History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

Some historical nuggets about India’s premier medical institute: AIIMS, Delhi

AIIMS Delhi has a fascinating history. Most of what follows is indebted to the PhD thesis of Anna Ruddock, formerly at King’s College London. The thesis is titled ‘Special Medicine: Producing Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)’, and a PDF is available here. The genesis of the idea of AIIMS lies… Continue reading Some historical nuggets about India’s premier medical institute: AIIMS, Delhi

History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

How did George Washington, the first US President, die? (Hint: much blood was spilled)

[Reference for the details below and image: Death of a President | NEJM] The year is 1799, the month December. A wealthy old man somewhere in Virginia begins to feel some discomfort in his throat and runs a temperature. He is fragile, often gasping for air as he finds breathing more and more difficult. Not… Continue reading How did George Washington, the first US President, die? (Hint: much blood was spilled)

History · Politics

Why Indian historians do not write about the West as frequently as Euro-American historians write about India

This is an understandable discrepancy.. until one realizes that that history of colonial India and of what we know as India’s ‘struggle’ for independence is as much a history of the West and Western actors as of India! I wrote this as an answer to a Quora question (here). I copy most parts of that… Continue reading Why Indian historians do not write about the West as frequently as Euro-American historians write about India

History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

How the 1835 Calcutta Medical College catalyzed the ascendancy of biomedicine in India

Two versions of this essay were published recently. I wrote one for the KEM Hospital Mumbai’s internal publication, named ‘Reflections on Medical Humanities’. The other version was published by the Wire on 29th March 2019, full article here. Below are some excerpts: One of the most striking developments in the first year of the CMC was human… Continue reading How the 1835 Calcutta Medical College catalyzed the ascendancy of biomedicine in India

Culture & Life · History · Recommended movies, books etc.

Dravidians, Aryans, and the question of how India/South Asia got its people

[This write-up is also available on the website Quora, here] 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 60000 years ago to reach India via land. Countless waves of migration happened later, and all of… Continue reading Dravidians, Aryans, and the question of how India/South Asia got its people

Culture & Life · History · Religion

The British colonial origins of gravity-defying ancient Indian science

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

Culture & Life · History · History of Medicine · Religion

Why do some Indians like to obsessively make outrageous claims about ‘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’?

History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

The time when ANYBODY could practise as a doctor in the United States

I wrote this as an answer to a question on Quora, Has there ever been a time when doctors were widely mistrusted (as a whole)? It might be perhaps accurate to say that healers in general – or doctors as we would call them today – have never received complete, unadulterated trust from the public… Continue reading The time when ANYBODY could practise as a doctor in the United States