, Guru Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, philosopher, artist, playwright, composer and novelist.

Tagore started the Santiniketan School, where he focused to teach students not just syllabus but also he conducted classes below the tree, taught about spirituality, values and showed students the sufferings of the outside world. Tagore believed in Gurukul methods of teaching and revolutionized the education system in the country.

Born in a Pirali family, Tagore's father Debedranath Tagore was a leader of the Bramho Samaj. Patriotism and spirituality had always been a part of this family. Tagore was famously known for refusing his knighthood, in response to the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre in the year 1919.

Asia's First Nobel laureate, Tagore won the Nobel Prize for his work in Literature. He composed the lyrics for the National Anthem of India as well as Bangladesh. During his time, he supported the Indian independence movement and took part in many protests.


Nissim Ezekiel:
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An Indian Jewish poet born to a family of teachers in Mumbai, Nissim Ezekiel was also a teacher. It is said Mahatma Gandhi brought simplicity and clarity to Modern Indian-English prose and it was Ezekiel who made Indian-English poetry easy for the people.

Ezekiel started his career as a head of the Department of English in Mumbai and also was a visiting professor at the University of Leeds. He translated many Indian poems and was considered to be a world renowned critic and playwright.

During his time Ezekiel guided many poets on the ways to approach the poem. He spent many of his years in Mumbai reading and making literature easy for school students.

Ezekiel was also awarded with the Padma Shri. In the year 2004, he died of Alzheimer.


Dr. Manmohan Singh:
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India's former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, prior to venturing into politics, was a teacher. He has procured a Masters in Arts, Economics from the Panjab University in Chandigarh, which he completed with a first class distinction and with first position in the University.

As a Tata scholar, he read for the Economic Tripos at Cambridge. For his distinguished performance in 1955 and 1957 he was awarded the Wright’s Prize. He completed his PhD from the Nuffield College, University of Oxford, U.K.


Pt Sawai Gandharva:
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Popularly known as Sawai Gandharva, Rambhau Kundgolkar, born in the year 1886 was a well known Hindustani vocalist and an avid follower of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan.

Although not from a musical family, he developed interest in music from a very young age. After discontinuing his education, Pt. Gandharva's father put him to Balwantrao Kolhatkar. From Kolhatkar, Gandharva learned many compositions and also mastered a few taala.

Sawai created his own students who are presently following his legacy. They acknowledge him as a great trainer who had made them into great artists. Some of his students were Gangubhai Hangal, Basvaraj Rajguru and Pt.Feroze Dastur.


Ustad Alla Rakha Khan:
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A world renowned accompanists and tabla soloist, Ustad Alla Raka Khan who has won the hearts of many through his music was also a beloved teacher to many students.

Born in the year 1919 at Ratnagarh, near Jammu in India, Khan began his career as an accompanist in Lahore and started playing for the All India Radio Station. He was also a good vocalist. During this time, Khan along with Ravi Shankar rose to fame and they were a delight to watch.

He was also the teacher for two world famous tablaists, who are also his sons. Zakir Hussain and Fazal Quereshi are now leading the legacy built by their father.

As he was able to teach and produce two of the greatest jewels for Indian music, it made him one of the best gurus in the world.
posted by Shankar Das Shankar Das @ 7:39AM on date 08-09-2014
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