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Text of a Speech circulated on Dec24, 2016, at XL Indian Social Science Congress Organized by Indian Social Sciences Academy(ISSA) , held  from 19th Dec. 2016 and 24th Dec. 2016, in collaboration with University of Mysore, Mysuru, Karnataka. We are publishing this on the occasion on World Health Day, April 7

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Theme:-  At the outset we should all compliment the XL Indian Social Science Congress for chosing the Focal Theme: “PEOPLES HEALTH AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN INDIA” at a juncture when India is caught at cross-roads on the turbulent issue of Public Health.  At least during the 70th year of Indian Independence,  we should thank ourselves for having become conscious of public health issues that are tormenting this country,  and when more than 75% of the Indian population is groaning under poverty and misery,  unable to get even minimum medical care in the existing landlord-bourgeois rule, under the mask of Parliamentary Democracy.  The country’s 42 percent children suffer from malnutrition and more than 50,000 women suffer death even during their maiden Delivery,  while you have on the other side of the spectrum,  corporate controlled Hi-Tech Hospitals with Heli-pad landing facility, containing the most modern medical Gadgets and super-specialists, all in the service of one percent super-rich in the country.  What a tragedy and what a paradox?!

It is in this backdrop that we have chosen to present a paper on the Theme: “DECOLONISATION OF “MODERN MEDICAL SYSTEM” AND  THE NEED TO MARCH TOWARDS PEOPLE-ORIENTED HOLISTIC SYSTEM”.

This is indeed a very wide canvass,  but the situation demands a concise presentation due to paucity of time and the compelling circumstances of the Congress.  In tune with this demand, we desire to present the subject concisely in Five parts.  The first Part dealing with the Past,  show-casing the Indigenous systems of Medicine prevalent in India, prior to the advent of British Imperialism.  In the Second Part,  we deal with the imposition of an alien medical system under the nomenclature “Modern Medical System”,  indeed a mask for the Western Allopathic System.  In the Third Part – we deal with the imperative of decolonization of the so called “Modern Medical System” and in the Fourth Part,  deal with the need for a People-Oriented holistic system of Medicine,  which alone can be the panacea for the impending ills of colonization and a real deliverance from the clutches of corporate controlled “Modern Medical System”.  In the fifth and concluding part, we desire to present a Blue-print for achieving this end,  encompassing the ideology the strategy and the tactics.

To sum up,  this paper though a short one,  is designed to ignite a dialogue on the need for “a People-oriented holistic system” and when and how that could be achieved.  Pardon us if the Paper  has cryptic aspects.  The compulsion of time and space drives us to be so and we assure you we have a whole design to achieve this laudable goal.

Part-I

Indigenous Systems of Medicine prevalent in India prior to the advent of the British Imperialism:

Before we probe into this aspect of the problem it is worthwhile noting the role of history in the process of societal development.  It is said “The function of history is to promote a profounder understanding of both the past and the present through the interaction between them”1.  This is a very important observation of the leading contemporary historian,  E.H. Carr, in his famous work  –  “What is History”,  which throws new light in enabling an appraisal of the role of history in the process of societal development.  “Past and future,  have both to be understood thoroughly in grasping the relevance of both in the development of society”2.  Poet Laureate and Jnana Peeth Awardee D.R. Bendre has said very caustically: “One who does not know history is a pure idiot”.  So it cannot be forgotten that History acquires meaning and objectivity only when it established a coherent relation between the past and the future.3

It is keeping in mind that “Past, present and future are linked together in the endless chain of history”4,  that we need to analyse the theme that has been presently chosen for this Memorial Lecture.

From this point of view let us probe into the indigenous systems of Medicine prevalent in India prior to the advent of British Imperialism.  In this part we deal with the history of Ayurveda and Unani,  in a concise manner.

The origins of Ayurveda have been traced back to around 5,000 BC,  when they originated as an oral tradition.  Some of the concepts of Ayurveda have been discovered since the times of Indus Valley Civilization.  The first recorded forms of Ayurveda as medical texts are evolved from the Vedas.  Ayurveda is a discipline of the Upaveda or “auxiliary knowledge” in Vedic Tradition.  The origins of Ayurveda are also found in Atharvaveda,  which contains 114 hymns and incantations described as “magical cures for disease”.

