Thinkers who Shaped India’s Education

There were many thinkers, philosophers and educators who uplifted the education system in India. Here’s a glimpse into the lives of these great people.
There are many more who have had a major role to play and thousands more today who are tirelessly working for improving the standard of education.
These people care little for rewards or recognition, as they are driven by a sense of purpose – the soul’s purpose.
 Aurobindo Ghosh
Sri Aurobindo is a spiritual guru , a national leader and a progressive educator. He proposed the importance of spiritual practices in human transformation into a divine entity.
15th Aug 1872  
Aurobindo Ghose was born on August 15, 1872 to Krishna Dhun Ghose, and his wife Swarnalotta Devi in Kolkata (Bengal Presidency), India. 
Starting from St. Pauls School (1884), he attained scholarship and made it to King’s College, Cambridge (1890). His dedication and sharp intellect helped him clear the Indian Civil Service exam too. 
Aurobindo Ghose came back to India in 1893 after getting a job with the royal family of Baroda (Gaekwad). He was fluent with many foreign languages but less familiar with Indian culture. 
At the age of 28, Aurobindo Ghosee married Mrinalini, daughter of Bhupal Chandra Bose, a senior government official, in 1901. 
He finally moved to Kolkata in the year 1906 after the announcement of the partition of Bengal. Publicly, Aurobindo supported non-co-operation and passive resistance to the British rule but in private he was involved in secret revolutionary activities and helped build the revolutionary atmosphere in the country. 
In 1906, he participated in the Indian National Congress annual session, which was headed by Dadabhai Naoroji. He helped in building the fourfold objectives of the national movement – Swaraj, Swadesh, Boycott and national education. He started a daily newspaper Bande Mataram in 1907. 
In 1907, the congress split due to a showdown between moderates and extremists. Aurobindo sided with extremists and supported Bal Gangadhar Tilak. After this, he travelled extensively across Pune, Baroda and Bombay to educate people and get support for national movement. 
May 1908  
In May 1908, the British arrested him in connection with the Alipore Bomb Case. He was subsequently released after one year of solitary confinement. 
Post his release in 1909, he started new publications – Karmayogin (English) and Dharma (Bengali). 
Apr 1910  
In April 1910, Aurobindo Ghoseh secretly moved to Pondicherry (which was then a French Colony) to start a new life. 
After settling in Pondicherry, he dedicated himself to his spiritual and philosophical pursuits. In 1914, he started a monthly philosophical magazine ‘Arya’. 
The foundation of the Ashram was laid with the help of Mirra Richard (a French national and the spiritual collaborator of Aurobindo Ghoseh) who came to Pondicherry in 1914. 
Dec 1918  
Mrinalini died in December 1918 during the influenza pandemic. 
Slowly and gradually Sri Aurobindo began to attract followers and the number kept increasing, resulting in the formation of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1926. 
He started his journey in Pondicherry with a few followers, but that increased rapidly and ultimately led to the establishment of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in 1926. 
Mirra Richard  took charge of the management of Ashram after he went into seclusion in 1926. She began to be known as ‘The Mother’ and was considered and equal to Aurobindo in spiritual wisdom and knowledge. 
1943 To 1950  
He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature (1943) and Nobel Prize for Peace (1950) for his innumerable contributions in the field of poetry, spiritualism and philosophical literature. 
5th Dec 1950  
Sri Aurobindo passed away on December 5, 1950. 
Article Title- Sri Aurobindo Biography
Author – Editors,
Website –
Last Updated- October 25, 2017
 Rabindranath Tagore

A child prodigy, Tagore, showed a penchant for literature, art and music from a very young age and in due course of time, produced an extraordinary body of work which changed the face of Indian literature. However, he was not just a mere poet or writer; he was the harbinger of an era of literature which elevated him to the stature of the cultural ambassador of India. Even today, decades after his death, this saint-like man, lives through his works in the hearts of the people of Bengal who are forever indebted to him for enriching their heritage.
·         He was the most admired Indian writer who introduced India’s rich cultural heritage to the West and was the first non-European to be bestowed the prestigious Nobel Prize. Rabindranath Tagore wrote his first poem at the tender age of eight!
·         He hated the structured education system and dropped out of college in frustration.
·         Tagore was granted a knighthood by the British Crown in 1915 which he renounced after the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
·         He revolutionized Indian literature and art, and is credited to have started the Bengal Renaissance Movement.
·         He maintained correspondence with the eminent German scientist Albert Einstein and the two Nobel laureates greatly admired each other.
·         Film-maker Satyajit Ray was deeply influenced by Tagore’s works and the iconic train scene in Ray’s ‘Pather Panchali’ was inspired from an incident in Tagore’s ‘Chokher Bali’.
·         He was a prolific composer with over 2,000 songs to his credit.
·         While it is common knowledge that Tagore wrote the national anthems of India and Bangladesh, few know that Sri Lanka’s national anthem is based on a Bengali song originally written by Tagore in 1938.
·         Tagore took up drawing and painting at the age of sixty, and went on to hold several successful exhibitions throughout Europe!
·         He was a widely traveled man and had visited more than thirty countries on five continents.
Article Title- Rabindranath Tagore Biography
Author – Editors,
Website –
Last Updated- July 21, 2017
Savitribai Jyotirao Phule

Savitribai Jyotirao Phule (3 January 1831 – 10 March 1897) was an Indian social reformer, educationalist and poet. She is regarded as the first lady teacher of India. Along with her husband, Jyotirao Phule, she played an important role in improving women’s rights in India during British rule.[1] Phule, along with her husband founded the first girls’ school in Pune run by native Indians at Bhide Wada in 1848.[a] She worked to abolish discrimination and unfair
treatment of people based on caste and gender. She is regarded as an important figure of the social reform movement in Maharashtra.

