1 From Hospitals to Hospital Medicine: Epistemological Transformation of Medical Knowledge in India1 Jayanta Bhattacharya Email: drjayanta@gmail.


This paper aims at giving an overview of hospitals in India from ancient to modern times. My personal expertise relates especially to the colonial period spanning from the 18thto 20th centuries. Thus for the periods before, I have to rely on other scholars’ expertise. However, I will start by introducing a classical medical text, the CarakaSaṃhitā (hereafter CS). Arguably, it is a normative text, where “the gaze remains unwaveringly male.”2 Following this, the second part on hospitals in ancient and medieval times is based on modern historiography. The third part deals with European hospitals in India prior to the 19th century.The fourth part takes into account the period of gestation of hospital medicine in India. 3 The next part deals with the rise of hospital medicine and the foundation of the Calcutta Medical College (CMC).Finally, this paper also briefly discusses about the encounter between modern medicine vis-à-vis Āyurveda during the colonial period, and some of its consequences at the level of epistemology. Āyurveda teaches “how one may utilise the span of life apportioned by nature – traditionally taken to be hundred years – fully and optimally.”4 Āyurveda constitutes to an extent the Hindu subjectivity.Das also advises against taking this term as an approximation and not as an equivalent of what one understands as medicine in the West. The Western medical tradition, now termed as modern medicine, may be viewed as a set of intellectual and material resources used to treat the ill, often in negotiation with patients, with the power of science within medicine, and the medical relationships developed beyond the nation, including the international frameworks and commerce. 5 Caraka-Saṃhitā (or The Compendium of Caraka), one of the earliest medical texts of India, provides description of building a hospital, or “a kind of infirmary” 6. Chapter fifteen (1.15.1-7) describes that “an expert in the science of building” should construct a worthy, strong and airy hospital, yet not exposed to the gust of wind. “It should be out of the path of smoke, sunlight, water, or dust, as well as unwanted noise, feelings, tastes, sights, and smells. It should have a water supply, pestle and mortar, lavatory, bathing area, and a kitchen.” 7 Animals like bustard-quails, grey partridges,

I deeply owe to the anonymous reviewers and Prof. Gunnar Stollberg for their invaluable comments and critique which have helped me to recast the paper in its present shape. 2 DominikWujastyk, The Roots of Ayurveda: Selections from Sanskrit Medical Writings (New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2003), xxxv. 3 The term “hospital medicine”, being distinct from bedside medicine as well as a particular phase of modern medicine, was first made popular by Erwin H. Ackerknecht - Medicine at the Paris Hospital 17941848 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1967). 4 Rahul P. Das, ‘The Development of Traditional South Asian Medicine against the Background of the ‘Magical’ Mode of Looking at the World’, Traditional South Asian Medicine, 2003, 7, 29-54, 32. 5 W. F. Bynum et al, The Western Medical Tradition 1800 to 2000 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 1. 6 G. Jan Meulenbeld, A History of Indian Medical Literature (hereafter HIML), IA (Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1999), 17. 7 Wujastyk, Roots, 36.

References to a king. button. Mending Bodies. Moreover. Sharma. an often too common pilgrimage in which patients cross into a world of strange rites.C.The Impact of Hospitals. social workers. trans. 114. bed wellequipped with carpet. 19. the hospital and the experience of the patient assume a figure completely different from the previous description and experience. describes a kind of infirmary. An important textbook of internal medicine describes the hospital as “an intimidating environment for most individuals” where hospitalized patients find themselves surrounded by air jets. with its personnel and equipment. and frequent death. physical therapists.”11 Let us have a closer look into the date of CS. and of hospital. and many others. making music. ‘Introduction. 2012). miraculous interventions. and the person of the patient gets reconstituted to be some conglomerations of pathology inside the body. 11 Guenter B. 300–2000(Oxford: Peter Lang Publishing Group. black-tails. and glaring lights and“invaded by tubes and wires. in such a hospital patients almost cease to be persons. PeregerineHorden and Alessandro Pastore. “As depicted by contemporary narratives.2 hares. going to hospital resembles a journey to a foreign. bed sheet and pillow along with supporting pillows. and nice. 13 Meulenbeld. there should remain provisions for a number of men who were “skilled in singing. I.” 10Risse comments. The latter date corresponds to the period when CS gets frequently quoted. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. house officers. rather the hospital becomes an extension of home. IA.Wujastyk places it between third or second centuries BC and the period of Gupta dynasty (320 – 420 AD). HIML.12 Meulenbeld on the other hand scrutinizes the philosophical material of CS. ākhyāyikā. 12 Wujastyk. 112) 14 CS.D.”13 In the narrative of CS. itihāsa. 105. V. vol. physicians’ assistants. eds. purāṇa). 1999). medical students.”9 Evidently. Chicago: McGraw Hill. telling or reciting various kinds of stories in prose and verse (ullāpaka. technologists. Roots.. “Chapter fifteen … on the equipment of a physician. vol. Indian antelope. Saving Souls: A History of Hospitals (New York.18thedn(New York. IB. all these arrangements were meant for a king or wealthy persons of high social. together with signs show that the central administration of the state was growing weak. Risse. Dan L. gāthā. … It is little wonder that patients may lose their sense of reality. HIML. P. In Meulenbeld’s expression.” (ibid. and should be comfortable for attending to lying down …”14 Needless to say. “The same material suggests that the author called Caraka cannot have lived later than about A. healthy milk cow with a live calf were also to be included in hospital. exotic land.“Beds and chairs should be provided with a (flower) vase and spittoon. certain types of officials. Longo et al. we find the patient in a milieu which actually does not dissociate him from his domestic setting. sheep. . The World of Hospital: Comparisons and Continuities’. 18. and beset by the numerous members of the health care team – nurses. attending and consulting physicians. PergerineHorden and Alessandro Pastore. śloka. I (Varanasi: ChaukhambaOrientalia. It points to the fact that CS “belongs to the Mauryanempire or the period of Śuṅgas. 2007). 150-200 and not much earlier than about 100 B. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 6. 2010). “Removed from their normal surroundings they can be treated in ways that ignore those surroundings precisely because the physician is now focusing on disease entities. eds. in John Henderson. 10 John Henderson.”8 In an era of bio-medicalization as well as of techno-medicine. 9. suitable to the treatment of persons of high social statuswith 8 9 Meulenbeld. nurses’ aides. 4.