There are three principal early texts on Aurveda which are,  the Charka Samhita,  the Sushruta Samhita  and the Bhela Samhita.  The Sushruta Samhita was based on original from the 6th century B.C. and was updated by the Buddhist Scholar Nagarjuna in the 2nd Centry C.E.  The Charaka Samhita,  written by Charka,  and the Bhela Samhita, attributed to Atreya Punarvasu,  are also dated 6th Century BC.  The Charaka Samhita was also updated by Pridhabala during the early centuries of the Common Era.  The Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hsien (c.337-422 AD) wrote about the health care system of the Gupta Empire (320-550) and described the institutional approaches of Indian medicine.  This is also visible in the works of Charaka,  who  describes about a hospital and how it should be equipped.  The Arabic works derived from the Ayurvedic Texts eventually also reached Europe by the 12th Century.  In Renaissance Italy, the Branca family of Sicily and Gaspare Taglia Cozzi (Bologna) were influenced by the Arabic reception of the Sushruta’s surgical techniques.  British Physicians travelled to India to observe rhinoplasty being performed using native methods,  and reports on Indian rhinoplasty were published in the Gentlemen’s Magzine in 1794.  Instruments described in the Sushruta Samhita were further modified in Europe.  Joseph Constantine  Carpue studied  Plastic Surgery methods in India for 20 years and in 1815,  was able to perform the first major plastic surgery in the Western world,  using the “Indian” method of nose reconstruction.  In 1840 Bret published an article about this technique.

It is significant to note that Sushruta,  in the 6th Century,  noted the relationship of malaria to mosquitoes and plague to the rats,  knew of more than 700 medicinal plants and described more than 100 surgical instruments.  He treated fractures,  removed tumours and kidney stones and delivered babies by cessarian section.

During the period of Colonial British rule of India,  the practice of Ayurveda was neglected by the British Indian Government,  in favour of modern medicine.

Let us now try to understand about Unani system of Medicine.

In India,  Unani System of Medicine,  was introduced by Arabs and soon it took firm roots in the soil.  When Mongols ravaged Persian and Central Asian cities like Shiraz, Tabrez and Galan,  scholars and physicians of Unani Medicine fled to India.  The Delhi Sultan,  the Kilji’s ,  the Tughlaq’s and the Mughal Emperors provided state patronage to the scholars and even enrolled some as state emplolyees and court physicians.  During the 13th and the 17th Century Unani Medicine had its hey-day in India.

During the British rule,  Unani Medicine suffered a set-back  and its development hampered due to withdrawal of governmental patronage.  It was mainly the Sharifi family of Delhi,  the Azizi family in Lucknow and the Nizam of Hyderabad due to whose efforts Unani Medicine survived during the British Period.  An outstanding Physician and scholar of Unani Medicine Hakim Ajmal Khan (1868-1927) championed the cause of the system in India.

This, in short, is the history of the rise and fall of Ayurveda and Unani in India,  and these indigenous systems of Medicine were forced to decay under the British Rule in India, and with the rise of the British Rule in India,  the “Modern Medical System”,  under the nomenclature “Allopathy” became the dominant Medical System and the traditional systems of Medicine , Ayurveda (which has a history of more than Seven Thousand Years),  and Unani, (which had a history of around Two Thousand Years),  were trampled and allowed to go into oblivion.

With this short history of Ayurveda and Unani,  let us proceed to the Second Part.

Part-II

Imposition of an alien Medical System under the nomenclature “Modern Medical System”.

During the period of colonial British rule of India,  the practice of Ayurveda was neglected by the British Indian Government,  in favour of “modern medicine”.  There is a need to elucidate this aspect taking into consideration three important concepts.  The first is ideological, the second is an illustration of colonization through colonization of Education, and the Third, the results of British rule in India.

