[Part 2 is here] Sociologist Paul Starr’s book ‘The Social Transformation of American Medicine’ is among the most important expositions of the evolution of medical practice and the biomedical profession in the USA. It was published in 1982 and won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. It is quite a thick book and contains… Continue reading How doctors became powerful – Arguments from Paul Starr’s ‘The Social Transformation of American Medicine’ – Part 1
We are so used to seeing the interesting Republic Day parades since childhood that we hardly pause to think where and how exactly all of that originated. The bare minimum we are told is that the revered Constitution of India came into effect on January 26 1950, and the celebrations commemorate that event. While that… Continue reading What are the origins of the unique cultural parades during India’s Republic Day celebrations?
We are almost never introduced properly to one of the most important skills one needs in a complex, and now increasingly lies-filled, social world: critical thinking. What follows is excerpted from a post I wrote on Quora in answer to a general question What is it that Indian parents are collectively doing wrong? This answer… Continue reading Why reading is as important a parenting duty as any other
Popular representations of medical systems, professionals, and of illness itself, are an important source of knowledge for historians of medicine. During my research into the history of the Indian (bio)medical profession in the post-independence period, I recently came across a very interesting short story, published in a Sunday edition of the Indian Express in October… Continue reading A riveting 1947 short story featuring India’s medical education system
The humans (Homo sapiens) who first arrived in India were those early adventurers who left Africa – that is where our ‘modern human’ species first evolved – around 60 to 65 thousand years ago to reach India via land. Countless waves of migration happened later, and all of us Indians today are a healthy and… Continue reading Dravidians, Aryans, and the question of how India/South Asia got its people
This was published in thewire.in on 13 January 2019. Here is the link, and below is an excerpt. All such developments from the 1800s gave rise to a trend that we sadly never fully abandoned. Faced with constant assaults on their traditions, the then-elite Hindus found solace and self-respect in ancient texts, and maybe didn’t… Continue reading The British colonial origins of gravity-defying ancient Indian science
I wrote the following as an answer to the question on Quora What were some of the global events that had the greatest impact on the history of India? I will write about a very obvious global event and its very under-appreciated impacts on India’s history. The event is British colonialism. The underappreciated impacts are… Continue reading Why do some Indians like to obsessively make outrageous claims about ‘ancient Indian science’?
I wrote the following as an answer to the question ‘What are the common forms of inequality prevailing in India‘ on the platform Quora: We have, in every city and town, and every village, a large section of people – of human beings, of folks like us – who do not possess even the basic… Continue reading How to address the entrenched inequalities and injustices in India as an ordinary citizen