Tribute to Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Gopal Krishna Gokhale on Teacher's Day
‘Teachers should be the best minds in the country’— Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
When is Teacher’s Day in India?
India is a land of sages, social reformers, great leaders, excellent teachers and other greats in various other fields. It is India which has produced Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, and lots of other great personalities. Among the whole lot of India’s great personalities one great was Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
This son of India was highly qualified and also became the second President of India. He authored many books but that was not all. He was a great teacher and helped the young India to become aware of their country’s bondage. His every step as a teacher was taken for the student’s betterment as well as to earn freedom for his country, India. His birthday falls on 5th Sept. One day his friends and students asked for his approval to celebrate his birthday on 5th Sept but in contrary he requested his friends and the students to celebrate the day as Teacher’s Day. From then on, 5th Sept is celebrated as the Teacher’s Day in India.
On this Teacher’s Day I would like to take the privilege to present some great personalities who very dedicatedly served the nation as the great leaders of the freedom struggle. But, why are the freedom fighters to be remembered during the Teacher’s Day? It’s only because they were great teachers too and contributed a lot in the field of education. They shaped the future of India by imparting valuable knowledge to their students as teachers and as educationists they richly contributed to the society at large. There were many among the patriots who gained popularity as teacher or an educationist. On the Teacher’s Day, I deeply believe that the teachers who teach should not be only honored but those educationists who sincerely thought for the betterment of education at large must be paid respect. To name some great teachers and educationists: Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dadabhai Naoroji, Acharya Kriplani, Sucheta Kriplani, Annie Besant, Aurobindo Ghose, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and many more. In this article I am presenting a short detail of two great personalities among the names mentioned above. They are as follows:
Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya
The Great Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya
Born on 25th Dec 1861 at Prayag (Allahabad) and died on 12th Nov 1946
After completing his graduation from Calcutta University he started his career as a teacher in Allahabad District School in July 1884. That was the period when he started penning down poems but used a pen name ‘Makarand’. After some time he left this job and joined as an editor of a weekly but again he left it to pursue the course of LL.B. After completion of this course he practiced law in Allahabad District Court and thereafter in Allahabad High Court.
Pt. Malaviya and his Work
Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya during his lifetime became President of the Indian National Congress for four times. He was one of the pioneers of Scouting for native Indians. He excelled as teacher, lawyer and in Journalism also. With his journalistic calibre he came up with a very strong and effective English newspaper called ‘The Leader’. It was published from Allahabad in 1909. He chaired the newspaper ‘Hindustan Times’ from 1924 to 1946. It was Pt. Malaviya’s effort that the ‘Hindustan Times’ became bilingual. In 1936 the Hindi edition of the newspaper got started and till date this newspaper in both the languages are very popular among the readers of India.
Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya was also addressed as ‘Mahamana’ by the people of India. There is a sacred phrase or it’s better to say a mantra is inscribed in India’s National Emblem, ‘Satyameva Jayate’ which means ‘Truth Alone Triumphs’. This saying is taken from the ancient Indian Scripture ‘Mandaka Upanishad’. It was Pt. Malaviya who made this mantra popular during the Freedom Movement of India.
As an outstanding sturdy patriot he realized that our country suffered on account of technical backwardness, lack of public spirit, inattention to our own great culture. These were the defects which he attempted to remove by the establishment of this University.— Dr S. Radhakrishnan
Entrance of Benaras Hindu University With Pt. Malaviya's statue
Benaras Hindu University (BHU)
His achievements and contributions were many and cannot be summed up in too little words but the question is how he comes under the category of the teaching section. Till now, I've mentioned only about his early teaching career but as an educationist he gave India and the world a great learning centre.
Benaras Hindu University (BHU) was founded by Pt. Malaviya at Varanasi in 1916. This university at present is the largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world too. From 1919 to 1938 he was the Vice Chancellor of the university. Benaras Hindu University has become synonymous with the name of his founder member Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya. It was a great gift to the future generations and the university has lived up to its expectation. Thus, on 5th Sept on Teacher’s Day in India Pt. Malaviya deserves to receive a rich tribute for his contribution to academics. Shouldn’t he? Obviously, he should and that was the wish of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who wanted every teacher to be honoured on his birthday. It’s true that Vice Chancellorship is an administrative and not a teaching job but a man who during India’s troubled times under the British rule had such a great vision that did an overwhelming contribution to the field of education. Interestingly, in 1939 when Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya stepped down from the post of Vice Chancellor and invited Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan to become the Vice Chancellor of BHU. Dr. Radhakrishnan took up the responsibility and remained as the Vice Chancellor of BHU till January 1948. Benaras Hindu University is still a great learning centre in the streams of arts, science, engineering and technology. This university was a fulfilment of Pt. Malaviya’s dream.
