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?
This was published on 28 Sep by the Wire India, here. Below are some excerpts: “TB was, and is, a formidable enemy but the foremost public health enemy in the early and mid-1900s in India, accounting for almost a quarter of all deaths every year, was malaria. Observers used terrible superlatives to describe it, such… Continue reading How B&W Bollywood has preserved a multi-hued snapshot of India’s public health story
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
Lady Hardinge Medical College, located in the heart of New Delhi, is one of the premier medical institutions in the country. Established in 1916, it recently celebrated a centenary of existence. The seeds of its foundation, however, lie in the late 1800s, when the British colonial government began to take some reluctant interest in providing… Continue reading A short history of Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical College, with pictures
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
[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)
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
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