unlike three-dimensional modern medical body.”15 Wujastykcogently notes. suggests that a health house for the care of those suffering and recovering from fever was part of this famous Buddhist monastery. there are oft-quoted records of HiuenTsiangor Xuanzang (A. Approaches to Traditional Chinese Medical Literature (Doerdrecht. dhātu-s and mala-s (three morbific entities or humors)..accessed 12 June. the evolution of the concept of pañcakarman itself is quite intriguing.”21 A sixth century C.academia. 22 Ibid. and saps flow. 20 Though there remains confusion regarding the exact meaning of fever. “However.E.”18 Zysk contends that the much discussed second rock edict of Aśoka (reign: 269 BCE-232 BCE) “in no way proves that hospitals existed in India in the third century B...” 19 An inscription from Nagarjunikoṇḍa. 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid.. Zysk notes. IA.. 141-151. the body is assumed to be a two-dimensional frame through which doṣa-s.Hereafter MotilalBanarsidass as MLBD. It is meant for wealthy people and for a particular medical purpose (pañcakarman).”17 It is understandable that in the hospital of Caraka there was no surgical procedure. . Through this journey. It does not seem to be equivalent to hospitals of the medieval period – East or West. and replaced by oily enemas.3 full course of pañcakarman. Unschuld. purgatives. “in all the highways of the towns and villages throughout 15 16 HIML. since bloodletting(the fifth of evacuant therapies) has fallen into disuse. 44. “The poor are advised to follow the same evacuation treatment but with simpler equipment. 44.E. but suggests that the monk healers’ role of extending medical aid to the laity coincided with the spread of Buddhism during Aśoka’s reign. 18 Kenneth G. drastic enemas. 21 Ibid. http://univie. DominikWujastyk. ‘Terminological Problems in the Process of Editing and Translating Sanskrit Medical Texts’. 22 In seventh-century India. Zimmermann finds that it might have been originally synonymous with śodhana. it was removed from the set of Pañcakarman. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. “When Buddhism was submerged in India after 1200.edu/DominikWujastyk/Talks. Zysk. First. 2000). Asceticism and Healing in Ancient India: Medicine in the Buddhist Monastery (Delhi: MotilalBanarsidass. 1989). as both categories encompassed emetics. dating from the third century C. 17. the hospital described here does not seem to be a usual one – the receptacle of the sick.ed.C. Third. 2012. Second. 149.D. as depicted in modern historiography. but only a medical one. in Caraka’s account. In his description. Hospitals in Ancient and Medieval India We would now make a brief journey through history of hospitals. not only for the monks. 46. in Paul U. I believe. 690). inscription from the Duḍḍavihāra in Gujarat states that the use of medicines and remedies was for all those who are sick. 17 Francis Zimmermann. and errhines. “The Nurses should be able to Sing and Play Instruments”: The Evidence for Early Hospitals in South Asia.”16 A few issues open up before us. these Hindu institutions seem to have assumed the responsibility for medical services previously provided by the Buddhist monasteries. “Medicine and healing were integral parts of Buddhist monasticism from its inception. the shift from the hospital as described in the normative text of CS to hospitals as general charitable space for healing will be evident.

especially of Bengal and South India. very often despised by Brahminic culture. 30 Wujastyk. 28 For transformation of the nature of medical profession. DebiprasadChattoapadhyaya. They receive every kind of requisite help gratuitously. warmth. two counteracting issues seem to have arisen. see. 214.”25 In Europe during the later Middle Ages. 1884).4 India he erected hospices. The provision of medical facilities was made in the Brahminical religious institutions of Northern India during the early medieval period. “Prior to c. Samuel Beal. though. through this adoption. provided with food and drink. to which the poor of all countries. and according to their cases order them food and drink. lvii. 163.”27 By this shift in providing medical care.. rest.”24 Unschuldadverts to the lack of normative structures that could have supported a specific social system “may have contributed to the ease with which Buddhist literature fused various secular and pre-Buddhist non-secular systems of Indian medicine into a conglomerate of differing concepts. 1996) the description is somewhat different – “In this country there were formerly many alms houses to render help to the poor and needy. to be given without any stint. Medicine in China: A History of Ideas (Berkeley. ‘The Nurses’.30 Wujastyk specifically aims at “to bring to the surface and organize important information about hospitals in peninsular South Asia.”26 Comparable developments can be seen in the Indian subcontinent too. and perhaps some medications. 113) 24 Si-Yu-Ki. First. food.28 Chakravarti and Ray note. The physician appearing in a land grant record is often situated in a rural milieu..D. 26 Ibid.” (p.“We may never get the rich detail of patients’ experiences that fills the pages of Risse’s 23 Si-Yu-Ki: Buddhist Records of the Western World. “The nobles and householders of this country have founded hospitals within the city. Studies in the Religious Life of Ancient and Medieval India (Delhi: MLBD. or give them free food and medicine.”29 Wujastyk has provided an insightful trajectory of hospitals in India.”Moreover.”23 He also mentions apuṇyaśālā or “a house of merit” or “houses of charity”. and stationed there physicians. Los Angeles: University of California Press. with medicines for travellers and poor persons round about. The Great Tang Dynasty Record of the Western Regions (Berkeley: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. . Unschuld. medical personnel. Physicians inspect their diseases.) of South-East Bengal provided two physicians. I (London: Trubner& Co. Science and Society in Ancient India (Calcutta: Research India Publications. vol. The text may otherwise be read as “doctor’s medicines” or “physicians and medicines”. Healing and Healers Inscribed: Epigraphic Bearing on Healing-Houses in Early India (Kolkata: Institute of Development Studies Kolkata. the destitute. 155. and provide travelers with meals so that they might dispel their fatigue. 1971). begin to be accepted in society. Second. King Śrīcandra (c. Sircar. 2011). AD 500. 1985). It appears that the people “working in the temple of Brahman received their medical aid from these two physicians. 20. cripples. medicine or decoctions. not for every hospital. the more secular nature of Buddhist medicine begins to crystallize into orthodox Branminic tradition. most of our references to physicians and healinghouses are located within urban contexts. everything in fact that may contribute to their ease. 29 Ranabir Chakravarti and Krishnendu Ray. 925-75 A. and the diseased may repair. 138. C.“hospital services remained largely traditional and thus custodial: religious ceremonies. 27 D. trans. 25 Paul U. 1977). In Li Ronxi’s recent translation.

always gain them. 52-54. The Surgical Instruments of the Hindus. Hemādri (dāna. “If in such a hospital the kind-hearted man can cure a single patient of his maladies by simple medicines. 893-95) quotes the same passage and another from the Skandapurāṇa to the same effect. But we do. Roman. he too goes to such blessed regions (after death) as are secured by those who perform many religious sacrifices (Yajñas). History of Dharmaśāstra.”33 Chandavarkarfinds that the Nandipurāṇa extols the philanthropist “whose charities are devoted to the erection of health homes and sanatoria for the benefit of the people. V. vol. One example is the Nandipurāṇa (a religious medieval Hindu text) which is now lost. he comments “The hospitals he was proposing to fund were to be substantial (“made of bricks”) and wellequipped and staffed. the Bile and the Phlegm by simple remedies. and so the man who bestows cure to the sick and also he who erects a hospital equipped with good medicaments.”34 In 1913.. th As for Hindu hospitals of the 12 century. servants and rooms for students. The Heart of Hinduism (Bombay. Calcutta: The “Times of India” Offices. as “Aparārka (1125 A.. rather than mere dormitories or religious shelters. it must antedate eleventh century A.”31 Wujastyk has also discussed about hospitals of Bengal and Kashmir of the twelfth century.. we have to be aware of potential pitfalls of nationalist Indian historiography.D. dresses.” Chandavarakar’s monograph was published in 1912. “The pious man who erects such a hospital in which the services of good physicians of this nature are retained. 35 Girindranath Mukhopadhyaya. In the 1910s Indian historians quoted from it.) quotes a long passage from the Nandipurāṇa about the founding of hospitals (ārogyaśāla) where medicines were supplied free to patients … The passage further states that a competent physician should be appointed. pleasure and final emancipation. 33 P.5 Mending Bodies. 34 Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar. So it can be reasonably deduced that the text of the Nandipurāṇa was extant at least till the first quarter of the last century. 31 32 Ibid. wealth. where would the poor man get a hospital and a young physician to cure his diseases? … He who cures the sick suffering from an increase or decrease of the Air. I (Calcutta: Calcutta University. Though the exact date of the text is difficult to ascertain. 25. 885. Thus we have to be careful regarding the passage following. Kane. goes to the Brahma's residence with his seven generations upwards. II. These institutions seem to be hospitals in a recognizable and formal sense. oleaginous remedies and compounds of medicinal decoctions. Ibid. becomes celebrated as the virtuous. Arab and the Modern European Surgeons.” It is also stressed.” And. 26. But for the selection and interpretation we have to rely on these historians. 1941). Mukhopaddhyaya cited a long passage from the Nandipurāṇa. part II (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. see into the mind of the physician when he planned his house of healing . Saving Souls. learned doctors. 29. at least in the case of Caraka’sCompendium. To note.”32 Here the primary shift has occurred from religious shrines to an abode of care and healing. “The rich and the poor acquire religious merit in proportion to the amount of riches they possess. Maybe the Nandipurāṇa still existed at that time. Regarding King Vallāla’s (reign: 1160-1178 AD) hospital. 35 “Good health is a step to the acquirement of religious merit.D. also. the successful and the intelligent man in this World. pp. 1913. with A Comparative Study of the Surgical Instruments of the Greek. followed by Mukhopaddhyaya’s in 1913..” Moreover. vol. 1912). .