Karl Marx,  the founder of Scientific Socialism,  has said “Ruling ideas are the ideas of the Ruling Classes”.  This is an Universal truth and what has been presented supra regarding indigenous Indian Medical Systems, prevalent earlier to the advent of British rule in India, also evidence this ideological formulation.  Ayurveda prevailed from the Vedic period and ruled the roost from then through the rule of the various Dynasties and Monarchies,  receiving their patronage and with the advent of the Muslim Rulers,  when the patronage shifted from Ayurveda to Unani,  came the prevalence of Unani in India.  And with the advent of the British Rule,  the neglect of both these indigenous systems and the patronage shifting to the so called “modern medicine”,  this alien system came to dominate the Indian scene.  The colonization of medical system can best be illustrated by presenting the way colonization of Education took place in India.  At this juncture, it is worthwhile noting an important observation of the noted historian Romilla Thapar,  who distinguished the British conquest from the earlier conquests of India by the Muslim and other Rulers.  She says – “The coming of the Europeans,  and the Colonisation of India by Britain,  was an altogether different experience.  They came from distant lands,  were physically different,  spoke languages which were entirely alien and in which there had been no prior communication;  their rituals,  religion and customs were alien,  their exploitation of land and labour exceeded that of the previous period,  and above all they did not settle in India”5.  This explains the rigour of colonalisation by the British rulers,  which was more intensive and much different,  from the previous conquerors.

In this context,  it is pertinent to refer to the “Minute by Macaulay,  dated 2nd February 1835”,  which illustrates the imposition of English as a medium of instruction in higher education in India and finding the basis for the reforms introduced in the English Education Act of 1835.  Macaulay,  who was Secretary to the Board of Control under Lord Grey from 1832 till 1833,  was appointed as the first Law Member of the Governor General’s Council.  He came to India in 1834,  serving the Supreme Council of India between 1934 and 1938,  and was instrumental in creating the foundations of bilingual colonial India,  by convincing the Governor General to adopt English as the medium of instruction in Indian education,  from the sixth year of schooling onwards,  rather than Sanskrit or Persian.  By doing so,  Macaulay wanted to “educate people who cannot be at present educated by means of their mother tongue” and thus,  by incorporating English,  he sought to “enrich” the Indian languages so “that they could become vehicles for European Scientific,  historical and literary expression”.

A few extracts from Macaulay’s 36 long paragraphs Minute, would reveal the total contempt Macaulay had for indigenous knowledge and scholarship and his stubbornness in getting English medium introduced in Indian higher education.  Indeed he  even threatened to resign,  if his opinion was not accepted.

A few excerpts are reproduced here:

“All the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in Sanskrit Language is less valuable than what may be found in the most palpable abridgements used in primary schools in England  ……….. a single shelf of a good European library worth a a whole native literature in India and Arabia”.

“…….. English is the language spoken by the ruling class.  It is spoken by the higher class natives at the seats of Government …….. We shall see the strongest reason to think that,  of all foreign tongues,  the English is that which would be the most useful to our native subject”.

“…….. It is said that Sanskrit and the Arabic are the languages in which the sacred books of a hundred millions of people are written,  and that they are on that account entitled to peculiar encouragement …………  It is confirmed that a language is barren of useful knowledge.  We are to teach it because it is fruitful of monstrous superstitious.  We are to teach false history,  false astronomy,  false medicine”.

These are only very few excerpts from a 36 long Paragraphs which establish beyond doubt that Macaulay,  through this Minute,  adopted the policy of massacre of indigenous scholarship and imposed English in the natives over whom they were ruling and the entire exercise of Macaulay on designing English medium was to prepare a class among the natives to perpetrate British Imperialist Rule in India and to prepare “Macaulay’s Children” to enable colonization not only politically but also in all fields of knowledge including medicine.

It is useful to note the views of Ramachandra Guha on “Macaulays Minute”.  He said “The Minute is reviled by the natives,  who think it condemned India and Indians to centuries of mental servitude ……..”.  It is also important to note the observation of Karl Marx about Macaulay,  who referred to him “as a systematic falsifier of History”.  Indeed Marx’s formulation had again got proved – “Ruling ideas are the ideas of the Ruling Classes”.

Before we conclude this part,  let us also have a glimpse at Medical Education in British India.

Dr. B.M. Hegde,  one of the leading lights in exposing the fallacies of  “Modern Medeicine”  and “Medical Education in India”,  in his Article entitled “Is the present Medical Education relevant to India’s needs?”  states – “Medical Education in India has undergone very little change since its inception in 1851 by the East India Company in the three Medical Colleges in Madras, Bombay and Calcutta those days. …….  Medical Education,  in essence,  has not changed a wee bit …………  we are still slaves of Western thought. …… Medical Education is in the hands of the powerful drug and technology barrens,  we follow on their footsteps”.

