Meet the man who had guts to pat the cheek of Stalin, Mao

12 October, 2017

He was a great teacher, philosopher and statesman who had the guts to pat the cheek of the two dictators of the world, Joseph Statil and Mao Ze Dong. Dr Radhakrishnan, the second president of India had stunned the world when he patted the cheek of Stalin and Mao.


Dr Radhakrishnan was the ambassador to USSR and the philosophers were respected in Russia. Radhakrishnan didn’t get chance to meet Stalin for six months and on January 14, 1950 he was called to meet Stalin.


When Radhakrishnan met Stalin, he questioned him that why is it so difficult to meet you? Actually, it was really difficult to meet Stalin and international leaders didn’t get the chance to meet him. Moreover, the international press didn’t get the chance to meet him except on very few occasions.

Stalin responded - Is it really difficult to meet me? See you are meeting me. Later while mentioning the meeting to his colleagues, Radhakrishnan mentioned that he stroked Stalin's hair once during the conversation.

While conversing with Stalin, Radhakrishnan explained philosophically the changes that were taking place in Stalin's life. While talking to Stalin, Radhakrishnan mentioned Emperor Ashoka, he said, "There used to be an emperor in India who attacked Kalinga and captured it. After the war was won, he realised that war was nothing but a wastage of human life. After realising about the real consequences of war, Ashoka became a hermit. You have also gained victory through strength. Who knows, if something like this happens to you as well."

Throughout the meeting, Stalin continued to address Radhakrishnan as 'Professor' while Radhakrishnan addressed Stalin as 'Marshal'. Stalin was impressed from Radhakrishnan and when Radhakrishnan was coming back to India as his tenure was completed in USSR, Stalim himself came to airport to say goodbye to him.

Dr Radhakrishnan patted the cheek of Stalin. After that Stalin started crying and told him that first time somebody had treated him like a human being otherwise the entire world treats him like a monster. He told Radhakrishnan that live long but he won’t be lived long. After six months, Stalin died due to cerebral haemorrhage.


In September 1957, Radhakrishnan was on a three week foreign visit as India's Vice President. The visit also included a visit to China where Dr. Radhakrishnan met Mao Zedong.

After shaking hands with Mao, Radhakrishnan patted Mao on his left cheek. Chairman Mao was surprised at the gesture but before he could say anything, Dr. Radhakrishnan said, "Mr Chairman, don't be alarmed, I did the same to Stalin and the Pope."

He was such a wonderful person and philosopher who impressed the world’s two dictators.