1986). 1958). dated in his sixth year (A. and colonial contestations: P. Kane is famous for his magnum opus History of Dharmaśāstra which has been already referred to. 220-250. 46. and temple servants that were sick. for whose maintenance provision of tax-free land offered to the medical man is called in the records as vaidyakkānior vaidyavṛtti. V. Gurumurthy finds that a large number of inscriptions speak of the establishment of dispensaries called as ātulasālai or vaidyasālaiin Sanskrit. 76-79. ‘The Nandi-Purāṇa’. 77. 1stedn (Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. In his epigraphic studies on South India. Second.). ‘Science. 40 It should be once again noted the medieval Hindus texts cannot possibly be studied apart from potentially nationalist historiography.D. in recent times. 185-213. 1994). 36It should be apparent that Aparārka. vol.6 Aparārkais also cited by Hoernle for “the recensions of non-medical version of Ātreya”.D. nationalism. C. 197-200. F. 5. it could never become the epistemological tool to unravel the problems of modern science. 1069).Indian Journal of History of Science. Ray and his Hindu Chemistry’. C. 39 R. SubrahmanyaAyaar.”37 A closer scrutiny of the material should help us not to be entangled in the tenor of the nationalist project.Caveat may still remain if we look at the two dates of Chandavarakar and Mukhopaddhyaya. 39 Taking all these facts into consideration it seems cogent to deduce that the reference to the Nandipurāṇa with regard to hospitals in medieval India is not a unique thing and does not perhaps feed the nationalist construction of the history of science. As pointed out by Chakrabarti in case of Hindu Chemistry.EpigraphiaIndica. 41 S. 2. 212. 193132. ‘Medical Science and Dispensaries in Ancient South India as Gleaned from Epigraphy’. 37 Pratik Chakrabarti. 40 Two things should be mentioned here. Gurumurthy. The hospital had fifteen beds. belonging to the twelfth century.”41 An inscription of the king Vīrājendra. Twenty different types of medicines were stored in the hospital. 38 Kane.Journal of GanganathJha Research Institute. Dharmaśāstra.XXI. This was the period of the nationalist construction of the history of science.He cites the Nandipurāṇa (Pūrvārdha chap 23 verses 12 ff) in another occasion “to give a comparatively but brief description of ekādaśīvrata (a religious vow taken on the 11th day of the month. “the history of science only had a political and historical value for Ray. as pointed out by the reviewer. 104. . 1. Hazra discussed theNandipurāṇa. First. 1944-45. 305-320. C. The language characters of the inscription belong to the latter half of the eleventh century A. Studies in the Medicine of Ancient India (New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company. Hazra. pt. V.5. P. 2000. kānior vṛtti meaning share of tax-free land. There were different types of allocations for maintaining different establishments. 42 K. it is of little value to re-fight every historiographical battle of the early 20th-century. LudoRocher has dealt with these questions in an excellent and up-to-date study – The Purāṇas (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.42 A clear distinction between a physician (Savarṇan Kodaṇḍarāman Aśvatthāma-Bhaṭṭan) and a surgeon (Calliyakkiriyai Pannuvā) was apparent. 37. was a person with medical understanding. Rudolf Hoernle. The last item of expenditure was for the maintenance of a hospital wherein were treated students living in the hostel. “Most of them seem to have been manned by a local doctor of hereditary nature. Indian Economic and Social History Review. So it is no wonder if he quotes a long passage from theNandipurāṇa. ‘The Tirumukkudal Inscription of Virarajendra’.”38 Another eminent scholar R. Some of the medicines were of animal 36 A. is engraved on the east wall of the first prākāra (wall) of the Viṣṇu temple of VeṅkaṭeśaPerumāl at Tirumukkūḍal in the Madhurantakamtaluk (area) of the Chingleput district.

AD 1027-43).. separate services for Hindus were introduced in caravansaries established along Indian roads and financed by the 43 44 Ibid. Two persons for fetching medicinal herbs were paid 60 kalam of paddy and 2 kāśu. and lower than persons fetching medicinal herbs and equal to that of barbers. registers the gift of two veli land (old South Indian unit) made by ŚrīnivāsaaliasŚrīraṅgamGaruḍavāhana-bhaṭṭa who repaired and renovated the Ārogya-śālā or hospital. 250. it has been argued that the inscription indicated that the physicians lived close to the sacred shrine. West Bengal). 223-224. in a record of the thirteenth century is very interesting. One item seems to be mineral in nature. that the physician was the highest paid.e. inferior position of the surgeon in the eleventh century Brahminic temple makes sense to us. dated to the reign of the Pala ruler Nayapala (c. Speziale comments. the surgeon of the hospital received 30 kalam of paddy. under ŚīrŚāhSūrī (r.. ed.. If we remember the previous transformation of pañcakarman into an entirely medical practice. Healing and Healers. hospitals in Muslim cities were not “founded or directed by religious in particular”. where hospitals were not extremely common institutions at the time that Muslims arrived. 47An arogyasala or a healinghouse explicitly figures in an inscription from Siyan (Birbhum. maternity or lying-in hospital. . i. Moreover. in Fabrizio Speziale. 2. “The development of hospitals is among the contributions that Muslim culture brought to Indian society. Studies. 162. ‘Introduction’.7 origin. at least in this case. 1540-1545).. there were provisions for preserving medicine throughout the year – “An amount of 40 kāśu (is provided) for purchasing … and for 1 padakku of bovine ghee required to be kept under the earth annually for Purāṇasarpi.We should also remember the status of surgeons in medieval Europe. 50 Ibid. Ibid.” 48 As for Muslim hospitals during the Mughal period (1526-1857).. Hospitals in Iran and India. A barber who performed minor operations in addition to his professional duties received 15 kalam of paddy.43 According to this epigraphic record. The third share endowed by him “was granted in favour of three different institutions which were a Prasūti-śālā. 45 Ibid. while the surgeon received payment one-third that of the physician. 3. most were of vegetable origin. 21. The reference to a Prasūti-śālā.).50 For example. as Speziale notes. This inscription speaks of a large Śiva temple within the precincts of which stood this hospital. “Medical facilities were made available for both the religious community and the people in general. the physician in charge of the hospital was paid annually 90 kalam (old South Indian unit of measuring weight which varied from area to area) of paddy and 8 kāśu (equivalent to 30 grains) in addition to a grant of land.D. dated Śaka 1415 (1493 A..”49 Unlike numerous hospitals in the Christian world. Contrarily. It indicates that there was a downhill journey of surgical knowledge and practice in the scholarly tradition of Indian medical practice.”45 The thirteenth-century king Viśeśvara established a monastery. stripped out of its surgical content.. 159. 2012). 224. 46 Sircar. 48 Chakravarti and Ray. 49 FabrizioSpeziale.” 46 The Srirangam inscription. 47 Ibid. 44 We must note. an Ārogya-śālā and a Vipra-satra. 1500-1950s (Leiden: Brill.