This great soul of India had played many roles such as patriot, lawyer, and journalist but above all he was a teacher and educationist too of great success. Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya was known to be the ‘teacher of teachers’. Once Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was paying homage to Pt. Malaviya addressed him as the ‘Teacher of the Nation’.
Gopal Krishna Gokhale sitting in the middle
"Gokhale pledged himself to the task of imparting education for twenty years.
Education becomes fruitful only when men of such spirit devote their lives to
the cause of education."— Mahatma Gandhi
Fergusson College, Pune
Gopal Krishna Gokhale
Born on 9th May 1866 and died on 19th Feb 1915
He was known to be the political preacher of Mahatma Gandhi while Gokhale himself was an ardent admirer of Mahadev Govind Ranade. For almost 15 years Ranade trained him in every sphere of life such as public service, devotion and so on. This inspiration and motivation made Gokhale the very popular leader. He was a man of humility, idealism and great patriotism. After schooling he graduated in 1884 from the Elphinstone College in Bombay, presently known as Mumbai. His understanding of English language gave him a strong edge. Even, he was good at Mathematics and thus he wrote a book having N.J. Bapat as the co-author of a book of Arithmetic. This book was highly acclaimed.
The Great Teacher in Gokhale
Gopal Krishna Gokhale after graduating took up a teaching job at the New English School in Pune which was started by great patriots of India, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar. There he taught English and Mathematics. It’s being said about his teaching quality that while explaining about something which was quite a difficult one he would never end up with a definition from the dictionary while other teachers would end up doing that and finish the class. Gokhale would go for a practical experiment and learning after enriching his own knowledge and understanding; then he used to explain the matter to the students. While doing this he was confident as he had studied and understood the topic and then explained it to the students. That was the reason why Gokhale was a very popular teacher among his students.
Later he joined as a teacher in Fergusson College in Pune which was also started by Tilak and he was himself one among the founders of the college. He taught in this college for twenty years and remained as the board member. His knowledge and understanding of various subjects were so strong that at any given time he had the ability to teach any required subject. That was the reason Gopal Krishna Gokhale was popularly known as the ‘Professor to Order’.
Other Works of Gokhale
Other than the teaching profession Gokhale was very much actively involved with the freedom struggle of India. He even wrote articles in the English weekly ‘Maratha’ and he was also a member of the Deccan Education Society. Even he was a member of the Senate of the Bombay University. Later in life Gopal Krishna Gokhale published a daily newspaper named ‘Gyanprakash’ with a desire to raise his voice against the injustice of the British rule in India. In 1905 Gokhale founded the ‘Servants of India Society’. This was an organization which motivated and trained people to be the selfless helpers of the society. The people of this organization worked to help common people at every need irrespective of time and odd situation. Even the members worked to educate the women of the society. Though he spoke against the British rule the English people admired his ability to give speech and also his reasoning.
A Simple Man
Gokhale died young but his contribution to his country was immense. He was extremely popular for his work and also loved and respected due to his simplicity. A teacher who could teach any subject at any given point with authority deserves to be richly honoured.
Amidst so many greats presenting only two great educationists is tough. On the Teacher’s Day in India it is really a great privilege to pay respect to the greats of the education field. I randomly choose to write about the greats I have considered here. Well, in reality they made a strong impact as the teachers and educationists. Hope the present batch of teachers and the teachers to come may follow the path set by the great teachers and educationists of the past. With this one may continue to believe that 5th Sept will never lose its importance.
Biography of Dr. Radhakrishnan
Tribute to the teachers who were scientists too
- Remembering Indian Scientists cum Teachers on Teacher's Day
5th September, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's birthday is marked as Teacher's Day in India. Pay tribute to him and some great scientists of India who were great teachers too.