A student-teacher relation is one of the prominent relationships in anybody’s life.
While the celebrates Teacher’s Day on 5th October, India celebrates Teacher’s Day on 5th September, on the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the 2nd President of India, and a great Teacher himself who inspired many students.
Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
World Student’s Day
The World Student Day celebrates the Birthday of another Indian Teacher, who has been a great role model and inspiration for the students.
His name is Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam!
Dr. Abdul Kalam
Dr Kalam’s life and achievements
Dr. Kalam was born and brought up in Rameshwaram. He went on to do his graduation and higher studies in Physics and Aerospace Engineering.
Subsequently, he spent his life as a scientist, working mainly at Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He was the scientist who played a major leading role in India’s Military Missile Development and Civil Space Programme.
He was therefore known as the Missile Man of India.
Dr. Kalam, The Missile Man of India
He also played a pivotal role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.
Dr. Kalam has been the recipient of innumerable awards, including Bharat Ratna, India’s most prestigious award.
Dr. Kalam receiving the Bharat Ratna from President K R Narayanan in 1997
11th President of India
Dr Kalam was elected as the 11th President of India, in 2002, and served his term until 2007. He is probably the most popular President that India has ever had, and is widely referred to as “People’s President.”
Why as “Student’s Day”?
So, why was his birthday chosen as “Students Day”, and not as some other day, as Dr. Kalam had many achievements in varied fields?
This People’s President was also “Student’s President”, and Dr Kalam during the course of his presidency inspired millions of students to pursue excellence.
When Dr. Kalam was once asked, “How he would like to be remembered – as a scientist, as a missile man, as the President of India or as a Bharat Ratna?”
His reply was that, he wanted be known as a Teacher who interacted with students, and inspired them.
Dr. Kalam interacting with Students
The great love that he had for students made the United Nations declare his birthday on 15th October as World Student’s Day.
Who is a Student?
Since Dr.Kalam is a Tamilian, let us first look for the meaning of this word in Tamil.
In Tamil, the word used for a Student is Manavan, meaning one who uses his mind. A Student uses his mind to acquire knowledge.
A student is known by the term Chatr in Samskrt.
But, the most common term used in almost all the languages of India is the word “Vidhyarthi”, which is made from two words, Vidya and Arth.
Vidya, Vid, Veda
Vidya comes from the word Vid, which means knowledge, which is etymological root for the term Veda as well.
Arth, means to seek, desire and wish.
So the term Vidyarthi essentially means one who is a seeker of knowledge.
Student for Life
Knowledge is endless, as there is infinite more to be known. Thus one is a Student through his life.
Kalidas in his compendium, Subashita Ratna Bhanda Kharaha says,
A good Teacher
A good Teacher understands his Students very well, and allows them to develop knowledge and skills, according to their limitations and interests.
The following farewell message from Veda Vyasa to His students speaks volumes about how a Teacher should deal with students.
On this Student’s day, let us reflect on our lives, and chose not to be arrogant, and continue to learn form everything and everybody around us, showing gratitude to our Teachers in all humility.
That will be a befitting tribute to the “Student Man”, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam.