Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

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Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Telugu: సర్వేపల్లి రాధాకృష్ణ OM, FBA 5 September 1888 – 17 April 1975) was an Indian philosopher and statesman. He was the first Vice-President of India (1952–1962) and subsequently the second President of India (1962–1967).

One of India's most influential scholars of comparative religion and philosophy, Radhakrishnan is thought of as having built a bridge between the East and the West by showing that the philosophical systems of each tradition are comprehensible within the terms of the other. He wrote authoritative exegeses of India's religious and philosophical literature for the English speaking world. His academic appointments included the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science at the University of Calcutta (1921-?) and Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University (1936–1952).

Among the many honours he received were a knighthood (1931), the Bharat Ratna (1954) and the Order of Merit in 1963. His birthday is celebrated in India as Teacher's Day on 5 September.


Early life and education

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born into a poor Telugu Brahmin family at Tiruttani, a town in Madras Presidency, British India, 64 km to the northwest of Madras (now Chennai). His mother tongue was Telugu.[1] His mother's name was Sitamma. His early years were spent in Tirutani and Tirupati. His father was a subordinate revenue official in the service of a local Zamindar (landlord). His primary education was at Primary Board High School at Tirutani. In 1896 he moved to the Hermansburg Evangelical Lutheral Mission School in Tirupati.[2]

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