This collection of essays weaves together several themes related to the social history of health and medicine in colonial India. Its focus ranges from analyzing Europe's relationship with India's indigenous medical systems, to case studies of two mental asylums (in Madras and Lucknow), the location of the leprosy asylum, the technological aspects and social implications of the colonial vaccination policy, and the colonial interventions related specifically to cholera and plague in the pilgrimage centres of Puri and Pandharpur. It also examines indigenous initiatives associated with the Indian drug industry and the Unani medical system and their interaction with the colonial health establishment and modern medicine.
Besides charting out hitherto unexplored areas in the history and historiography of colonial medicine and its articulation with indigenous systems, this book demonstrates the rich possibilities of inter-disciplinary research. Of particular interest to the specialist reader, it is also useful to those working on modern Indian history, cultural studies and sociology.
Biswamoy Pati is Reader at the Department of History, Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University. He is the author of situating Social History: Orissa, 1800-1997 (2001); and resisting domination: Peasants, Tribals and the National Movement in Orissa, 1920-50 (1993). He has edited Turbulent Times: India, 1940-1944 (1998); and issues in Modern Indian History: For Sumit Sarkar (2000).
Mark Harrison is Senior Research fellow and Assistant Director of the Welcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford. He was formerly Senior Lecturer in History at the Sheffield Hallam University. His publications included Public Health in British India: Anglo-Indian Preventive Medicine, 1859-1914 (1994) and Climates and Constitutions: Health, Race, Environment and British Imperialism in South Asia, 1600-1850 (1999).
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