It is important to note here the remark of Karl Marx on the impact of British Colonialism in India,  He said: “The whole rule of Britain in India was swinish, ………. The profound hyprocricy and inherent barbarism of bourgeois civilization itself unveiled before our eyes,  turning from its home,  where it assumed,  respectable forms,  to the colonies,  where it goes naked.  ……This is a bleeding process with vengeance”.

To sum up we can say,  that with the advent of British rule in India,  people here were converted fully into slaves of Western thought, and colonization of Medical education and also Modern Medicine  came to be the order of the day.

Part-III

Now let us take up the Third Part of the presentation:  “The imperative of decolonization of the so called “modern medicine” and “Medical Education”.

India is said to have become “independent” from 15th August 1947,  and we are now in the 70th year of the so-called “independence”.  Why are these terms “so called independence” used?  The people of India are yet  to realize that what happened on 15th August 1947,  was just a “transfer of Power” from the British Imperialists to the Indian Ruling Classes,  the Bourgeois – Landlord Class who continued to rule under the clutches of the very British Imperialist system of governance,  system of thought,  system of education, system of medicine,  medical education and what not.  In a recently edited work entitled “Indian Constitution Unriddled”  the authors (Sri S.G. Nadgir and Dr. K.S. Sharma) have established with sufficient evidence that the “Constitution of India” promulgated on 26th January 1950,  is nothing but a cut-paste Document of the infamous “Govt. of India Act, 1935”,  to the extent of 75% percent of those provisions bodily lifted, (with very few alterations) and the rest of it,  “borrowed” from the Constitutions of USA, Australia, Ireland etc.  While the Constitution of India mostly adopted the Westminster Model and continued the legacy of the British Parliamentary, Judiciary and Executive Systems,  most of the laws made by the British Rulers continued to govern India.  Indeed Post-Independent India,  turned out to be a semi-colonial,  semi-feudal rule,  with the added element of  American neo-imperialist hegemony.

In such a set-up,  the British introduced “Modern Medicine” and “Medical Education” continued to rule the roost.  The Question which “Medical System is Alternate” to which “other Medical System”?  was itself not grasped.  Should the Indian system of Ayurveda, with a tradition of more than Seven Thousand years,  be called “Alternate Therapy”  to the so called “modern medicine?”  We know fully well that the first recorded attempts to study anatomy were made by Aristotle (384-22 BC),  who was the founder of biological science.  Even Hippocrates (460-374 B.C),  the father of  Medicine,  found his place in Medical knowledge,  only four thousand years after the founders of Ayurveda.  If so, which system is the “Alternate”?  Surely,  “Modern Medicine” shall be “the Alternate Therapy” to “Ayurveda” Unani” and “Naturopathy and Yoga”  and not the other way round.  It is only because of the dominance of British Colonial Rule in India,  that “Modern Medicine” became the dominant  Medical system,  neglecting and suppressing the indigenous “Ayurveda” “Unani” and “Naturopathy and Yoga”.

Most unfortunately in the post-independent era,  even after Seventy Years,  we are yet under the “Mental Slavery” of the British, “a colonial mind-set”,  a slavery of the Western and the American Systems of  not only Modern Medicine but also Medical Education,  Governance and what not?

Before going into the next part of the presentation, let us dwelve into the tremendous harm and the irreparable  damage done by “Modern Medicine” and “Medical Education” to understand the need for “decolonization of both “Modern Medicine”  and “Medical Education in India”.

This is a very vast area and only a few contours are presented here,  leaving the rest for a detailed deliberation.

Firstly,  it is for us to realize that 75 to 80 percent of all diseases in India are related to poverty,  malnutrition,  lack of proper sanitation and unsafe drinking water.  Though,  the Judiciary has declared that safe potable drinking water is a fundamental right and is part of right to life under Art 21 of the Constitution of India,   very little has been done to change these.  While “Socialist and Democratic” systems are incorporated in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution,  they are only precepts not meant to the realized but to be used to perpetually fool the innocent masses of the people.  We have in India,  even now,  after 70 years of Independence,  75 percent of people living below the poverty line.  The Human Development Index in India is far less than even tiny nations like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.   Even to this day,  starvation deaths occur and “right to life”,  the fundamental right,  is only a mere declaration,  with no chance of being realized.  It is only a farcical declaration.  Today,  10 crore Indians in 20 States in India are facing the threat of Flourosis,  which is one of the biggest health problems in India,  while 7 Crore suffer from Diabetes.  In India out of a total of 29 States,  ground water of 20  States is fluoride-affected.  Total population of fluoride endemic 201 districts of India is 411 million (around 40 percent of Indian Population).  What a tragedy?  What a paradox?  These problems of health and disease being system can only be solved by a change of the system, a change from the bourgeois-land lord system to a socialist system.  Hence this is a larger problem relating to structural change.

