A Movable Feast
Mohan Rao
SOCIETY, MEDICINE AND POLITICS IN COLONIAL INDIA by Biswamoy Pati and Mark Harrison Routledge, London and New York, 2018, 325 pp., 995
December 2018, volume 42, No 12

I suspect that that is a myth of modernity and some mythical ideas of science in the first place. This is instead a tribute to a friend, a valued colleague, a progressive individual and an outspoken one.

I knew Biswamoy Pati well academically. We organized a workshop together, funded by the ICSSR, where scholars from various departments in Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University, working on issues of medicine and health, presented papers from their work, and it was magnificent. There was no common ground between scholars of public health and history of medicine, it appeared. Crudely, Foucault dominated the literature on medicine, but in sexy postmodern times, it was not noticed that Foucault was talking of the West, of medicine, and not of health.

Biswamoy was also the PhD examiner for a wonderful PhD thesis submitted by my student, Daksha Parmar. He gave her thesis an adulatory report, said it was one of the best theses he has read, and at the viva, he asked Ms. Parmar if he may be permitted to publish her dissertation in the series he edited with Mark Harrison. I almost fell out of my chair with joy. He then gave her instructions on how to convert her thesis into a publishable manuscript in three months’ time.

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