O.200 hakims found employment through the state. 8. 55 Ibid. 2001). now used to accommodate the Hyderabad Municipality offices.”59 In the hospital “the great care taken of the sick. Jaggi. M Yaqub Ali. eds. IL: Serindia Publications. Medicine in India: Modern Period (Delhi: Oxford University Press. trans. ed. He also appointed physicians. both Hindu and Muslim.International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanity Studies. to treat the patients. 58 Transition Times: European Hospitals in India Francois Payrard. “there were around 70 hospitals in Delhi. 2011).”55 In Bengal.” 54“Many hospitals devoted to the service of the sick were established in the capital and the outlying cities during the reign of Aurangzeb. a hospital and a langar. The medicines and food to the patients were given free. the eldest son of Ahmed Shāh al-Walī.I (London: Hakluyt Society. 57 Ghulam Yazdani. 347-363. 70-85. a seventeenth-century French traveler. and of what ailment. 53 Claudia Liebeskind. 102–05.” 52 During the reign of Muhammad bin Tughluq (reign 1325-52). The building is a square of 175x175 feet.8 state. 1995). surgeon. 57 It is a sign of accommodating different systems of thought in the operation of the state. Ali NadeemRezavi.. 54 R.Disease and Medicine in India: A Historical Overview (Delhi: Tulika. He maintained a college. Bidar: Its History and Monuments (Oxford: Oxford University Press. similar measures were adopted. “worked at the dār al-śifaof the ŚāhWajīh al-Dīn (d..V. (Rajshahi: RajshahiUnivesity. Ibid. 1888).Indian Journal of History of Medicine. 1944). it appears that Muhammad bin Tughluq “had established mobile as well as fixed hospitals and appointed competent physicians for each of them. .3.II.. 58 VarjaBolar. The Bahamani king Alā-ud-Dīn Shāh. A langar is a common kitchen/canteen where food is served to all visitors for free. D. 1998). 351. Some Aspects of the Society and Culture of the Varendra. that so they be placed in the proper part of the building. Oriental Medicine: An Illustrated Guide the Asian Arts of Healing (Chicago. 50. people came to Pandua from all over Hindustan to receive spiritual training under the sage Nur Qutb al-Alam.51 Two Āyurvedic physicians. and drink were provided for the sick. pt. ‘The Growth of Greco-Arabian Medicine in Medieval India’. Mahomed Quli built a large hospital Dar-us-Shifa sometime around 1595. P. in Jan Van Alphen and Anthony Aris. ‘Physicians as Professionals in Medieval India’. 180. and the supply of 51 52 Ibid. During the transition period from Buddhism to Brahminism. II. All the leading Hakeemsof the QutbShahi period worked in this hospital.D. Also see. 130. food. vol. Indian Journal of History of Science. Subba Reddy. found the Portuguese hospital (most likely dating from 1546) at Goa to be “finest in the world”. 359. Albert Gray. For further information on hospitals during the Muslim period. ‘Unani Medicine of the Subcontinent’. The hospital was meant to serve the people. 3. 1589) shrine in Ahmedabad.56 Ala al-Din Husayn Shah (1493-1519) made land grants to this college and hospital. as we have seen. 1200-1576 A. while 1. 1957. 5. ‘The Role of Islam in Karnataka’. whose stipends were paid by the government. L. 40-65.. 56 A. Verma. 1970. in Deepak Kumar. K. 489-498.”53 From the book Sirat-e-FiuzShahi. “Nothing is done until the physician. 59 The Voyage of Francois Payrard. seeS. or apothecary has seen them and certifies that they are sick. ‘Dar-us-Shifa Built by Sultan Muhammad Quli: The First Unani Teaching Hospital in Deccan’. built a large hospital at Bidar of South India and endowed lands from the income of which medicine. 2011. In his experience.

the statistical analysis of cases. whether in regard to doctors. 65 Charles Leslie. 68 Mark Harrison. “The hospital had in fact emerged as a valuable training ground for young medical professionals: by 1772. 2009).. it was training Europeans. as demanded by the new medicine. NJ: Transaction Publishers. but not that of the surgeon. The surgeons were attempting to establish the city as an important site of medical research and treatment. and appliances for restoring health. 2006.62 As early as 1707. ed. 2008.There was visible drive for producing native doctors to reduce the burden of the Company’s exchequer. 67 ‘Education of the Native Doctors’. or the spiritual consolation that is obtainable at any hour. 64 Ibid.”69 Focusing on a prerequisite of hospital medicine.”63 One of the reports read. hospitals were built “to keep the men in Health. British Military and Naval Medicine. Wilson. I (London: John Murray. Eurasians. 163-200. 89. 121. “In Britain. the Bengal Medical Service was founded. In his opinion. but what the Doctor alloweth”: Medicine amidst War and Commerce in Eighteenth-Century Madras’.. Harrison traces the dissection-based clinical practice in the East India Company’s medical service.67 In his important study. 66 Pratik Chakrabarti. and the Doctors representing to us. New York: Rodopi. in Geoffrey L. the food is given to eat. 1906). similar developments took place.. 1600-1830 (Amsterdam. 1-38. 69 Ibid. 111-121. Old Fort William in Bengal.” 66 The Madras system was actually lacking the orientation of simultaneous development of dexterity in both surgery and medicine.61 In India. Calcutta and Madras were the two cities where military establishments focused on hospital practice. 2007). In Madras. and the preparation of medicines. in Calcutta. which became one of the key factors in the development of hospital medicine in India. ‘Encounter in Anatomical Knowledge: East and West’. but there were 60 61 Ibid. that for want of an Hospitall or Convenient Lodging for them is mostly the occasion of their Sickness. 39-54. It was content with producing dressers from the half-castes of the army. in Eliot Freidson and Judith Lorber.”68 He also notes that certain other features of “hospital medicine” are also evident in the Company’s service – “systematic bedside observation. eds.XXII.”64 By 1762 the East India Company’s Bengal army employed nineteen native doctors. vol. 9.9 all comforts that can be wished for. Ibid. 62 Jayanta Bhattacharya. ‘”Neither of meate nor drinke. and Such a place as the Company’s Charterparty Shipping to keep the men in health. 5.65 In January 1764.Medical Professionals and the Organization of Knowledge (New Brunswick. 1750-1830: The Treatment of Fevers and the Emergence of Tropical Therapeutics’. July 1826. the supply of bodies for dissection was still severely restricted.80.Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Hudson. 68. ‘Disease and Medicine in the Armies of British India. “developments within the armed forces prefigured those normally associated with the ‘birth’ of clinico-anatomical medicine at the Paris hospitals in the 1790s. and the testing of what were presumed to be economical mass remedies.. ‘The Professionalization of Ayurvedic and Unani Mediicne’. drugs. R. 87-120.Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register. “But let not these be confounded with the native surgeons who were attached to our army” – was the cautionary note. ed. 23-24. “Having abundance of our Soldiers and Seamen Yearly Sick and this year more particularly our Soldiers.43.Indian Journal of History of Science.”60 The physician’s job was clearly defined. . and Tamils in allopathic methods of diagnosis and treatment. 63 C. he argues.

