History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Politics · Public health

Why India’s founders championed a well-funded government-led healthcare system

This appeared in The Wire on 28 January 2020. Here is the article. I wrote this mainly in response to the Indian government’s gradual and timid abandonment of the universal health care goal for its people, with the latest setback being the plans to hand over our country’s civil hospitals to private agencies. “Immediately after… Continue reading Why India’s founders championed a well-funded government-led healthcare system

Culture & Life · History · Politics

What are the origins of the unique cultural parades during India’s Republic Day celebrations?

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?

Cinema & Bollywood · History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Public health

How B&W Bollywood has preserved a multi-hued snapshot of India’s public health story

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

Medicine & Doctors · Public health · Recommended movies, books etc.

Being a good ‘doctor’, not just a good ‘clinician’: Reading recommendations for MBBS students

As I came to appreciate after countless hours in darkened lecture halls, the biomedical view of disease looks piercingly through a patient toward some essential, objective, solid reality of biology—and yet in doing so it loses, like an X ray, almost any sense of flesh of the person. – Chris Feudtner, ‘Bittersweet: Diabetes, Insulin, and… Continue reading Being a good ‘doctor’, not just a good ‘clinician’: Reading recommendations for MBBS students

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

Why reading is as important a parenting duty as any other

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

History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

A short history of Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical College, with pictures

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

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