J Krishnamurti

There are many Krishnamurti Foundation schools in India that have produced influential thinkers in today’s times.
Jiddu Krishnamurti was born on 11 May 1895 in Madanapalle, a small town in south India. He and his brother were adopted in their youth by Dr Annie Besant, then president of the Theosophical Society. Dr Besant and others proclaimed that Krishnamurti was to be a world teacher whose coming the Theosophists had predicted. To prepare the world for this coming, a world-wide organization called the Order of the Star in the East was formed and the young Krishnamurti was made its head.
In 1929, however, Krishnamurti renounced the role that he was expected to play, dissolved the Order with its huge following, and returned all the money and property that had been donated for this work.
From then, for nearly sixty years until his death on 17 February 1986, he travelled throughout the world talking to large audiences and to individuals about the need for a radical change in mankind.
Krishnamurti is regarded globally as one of the greatest thinkers and religious teachers of all time. He did not expound any philosophy or religion, but rather talked of the things that concern all of us in our everyday lives, of the problems of living in modern society with its violence and corruption, of the individual’s search for security and happiness, and the need for mankind to free itself from inner burdens of fear, anger, hurt, and sorrow. He explained with great precision the subtle workings of the human mind, and pointed to the need for bringing to our daily life a deeply meditative and spiritual quality.
Krishnamurti belonged to no religious organization, sect or country, nor did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. On the contrary, he maintained that these are the very factors that divide human beings and bring about conflict and war. He reminded his listeners again and again that we are all human beings first and not Hindus, Muslims or Christians, that we are like the rest of humanity and are not different from one another. He asked that we tread lightly on this earth without destroying ourselves or the environment. He communicated to his listeners a deep sense of respect for nature. His teachings transcend man-made belief systems, nationalistic sentiment and sectarianism. At the same time, they give new meaning and direction to mankind’s search for truth. His teaching, besides being relevant to the modern age, is timeless and universal.
Krishnamurti spoke not as a guru but as a friend, and his talks and discussions are based not on tradition-based knowledge but on his own insights into the human mind and his vision of the sacred, so he always communicates a sense of freshness and directness although the essence of his message remained unchanged over the years. When he addressed large audiences, people felt that Krishnamurti was talking to each of them personally, addressing his or her particular problem. In his private interviews, he was a compassionate teacher, listening attentively to the man or woman who came to him in sorrow, and encouraging them to heal themselves through their own understanding. Religious scholars found that his words threw new light on traditional concepts. Krishnamurti took on the challenge of modern scientists and psychologists and went with them step by step, discussed their theories and sometimes enabled them to discern the limitations of those theories. Krishnamurti left a large body of literature in the form of public talks, writings, discussions with teachers and students, with scientists and religious figures, conversations with individuals, television and radio interviews, and letters. Many of these have been published as books, and audio and video recordings.

Dr S Radhakrishnan

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, (born Sept. 5, 1888, Tiruttani, India—died April 16, 1975, Madras [now Chennai]), scholar and statesman who was president of India from 1962 to 1967. He served as professor of philosophy at Mysore (1918–21) and Calcutta (1921–31; 1937–41) universities and as vice chancellor of Andhra University (1931–36). He was professor of Eastern religions and ethics at the University of Oxford in England (1936–52) and vice chancellor of Benares Hindu University (1939–48) in India. From 1953 to 1962 he was chancellor of the University of Delhi.

Radhakrishnan led the Indian delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO; 1946–52) and was elected chairman of UNESCO’s executive board (1948–49). From 1949 to 1952 he served as Indian ambassador to the Soviet Union. On his return to India in 1952 he was elected vice president, and on May 11, 1962, he was elected president, succeeding Rajendra Prasad, who was the first president of independent India. Radhakrishnan retired from politics five years later.

C. Rajagopalachari

C. Rajagopalachari was an Indian lawyer, independence activist, politician and writer. He was the first and last Indian Governor General of India after Lord Mountbatten left India in 1948. Although Sardar Patel was the initial choice but on the insistence of the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, he was made the Governor General. He was the one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress during the pre-independence era. He held many other positions like: Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister of the Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of the Madras State. Out of all the things that Rajagopalachari did to serve the country, pre and post independence, he is most remembered for the work that he did in Madras while he was the Chief Minister of the state from 1952–54. He passed the legislation to create Andhra state, put an end to sugar rationing, and introduced the ‘Modified System of Elementary Education’. He was one of the first recipients of India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.
Article Title- C. Rajagopalachari Biography
Author – Editors,
Website –
Last Updated- November 02, 2017

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