Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was an Indian philosopher and statesman who was the first Vice President of India and the second President of India from 1962 to 1967.
One of India's best and most influential twentieth-century scholars of comparative religion and philosophy, his academic appointments included the King George V Chair of Mental and Moral Science at the University of Calcutta and Spalding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics at University of Oxford.
His philosophy was grounded in Advaita Vedanta, reinterpreting this tradition for a contemporary understanding. He defended Hinduism against "uninformed Western criticism", contributing to the formation of contemporary Hindu identity. He has been influential in shaping the Westâ€™s understanding of Hinduism, India, and the East,and earned a reputation as a bridge-builder between India and the West.
Radhakrishnan was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India, in 1954. Among the other important honours he received were the British Knight Bachelor in 1931, although he ceased to use the title "Sir" after India attained independence, member of the German "Order pour le Merite for Arts and Science" in 1954, and honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963. He was also awarded the Templeton Prize in 1975 for advocating non-aggression and conveying "love and wisdom for all people."