Dava and Dua: Medicines and Markets
Dhrub Kumar Singh
INDIGENOUS AND WESTERN MEDICINE IN COLONIAL INDIA by Madhuri Sharma Foundation Books, 2013, 177 pp., 695
February 2013, volume 37, No 2-3

Anchoring on Banaras—a site where not only cultural plurality permeates and colours its social fabric but where medical plurality also thrived within the context of East-West encounter—Indigenous and Western Medicine in Colonial India delineates varied shades of the social history of medicine reflecting on ‘the multiplicity and complexity of social interaction and encounter between indigenous and western medicine’ (p. XI) that still endures in Banaras.

The politics and imperatives of patronage and professionalization of the medical realm in colonial India are examined and explored to understand the context of ‘engagements and interventions’ by various stakeholders and their alignment and realignment vis-à-vis each other. Further, to understand the nuances of the processes by which ‘borders and boundaries’ of the medical profession were made and marred by the content and context of the debates which the cultural and medical encounter fostered at the particular site of Banaras is the agenda of this monograph.

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