Secondly,  can the problems referred to above be solved by the health-care systems being introduced by the Corporates and  “Modern Medicine”,  which are notoriously known to be highly commercial and perpetrated with the object of super-exploitation?  The plight of the poor, the working class and the middle class have worsened.  The poor pregnant women,  who is black-mailed and coerced to undergo cessarian,  costing nearly one lakh rupees?  All this is commerce.  Indiscriminate and unwanted big business rackets,  multi-nationals playing a major role in these health rackets.  The big question is with these Corporate medicare,  have child mortality and maternal mortality reduced?  It is a shameful situation that is prevalent in India today.

Secondly,  “Modern Medicine” instead of curing diseases,  has become a breeding ground for new diseases.  Indeed “modern medicine” and its practitioners have been  “manufacturers of diseases”.  Just one such disease is the Thyroid problem.  The labs to test this,  the medicines for this disease and the specialized Hospitals to treat this problem are all under global monopoly and Indians become victims of such a “manufactured disease”!

Another example of this “manufactured disease” is “Heart Attack”, invented by the “Cardiac Crooks”.  The “Outlook” in its Dec. 26, 2016,  issue has exposed the huge racket,  in its cover story “Heart for Mart Sake”.  The Stent is a life-saver, that is all a patient knows.  But for the doctor,  “what often hangs in balance is a huge cut,  bribes and vacation abroad”.  This cover story is revealing, and thoroughly exposes the massive racket behind angioplasty and the Stent Industry.  The following excerpt from “Outlook” gives a glimpse of this collosal scam.

“The Pass-Pass Scam”

“The cost of importing stents is estimated between Rs.10,000-15,000 per stent. The importer then sells it to the distributor at a profit of 100-120 percent.  The distributor is responsible for providing stents to hospitals.  These stents are sold at a further profit of about 120 percent.  Hospitals buy each stent at anywhere between Rs.20,000-25,000.  Distributors approach doctors and hospitals on behalf of companies and importers.  Doctors who prescribe angioplasties to patients in general, earn a cut for every stent deployed.  Bribes too  come into play-both material and monetary.  Patients are supplied these stents at prices ranging from Rs.50,000 to Rs.2 Lakhs,  with a mark up of 300-700 percent.  Needles angioplasties on patients give doctors higher cuts.  Some hospitals force doctors to meet monthly quotas of angioplasty.   Number of angio-plasties done in 2015-16 were 4,20,000 (according to the Cardiologists Society of India)  Estimates say four-fifth of these have been performed in Private Hospitals”.

“Outlook” also reports very fascinating details on this Scam.  “80 percent of the Indian Stent Market controlled by foreign players”.  “Medical devices worth Rs.21,000 Crores imported in 2014 and the market is growng 10 percent a year”.

What is paradoxical is that with all these Scams prevailing and enabling a day light robbery by the Multi-Nationals in collaboration with the specialty Hospitals, Doctors, dealers and others making a booty at the cost of the suffering patients.   Governmental Machinery is yet to effectively move to check these mega scams.

“We find that a petition filed in the Delhi High Court has asked for fixing of the MRP on stents.  The Pharma department has been given time till December 22 to respond,  but this is yet to take a final shape”.  “Outlook” suggests that “India may take a leaf out of China’s response;  in the last couple of years,  China has heavily fined leading multi-nationals for corrupt practices to promote sales”,  and concludes its report by stating “…….. The arteries of the system will remain clogged by muck,  lining the pockets of cardiologists and hospitals, while emptying those of the patients – the final sufferers”.

In this regard it is also necessary to study the article written by Dr. B.M. Hegde entitled – “Economics and Politics of Heart Surgeries”.