substantial numbers of inmates. Mending Bodies. 76 W. E. 73 Ibid.”71 Along with this. Conwell. detailed statements of pulmonary diseases in India. giving rise to a system of medicine not unlike that which later developed in revolutionary Paris. classification. “In the controlled ward environments.”72 The hospitals of three presidencies – Calcutta. 22. was possibly the first person to submit the cases he studied and his notes on the stethoscope to the judgments of his colleagues in India in 1827. As we shall shortly see. or on applying the hand over the latter (palpation). and Bombay –were “capable of providing the kind of environment that was conducive to medical innovation. 1996).. the NMI students had their hospital exposure and clinical rounds at the different hospitals and dispensaries in Calcutta. Conwell. 1. 74 Risse. when the bedside-practitioner gave up and the scientist-practitioner took over – and these were the same person. E. European hospitals became medicalized institutions. They even for the first time began to take case histories of individual patients. this new diagnostic technique became popular among the Company’s surgeons and Indian doctors. practitioners working in the colonial hospitals were “able to compare post-mortem findings with the symptoms of disease in living patients. 1829). alive and dead. as 70 Mark Harrison. Following the foundation of the Native Medical Institution (NMI. In his own words. They used to see “bringing the ear close to the mouth or chest (auscultation) of the patient. and dissection.”74 A newly conceptualized medicine started at death.10 no such constraints in the colonies. in Calcutta. Most remarkable were the implications of accurately mapping the sick body with the new techniques of physical examination. “By submitting to the Profession generally. 75 Susan C. 4.. 1822-1835) in 1822. Observations Chiefly on Pulmonary Disease in India and an Essay on the Use of Stethoscope (Malaca: Mission Press. I fulfil (sic) my promise to that effect. W. where cadavers were plentiful. Charitable knowledge: hospital pupils and practitioners in eighteenth-century London (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Madras. 18. a staff surgeon of the East India Company.”70 As a result. there was the growing awareness that “men had economic value – and the articulation of this in systems of military accounting – provided a powerful stimulus to the improvement of medical provisions in foreign stations and other measures to conserve manpower. were selected for systematic study. 2010). the use of stethoscope (invented by Laennec in 1816) was inconceivable. Laennec.”73 Indian Scenario: Prelude to Hospital Medicine Since the 18th century.Madras. 71 Ibid. v. 330. E. 72 Ibid. when hospital medicine came to reign in India. Lawrence. of Paris”76 He had reported 25 autopsies in his book out of which 23 cases were native. Risse argues.for the instruction of native students in European medicine through vernacular. 75Such was the situation in Europe. E. Medicine in an Age of Commerce and Empire: Britain and Its Tropical Colonies 16601830 (Oxford: Oxford University Press. . In the late eighteenth-century Madras hospital training. made at the request of my excellent and learned master M.

”78 So the stethoscope was an instrument in use in Calcutta. 83 ‘Liberality of the Indian Government towards the Native Medical Institution of Bengal’. and Minutes of Evidence. VI. 85 Appendix to the Report from the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the Affairs of the EastIndia Company. [Emphasis added] 78 Ibid. 270. Public. the King’s Hospital. I have not had recourse to. which lasted for about 14 years. 24. July. explaining the reasons why it appeared inadvisable to adopt the Madras system of employing as doctors those who served as dressers in the hospitals. John Gilchrist and others opined. “the Madras government had sent a particular class of individuals. 1828.”85 In 1825. 84 Quarterly Oriental Magazine. of 1828’. it had not the smallest analogy to the medical school for native doctors. prevalent in Calcutta during the Rains. and the way in which the pupils were there instructed. 121.11 recommended for percussion. Public (16 August 1832).”84 Though a new kind of secular medicine was in the making. and to such of the Natives as have not means to otherwise procuring medical aid. and the Dispensary. 448. but it is obviously an instrument well adapted to the diseases of the chest in children. cxv. . “The stethoscope. it would found often materially to assist our diagnosis. “Eight of the pupils who had been educated in this seminary were appointed native doctors. Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta. the pupils of this institution “were most usefully employed distributing medicines in different thanah. during the prevalence of cholera in Calcutta. and physic. as it had been established.”81 For the purpose of acquiring practical knowledge of modern medicine like pharmacy. Every regiment had three or four native doctors attached to it. the sons of native doctors in the service to be preferred. if brought into more general use. the Native Hospital.”83 Several of the students of NMI were employed “as Native Doctors to corps as well as in the two Dispensaries … for the purpose of affording relief to the Native Officers in Government. and I have no doubt. in Calcutta. 82 Ibid. July-September 1826. political and military exigencies of the colony. X. the pupils of NMI. 320-38.Oriental Herald and Journal of General Literature.” 82 It was widely accepted that “the British government could not have established an institution calculated to be of greater benefit … than the Native Medical Institution. every assistance in the 77 J. and was then conducted. and sent with the troops serving in Arracan. 324. 121.. 4..“In May 1825.”80 Instead of Madras half-castes as dressers in a regiment. stations. Adam. and August. surgery. “As to the Madras establishment. 17-25. the sons of soldiers – a sort of half-castes – to be educated at the hospitals as sub-assistant surgeons. ‘On the Epidemic Bronchitic Fever of Infants and Young Children. if respectable. 324-325. and in affording to the wretched and numerous victims of the disease. the Medical Board submitted a report. were attached to the Presidency General Hospital. I. which threatened the secular matrix of modern medicine – “Hindoos and Mussulmans were equally eligible.”79 He also argued. 79 ‘Education of the Native Doctors’. I. native doctors acted almost like a European doctor.”77 Adam noted. 16 August 1832. and also an Appendix and Index. 81 Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select Committee on the Affairs of the East India Company. or Months of June. and also explaining satisfactorily both to the Government and to the Court the superior usefulness and success of the school for native doctors. 80 Ibid. it had to accommodate specific socio-economic. July-December 1826.

the brief phase of the NMI and medical classes at the Calcutta Sanskrit College can be regarded as the period of the gestation of hospital medicine. 1994.”88 The differentiating feature between the NMI and the CMC was the practice of cadaveric dissection in the latter. 1974). “The pupils of the Native Medical Institution…keep a case-book of the symptoms and treatment of the sick on the establishment. The report of 1828 stated that the progress of the students of the medical classes had been satisfactory “in the study of medicine and anatomy. 41-47. Importantly. 15. ‘The Pioneering Role of Calcutta in Scientific and Technical Education in India’. “The body of servants was much needed. vol. Suśruta. began his lecture according to the Western method at the Calcutta Sanskrit College on Medicine. 33. the conceptual basis of the clinical case is the ordering of its facts by the agency of time. It was important in another aspect. Tytler’s Native Medical School. Report of General Committee of Public Instruction.92 A medical and an English class had been formed. were introduced in these institutions. 436.. ed. and particularly that the students had learned to handle human bones without apparent repugnance. 88 The Correspondence of Lord William Cavendish Bentinck.”93 They also “performed the dissection of the 86 87 Ibid. thereafter abstracted as a medical record of observed events. then Superintendent of the NMI. has become very urgent. 1832.”86 Besides ramifying the primordial tentacles of public health in India. Monier Williams (London: Longman. and had assisted in the dissection of other animals. as the requisite supply of these subordinates has entirely ceased since the abolition of Dr. 90 Original Papers Illustrating the History of the Application of the Roman Alphabet to the Languages of India. Green. 43. in the Native Regiments especially. the new techniques of investigations like thermometer and stethoscope and new modes of physical examination like inspection. and Hospital.”91 Tytler organized his classes around four major departments of medical science. etc. Dr. which was hitherto unknown to them. Pharmacy. H.”90 This was for the first time in India that students were inducted in individual case-history taking. History of Indian Medicine. Longmans.12 power of European art to bestow. 92 S. and the demand for their services. C. 91 Girindranath Mukhopaddhyaya. the school was established “to afford the civil and military branches of the service a class of native doctors superior to those who were then employed. percussion and auscultation. 93 Minutes of Evidence. the NMI did another important job for military service. John Tytler. and “Professors were appointed to teach Caraka. Its material dimension is the transcription of this evidence in written form. Medicine and Surgery. Unlike Tytler’s NMI. 1859). Brown. vol.. Sen. Philip. 57. In 1826.Indian Journal of History of Science. To note. and Roberts. . Classes for the Āyurvedic students were opened in 1827. for the Year 1839-40 (hereafter GCPI). 1977). 89 Ibid.1399.. 2 (New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corporations.29. which became more conspicuous after its abolition.”89 Besides this. palpation. in CMC “the subjects are taught practically. N. viz. The introduction of time as ordering variable in the construction of clinical cases was completely new in Indian practice. Seasonal time began to transform into clinical time. ed. II (Oxford: Oxford University Press.”87Actually. 34. 271. Anatomy. Laboratory. as discussed above. by the aid of the Dissecting Room. BhāvaPrakāśa.

