Covid-19 · History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Politics · Public health

Aarogya Setu: The dangerous obsession with technology in public health policy

There has been a lot of commentary on how the Aarogya Setu app, publicized heavily by the Government of India, has hardly been of any assistance in the Covid control efforts. At the same time, it is important to note that perhaps the government was aware of its uselessness from the beginning, and that the… Continue reading Aarogya Setu: The dangerous obsession with technology in public health policy

History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

The time when we had medical colleges as well as medical schools – and the etiology of the MBBS degree

During my almost six years at Pune’s Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College, from where I graduated a decade ago, I never used the phrase ‘medical school.’ I also don’t remember anyone else using that term to describe any of India’s four hundred or so medical colleges. Recent years, however, tell a different story. Folks at a… Continue reading The time when we had medical colleges as well as medical schools – and the etiology of the MBBS degree

Covid-19 · History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Public health

Covid-19 in India: a short history of the Epidemic Diseases Act

In late March I wrote a piece for The Wire on the century-old Epidemic Diseases Act. The full link is here. Below are some excerpts from that article, and also a link to one original primary source from the late 1890s: the proceedings of the Council of the Governor-General at Calcutta. Many states in India have… Continue reading Covid-19 in India: a short history of the Epidemic Diseases Act

Covid-19 · Culture & Life · History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Public health · Religion

Covid-19 in India – Religion and epidemics in Indian history

In April I wrote a piece for The Wire, titled ‘India’s Tumultuous History of Epidemics, Religion and Public Health Policy.’ Find the full article here.   Some excerpts below: In a racialised phrasing similar to the ‘Chinese virus’, cholera in the 1800s was called, in Europe and America, either ‘Asiatic cholera’ or ‘Indian cholera’. The… Continue reading Covid-19 in India – Religion and epidemics in Indian history

Covid-19 · Culture & Life · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Public health

Covid-19 in India – Society and Culture – The Lockdown and its Pain -2

[For the previous post on lockdown and its pain, see here. For other Covid-related pieces, see here, here, here, and here.] The lockdown in India, implemented in haste and more for political brownie points than for people’s welfare, continues to exact a massive toll – now more in terms of its lingering after-effects than direct… Continue reading Covid-19 in India – Society and Culture – The Lockdown and its Pain -2

History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Recommended movies, books etc.

Notes on the history of Ayurveda – 2: Ideas of infection and contagion in the past

[In this series I attempt to inform readers of the excellent scholarship that exists on the history of Ayurveda, which is one among several of the premodern medical traditions of South Asia. See here for the previous article.] The book ‘Contagion: Perspectives from Pre-modern Societies‘ (2000) is a great introduction to how people in the… Continue reading Notes on the history of Ayurveda – 2: Ideas of infection and contagion in the past

History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Recommended movies, books etc. · Religion

Notes on the history of Ayurveda – 1: Zysk, Chattopadhyaya, and the origins of Ayurveda

[In this series I attempt to inform readers of the excellent scholarship that exists on the history of Ayurveda, which is one among several of the premodern medical traditions of South Asia. Click here for the next post.] In this first installment we will look at the work of two important historians: Kenneth Zysk and… Continue reading Notes on the history of Ayurveda – 1: Zysk, Chattopadhyaya, and the origins of Ayurveda

Covid-19 · Culture & Life · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Public health

COVID-19 in India – Society and Culture – March 22 Diary

For the previous posts in this series, see here & here. [Throughout history epidemics have served as excellent windows into social and cultural beliefs and norms. While this contagion-catalyzed uncovering of a society’s thought processes helps historians understand past societies in better ways, for present societies it can potentially be utilized as a way to… Continue reading COVID-19 in India – Society and Culture – March 22 Diary