1781-1900 (New Delhi: Indian National Science Academy. 1969). was reconstituted into modern anatomical knowledge. . with the addition of a few scraps of European medical science. it is first necessary to secure their conviction that their improvement is desirable. was (sic) taught in classes…to the Arabic and Sanskrit colleges at Calcutta. “This could probably be the earliest translation of part of the SuśrutaSaṃhitā”. Orme. Trevelyan. Shakespeare. Martin.. 2006). 1920).” To overcome this obstacle with any good effect it was stressed to qualify the same individuals highly in their own system “as well as ours. Sutherland. learnt by the Ayurvedic students. “The systems of Galen and Hippocrates. He hoped that Tytler’s students would finalize their training in anatomy at the NMI of Surgeon Breton. 183. Scientific and Technical Education in India. 27. passages from medical journals were read out to them. if we would wish them to exercise any influence upon the minds of their countrymen. Wilson. “There is now every reason that medical education in India will be improved in a very material degree by this 94 David Kopf. 160. “In proposing the improvement of men’s minds. 1838). it was observed. 147. and of the Shasters. in some cases. N. 1600-1900 (New Delhi: permanent black.”95 Alavi notes that many times. Brown. at the foot of the patient’s bed. Larkins. in order that they may be as competent to refute error as to impart truth. “both the learned and unlearned classes … generally speaking.” Apprehension was evident in the observation too.”94 Trevelyan wrote.”99 According to Sen.98 Titles training of surgery in some way reminds us of the teachings of Suśruta where preliminary surgical practices were done on soft parts of dead animals or fruits and vegetables. 183-84. Stirling and Bayley). Suśruta’s anatomy. performing dissections on animals. 97 Ibid. Sen. Part I: 1781-1839 (Calcutta. Mackenzie. 19. 160. 99 Sen. 1991). 98 S. Sharp.” 96 Tytler’s anatomy classes at the Sanskrit College were a great success and “the governor general appreciated his efforts to initiate high-caste students towards knowing body anatomy and. L. 142.”101 In Fisher’s memoir.100 Earlier. 100 Ibid. 101 Sixth Report from the Select Committee on Indian Territories. The native doctors “noted this medical knowledge with a piece of chalk on the floor. they continue to hold European literature and science in very slight estimation. 1853). together with the Proceedings of the Committee. 96 Seema Alavi. On Education of the People in India (London: Longman. Scientific and Technical Education. Islam and Healing: Loss and Recovery of an Indo-Muslim Medical Tradition. “The report of 1829 states that 300 rupees per month had been assigned for the establishment of a hospital in the vicinity of the college.13 softer parts of animals”.” 102 Though curricula were in accordance with Sanskrit medical works. 95 Charles E. in a letter of 18 August 1824 (signed by Harrington. Green. Selections from Educational Records. a hospital of some kind was thought absolutely necessary for proper medical teaching. who brought Tytler a skull picked up by his friend in the banks of the river.”97 Another example of this spirit was exhibited by DurshanLall. and “opened little abscesses and dressing sores and cuts. 102 H.. 71. British Orientalism and the Bengal Renaissance: The Dynamics of Indian Modernization 1773-1835 (Calcutta: Firma K. a Hindu pupil of Tyler. Minutes of Evidence an Appendix (8 August. Mukhopaddhyay. & Longmans. Tytler had done translations of two chapters “of the First Part of the Soosroota.

the European system of anatomy would be accessible all over India for subsequent transfer into Hindi dialects of every province if requisite. Wilson.. 663-669.”108 It is understandable that there occurred a change in sign system. 663. Gupta. who had been trained as an apothecary. for which he was paid a sum of 1000 rupees. F. 498. The essence of the Sanskrit texts was metonymically reconstituted to suit the purpose of modern medicine. 105 Kopf. “Once placed in a Sanskrit dress. who are an exclusive caste of hereditary monopolists in their profession. was ecstatic about “the triumph gained over native prejudices is nowhere more remarkable than in this class”. and the teaching of the medical art limited exclusively to English. and all study their art in Sanskrit. K. Hooper’s Anatomist’s Vademecumwas translated into Sanskrit as ŚārīraVidyā (“Science of Things Relating to the Body”)by Madhusudan Gupta. 24 August 1831. Prior to the CMC.”110 The metonymic reconfiguration of indigenous anatomical knowledge into modern anatomical knowledge was set into action. where “not only are the bones of the human skeleton handled without reluctance. An insidious reconstruction of indigenous cognitive world began its full-fledged operation. skilled in Vedic scriptures and Hindu religion. 106 Sen. The English class in the Sanskrit College was eventually abolished in 1835. a more correct notion of human Anatomy. 494.”105 Return of the Hospital attached to the Sanskrit College for the year 1832 shows that out 94 House Patients 84 were discharged and six died. Minutes of Evidence. 104 One graduate. N. A pandit is a scholar and a teacher. the hospital was established. in Public Dept. “but that class had since been abolished. 110 Ibid. and were reconstituted as replica of modern scientific vocabulary. “Though no Hindu had yet performed a major operation. 111 Ibid. was apparently doing quite well in the position at the hospital.Journal of the Asiatic Society.”103 So. 1832. and it was no trivial argument that the same work had been already printed in Arabic. Interestingly. Ibid. 109 ‘Proceedings of the Asiatic Society’.”109 Originally. who examined the medical class. the NMI and medical classes at the Calcutta Sanskrit College and Madrasa were the conduits through which the new kind of anatomical knowledge could be taught to the students.Before reaching the goal of anatomical dissection 103 104 Letter. 146. Scientific and Technical Education. Social Ideas and Social Change in Bengal. 1818-1835 (Leiden: Brill. for “affording to the medical pupils ample opportunities of studying diseases in the living subject”. 1967). they regularly performed minor ones such as “opening little abscesses and dressing sores and cut”.14 institution. British Orientalism. to Bengal.106 Mr. 7. 148. and thus made available for the Musalman practitioners and for translation into Urdu when called for. . 1838. 184. 107 Minutes of Evidence. “this decision was hailed by a section of conservative diehards. 1832. 108 A. Salahuddin Ahmed.”111 Through this process Sanskrit terms lost their original polysemous nature. 664. but in some instances dissections of the soft parts of animals performed by the students themselves.”107 The great end was not to teach any religious learning but useful learning which was gestating the new epistemology of hospital medicine. the ŚārīraVidyā was destined to become a class-book in the medical branch of the Sanskrit College. “It was intended to convey to the medical pandits throughout India.

John Clark Marshman. (f) MateriaMedica by Dr. 1869). (e) Operative Surgery by Dr. the first principal of CMC. O’Shaughnessy.”113 The twelfth annual report CMC. Bengal was established. “There is no institution. 287. a galvanic battery of one thousand cups. ‘Introduction of Western Science into Colonial India: Role of the Calcutta Medical College’. Eggerton.15 preparatory psychological nurturing was done through introduction to zootomy of lower animals like goat and the ship. 287. and the testimony of outside examiners gives ample proof as to the rigor of the examinations. connected with the physical or material welfare of the people of this land.Twelfth year. Unfortunately. In CMC. III (London: Longmans. on Mullin’s principle “for the purpose of exhibiting the extraordinary experiments recently described by Mr. W. R. and (d) Introduction to Botany by Dr. W. CMC: The Rise of Hospital Medicine in India By an order of January 28 1835. “Most importantly. dissecting rooms and a museum were established. 68. M. (c) Chemistry and Pharmacy by Dr. CMC had created a space for the nurture of original. two of the principles of and practice of surgery and one of operative surgery. The original order had 34 clauses. Gooedeve. 114 ‘Annual Report of the Medical College of Bengal. . Eggerton. 116 Ibid. Wallich. xliii-xlix. O’Shaughnessy started his chemistry and botany courses with lectures and “laboratory work was the equal of any in a European medical institution. 276-298. 132.Session 1846-47’. than the Medical College of Bengal. O’Shaughnessy. it did not germinate. B. and (i) clinical practice in a small hospital attached to the college. The third year’s study (1837-38) comprised (a) Anatomy and Physiology by Dr. During the second year. (h) Elementary Surgery by Dr. two of practice of physic. theoretical. Scientific and Technical Education. and handling of bones and skeletons. Green. for the session 1847-48. the Medical College. Calcutta Review. B. Goodeve. 115 Mel Gorman. 223-24. (b) Demonstrations and Dissections by Dr. Readers & Dyer. three of chemistry. The History of India from the Earliest Period to the Close of the Lord Dalhousie’s Administration. Bramley.7. (c) Natural Philosophy and Steam Engine by Dr. Gooedeve. At a time when a chemical laboratory in an American medical school was rare. courses taught at the college were – (a) Practice of Physic by Dr. at CMC. Crosse and others. “Efforts were made to procure every appliance necessary to place it on the same footing of efficiency as European colleges was (sic) furnished with a bountiful hand.”116 O’Shaughnessy proposed to construct. under the guidance of Dr. (d) Structural Botany by Dr. (b) Elements of Surgery by Dr. there appears a visible trend in the activities of CMC to introduce basic sciences to its students. whose success we have viewed with more unfeigned satisfaction. two of actual dissection. Since its inception. Wallich. B. xliii.Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. the most eminent medical officers in the Indian Medical Service were placed in the professors’ chairs. vol. J..January-June 1847. one of natural philosophy. 1836-37. stated. O’Shaughnessy. two of general and medical botany. and for carrying 112 113 Sen. 1988. and innovative scientific thinking.”115 Gorman notes.” 114 In its initial phase. A library. two of materia medica. Eggerton. (g) Practice of Physic by Dr. 112 Each candidate attended three courses of anatomy and physiology. O’Shaughnessy. W. the students were just as capable and enthusiastic about chemistry as they were about anatomy.

microscope and pathological anatomy made them at par with European surgeons. 1844-45’. 70 patients. . their knowledge of stethoscope. will only cost 25. 171. CMC made a great advance.July-December1836. xxxiiixlvi. received a severe concussion of the brain. Third. 1847-48. 17. “Post Mortem examinations were performed by each of the students in my presence and they wrote descriptions of the result” in which “they all evinced practical knowledge … and an acquaintance with the healthy and morbid appearances of the different structures and organs. ‘Report on the chemical pathology of theblood in cholera. Calcutta Review.02. 118 He was also a pioneer of intravenous fluid transfusion for cholera patients.”122 In 1845. 64. and Its Treatment by Compression (London: John Churchill. their example set the stage for a veritable flood of Indian students to England for study in all fields.Calcutta Monthly Journal.Lancet. 125 GRPI. 90. both European and Indian. ‘Proposal of a Kind of Treating the Blue Epidemic Cholera by the Injection of Highly-Oxygenated Salts into the Venous System’. First.17. Mackinnon commented.”121 This knowledge was well expressed in a case when“Ramnarain Doss. VII. xxxv.000 Rupees a year. by fall.Hereafter GRPI. O’Shaughnessy. A few years later. 1831. and of the Apothecaries Society of London” so that “the Institution may be duly registered and recognized’ in England. 929-936. in remodeling its system of instruction “so as to bring it within the regulations of the Royal College of Surgeons in England. a student of the Medical College” saved the life of a native youth “who had. within a few months of the discovery of chloroform in 1847 “ether and chloroform” were applied in surgery in CMC. cli.”123 Notably. 1845.500 Rupees a year. a movement which continues to this day. and the valuable results which had followed the introduction of chloroform into the practice of surgery. 2nd July’. In 1839. Duncan Stewart halfheartedly tried it for cholera patients. 120 ‘Proceedings of a Meeting of the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta.119 In Calcutta. suffering from medical and surgical diseases were under treatment at CMC. 1851. 121 General Report on Public Instruction. Lancet.”126 Second. Session. 120 Bramley’s premature death as well as O’Shaughnessy’s dissociation with CMC seems to put an end to such initiatives at CMC. October 1837. specifically.366-371. 96. 1852-1855 (1855). Observations on Aneurism. whilst their recommendation of a third Native Doctor.”117 He even undertook to conduct the “application of galvanism” in case of aneurism. No. B. but without any results. 101. 3. 118 O’Bryen Bellingham. published by authority of the Central Boardof Health’. 123 ‘Annual Report of the Medical College of Bengal. 122. it reduced economic expenditure of the Company as “appointing a Sub-Assistant Surgeon to each Native regiment will cost 1. 119 W.LII.1832. 1847).”125 The graduates coming out of CMC served four important purposes. and the outdoor dispensary attended to 200 patients daily. it was remarkable that among the prominent points of interest were “the extraordinary success among the graduates of the College in the performance of the formidable operation of lithotomy.16 original researches in electro-magnetism and galvanism. “The 117 ‘Medical and Physical Society’. Journal of the Asiatic Society and Monthly Register. 126 GRPI. 24New Series. 122 Calcutta Monthly Journal 1839. 124 GRPI. Dr.124 As a result. Dr. 313-14. 1847-48. Appendix E.

1847-48. Caste. 127 128 Gorman.”130The number of dispensaries increased from 6 in 1842 to 471 in 1917. 132 Sykes. or Shah Jehan. 133 GRPI. or any Indian potentate sink into insignificance. In the 1870s. ‘Introduction of Western Science’.The increasing numbers of these dispensaries allowed a degree of autonomy to the Bengali Sub-Assistant Surgeons. Appendix. H. Health and History. and of Goodeve. Chiefly in the Bengal and North-Western Provinces’. Class and Ethnicity in Nineteenth-Century Bengali Dispensaries’. ‘Statistics of the Government Charitable Dispensaries of India. Mukharji.131 The dispensary importantly served as a sort of hospital. ‘Government Charitable Dispensaries’. 129 W. 9. but their numbers grew rapidly in the nineteenth century. basically differing in its character that the patient and his disease could not be put under surveillance in the dispensary. The foundation of CMC and its subsequent developments became a tool for rewriting a new history of India too – “the seeds of knowledge we have thus sown fructify to a general and luxuriant harvest. 2007.Journal of the Statistical Society of London. Mouat. Mukharji deals with the question of dispensaries in the nineteenth and twentieth century. Nationalizing the Body: The Medical Market. and of their apprentices became agents for the further dissemination of Anglo-Indian medicine. as protector. but now the Indians had done so in England academically. many sub-assistant surgeons were graduates from CMC. Initial resistance to hospitalization gradually began to wane. that we shall have left a monument with which those of Ashoka. Chundra Goopta. majority of the medical officers in Bengal were Indians. 23. ‘Structuring Plurality: Locality. . Annual Report of the Administration of the Bengal Presidency for1867-68. 121. and their names will fall on men’s ear unheeded. 10. Some of them mixed some form of Āyurvedic with European medicine. and new discoveries are being made … bodies are dissected and practical anatomy taught to the pupils…’’ 133 Through the production of generations of students and reaching out to population at large. Print and Daktari Medicine (London: Anthem Press. Sir Henry Burdett described ‘the dispensary system’ as the truly original institutional innovation of British India. 131 Mukharji. 1847. Sykes. 130 Projit B. it met the “wants of the whole northern India by supplying sub-assistant surgeons and native doctors for civil duties and by training medical subordinates for the army.”127 Fourth. CMC etched out its lasting.” 128 W. who often held de facto charge of these dispensaries. while those of Auckland. i-cii (lxxviii).17 British had invaded and conquered India politically and geographically.The government charitable dispensaries had been in existence since the eighteenth century. and others. In the 1840s. 290. maybe indelible. 2011).129 All these facts make us believe that CMC and the extension of modern medicine and its ideology through dispensaries into all the corners of Indian society increasingly provided medical and surgical benefit to the people. H. 80. Sykes provided reports of 94. as zealous promoter of scientific Native medical education shall remain embalmed in the memory of a grateful Indian posterity. existence on Indian society. 618 patients who were relieved in the Charitable Dispensaries of India in 1847.”132In the ladder of civilization Calcutta came closer to London as hundreds of dead bodies “are daily dissected in London and Calcutta. 88-105. it was rather implanted on India. But it did not arise out of historical developments in Indian society. 1-37. “By the end of the nineteenth century.

This proved to be the only way to keep up with the growing number of graduates and license holders that the modern medical colleges were producing. ‘Indigenous Medicine in Nineteenth. rational critical science that was ‘different’ owing to the Hindu religious intellectual tradition from which it originated. Boileau. On the one hand. A. 253-283.”134 In the following years. 267. “Ayurvedic learning was now rationalized as an indigenous. if Āyurveda was to be established as a valid and eternal modern repository of knowledge of the body and medicine. of addressing the claims of a Hindu Identity.” 135 Wujastyk and Smith argue. 1998). Asian Medical Systems: A Comparative Study (Delhi: MLBD. ‘Constructing Boundaries. Contesting Identities: The Politics of Ayurved in Punjab (1930-40)’. intellectual past. 233-237. A. Power. Knowledge. H. Personal Narrative of a Tour through the Western States of Rajwara. Empire and Information: Intelligence gathering and social communications in India. in Chares Leslie.and Twentieth-Century Bengal’. 139 Madhulika Banerjee.” 138Āyurvedics also felt the need to differentiate themselves from Unani practitioners.”141Arnold further observes that the Bhore Committee in 1946 influentially endorsed the primacy of modern medicine within a system of de-facto pluralism.”140 They became gradually engaged in a battle for market too. Modern and Global Ayurveda: Pluralism and Paradigm (Albany: SUNY Press. The traditional practice of Āyurvedics “was challenged with introduction of modern anatomy and medicine … Rather than raise the standards of Āyurvedic practice. 1077. Studies in History. 2006. 375-376. 368-378. Even in the 1920sand 1930sthere remained a far larger number of practitioners of the “traditional” systems of Indian medicine (principally Ayurveda and Unani) than of western medicine. 22. 2007).”136Sivaramakrishnan emphasizes. 137 Kavita Sivaramakrishnan. Smith. these institutions (modern Āyurvedic institutions) reduced the Kavirāja to a simple medicine-man who lacked specialized knowledge of either Āyurveda or allopathy. especially after the foundation of CMC. 17801870 (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press. in Dagmar Wujastyk and Frederick M. ‘Introduction’.Lancet. Also see. eds. 141 Arnold. 43.18 For 1835. Conclusion Arnold observes. in its revival. Bayly. 135 Brahmnanda Gupta. Banerjee sees these medical developments “coeval with those taking place in Britain at this time – the rejection of the humoral basis of medical practice that existed there and the triumph of clinical medicine. in 1835 (Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press. “The 134 C.”137 This ancient. 260. Medicine: Ayurvedic Pharmaceuticals at Home and in the World (New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan. Smith and Dagmar Wujastyk. 261. were caught within a two-edged sword.. On the other.. learning modern anatomy became mandatory. “One step toward a modernized Ayurveda therefore was a break with the educational tradition of pupillage and a compensatory movement toward an expanded college system. E. 1837). one of the implications of these processes leading to the marginalization of Āyurveda was “to explore some other space … and this proved to be the market.”139 In her opinion.5 physicians per hundred of the population in Jodhpur and one to every hundred people in Jaipur. 348. 2008). “Nor was India completely converted to allopathy. Āyurvedic and Unani practitioners faced unprecedented encroachment from modern medicine. 7. ‘The rise of western medicine in India’. 2009). 136 Frederick M. Āyurvedics.. Bayly provides “figures of about 1. 140 Ibid. 1075-78.on their behalf. and its sacred and scientific tradition of Āyurveda as Hindu science “therefore offered the possibility. . 138 Ibid. ed. 44. 1996. they were traditionally more concerned with prognosis and they could do it well without anatomical knowledge.

individual case history and pathological anatomy.”142 The arrival of hospital medicine and its successful functioning through hospitals and dispensaries generated the importance of clinical teaching. and marginalization of traditional medicine as well. (Delhi: Oriental Books Reprints Corporations.1078. Its ambitious and idealistic public-health programme could only begin to be realised under an independent regime. In tandem. 142 143 Ibid. through their epistemological mutation and transformations. while proposing for a new “amalgamated” Āyurvedic college and hospital. Āyurvedic institutions began to emerge since the late nineteenth century.. 1943). History of Indian Medicine. in mimicry of English medical college and hospitals. It was reshaped in the fabric of modern medicine. old humoral and macrocosmic-microcosmic understanding of the body had little role to play. 25. Francis Zimmermann. PopatPrabhuram and VaidyaratnaGapalacharyuluestablished Āyurvedic colleges in Bombay and Madras respectively. ĀyurvedaParicay(Calcutta: VisvaBharatiGranthalaya. At the same period.”143 They copied the anatomical diagrams to be found in English hand-books. 1999). 31-32. ushered in the era of hospital medicine in India. vol. The Jungle and the Aroma of Meats: An Ecological Theme in Hindu Medicine (Delhi: MLBD.Western medicine was never so powerful in India as when it shed its colonial identity. 144 Gananath Sen. A complete knowledge of disease can only be acquired in the wards of a hospital. Mukhopadhyaya noted. replacing the English captions with Sanskrit names. Most eminent kabirajes (Āyurvedic practitioners) of Calcutta sent their sons to the CMC for anatomical learning.”145 Interestingly. Dr. 2. Hospitals. while they were studying Āyurveda. Aspiring to talk in the language of modernity. “no doubt influenced by European medicine have the Ayurvedics been concerned with indicating physiological phenomena cartographically … the appearance of treatises of anatomy written in Sanskrit and even in verse by eminent pundits. In these institutions. Āyurveda itself became “hospitalized”. CMC played its historical role in the entire process. 145 Girindra Nath Mukhopadhyaya. 1974). In 1926. it was estimated that within a span of 25 years 4 big Āyurvedic college and hospitals were established in Bengal alone. . 2ndedn. 144In 1943. two fundamental components of Āyurvedic learning – gurukul tradition and attending a patient at his domestic setting – were completely reconstituted in the aftermath of the new medicine. “No medical institution is complete without hospitals.19 Bhore Committeepresented a Beveridge-style blueprint that no colonial government of India would ever have put into practice. 166.

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