Nextly,  it is desirable to draw the attention of people to the article entitled “Modern Medicine: A Trick or a Trade?”  by Dr. Hegde who states – “One of the greatest dogmas in modern medicine is that drugs and surgical procedures only cure illness.  It is the immune system that really heals.  He asserts – “If one wants to preserve his/her health intact he/she should avoid hospitals and doctors to the extent possible,  but when one is ill,  one needs to see a doctor without delay and be a partner in the management”.  Without going into details we desire to invite your kind attention to a wonderful maxim he has coined –  “while there is no pill for every ill,  every pill has some ill following its use”.  Dr. Hegde states in this Article – “Incidentally,  doctors mistakes and unnecessary interventions have resulted in 1,00,000 deaths in the USA in one year of study”.  He concludes this Article thus: “A strike by all the doctors in Israel recently where they attended to all emergencies that avoided routine work and elective interventions for three  months,  death rate and disability fell down remarkably,  only to go up to the usual level after doctors came back to work”.

With this,  we can conclude this part,  by saying that perhaps no more needs to be said about the consequences and results of “Modern Medicine” and the effects of colonization of medicine in India during British Rule and continued till date after 70 years of independence in India.

In this context it is necessary to add a few observations on “Medical Education under British Rule” and how the same was continued even after independence in India.

It is necessary to cite the cover story of “Outlook” (Oct. 24, 2016 issue), entitled “Doctored Colleges”  which carries an “investigation”,  into Ghost Medical Colleges – without Hospitals, patients or faculty – offer dubious degrees to students who can spare a few millions”.   There is a cover story, with the Headline – “Teaching Shops of Medicine:  A rush for capitation fees and a policy muddle could be leaving us with a horde of doctors who have a degree but little medical education”.

Dr. B.M. Hegde says categorically in his Article – “Is the present Medical Education relevant to India’s Needs?” – “……. Medical Education today is totally irrelevant to our basic needs”  and also states that “we are still in the business of aping the west”.

It is these and the other connected factors connected with the colonization of the Modern Medicine and that of Medical Education that there is the imperative of decolonization of the so-called Modern Medical System and the System of Medical Education in India.  Let us bid good-bye to the colonisation still continuing to rule Indian minds even after 70 years of independence.

Let the nation make a determined bid for decolonization of both the “Modern Medical System”  imposed during British Colonial rule and the Medical Education System” introduced in India in 1857  during the days of the East India Company.  At least now,  let India pledge to get itself totally liberated from the colonial mind-set which has its roots in British Imperialism and from the neo-colonial mind-set which has its roots in American neo-imperialism.

Part-IV

Now let us take up the Fourth Part of the presentation entitled – “Need for a People-Oriented holistic system of Medicine”.  This is the need of the hour.  Is it not paradoxical that a nation which has 75 percent of its population steeped below the poverty line,  that we spend more than 3 lakh Crore Rupees on our “Defence” and much more paradoxically spend nearly 3 Lakh Crore Rupees on so called “health care” and more than 80 percent of this money gets siphoned off to Multi-National Corporations through the Drug Mafia,  with which the comprador Hi-Tech Hospital Industry and the colluding Doctors work hand-in-glove.  This system shall be given a total go-by and the search for a People-Oriented “New Medical System”  and “New Medical Education” be begun. Colonial system and its components like Education, Medicine, Governance etc being anti-people and pro-rich, pro-ruling coterie,  be decolonized.   We have to design a people-oriented holistic system of New Medical System and New Medical Education.  For this one has also to launch struggles for a structural transformation of society as a whole,  and for ushering in a classless, exploitationless socialist society.

Part-V

To conclude this presentation,  we desire to present “A Blue-Print for achieving this end encompassing the ideology, strategy and the tactics”.  In this part we desire to present a ten Point programme,   to enable the realization of this goal.

[1] Indigenous systems of Ayurveda,  Yoga, Unani, Naturopathy, Homeopathy shall be renewed,  verified,  validated,  modernized and whatever is unscientific,  superstitious in these systems shall be rejected.

[2] Integrate indigenous systems of medicine with what is best,  scientific,  in “Modern Medicine”,  where it has achieved revolutionary leaps due to developments in Science and Technology.

[3] 75 to 80 percent of all diseases in India are related to poverty, lack of proper sanitation,  malnutrition,  unsafe drinking water etc.  If these ills have to be eliminated,  it is only through struggles against ruling exploiting classes and by establishing a society of equality without exploitation ie. a socialist society that it is possible.  A structural transformation will alone eliminate ills borne out of socio-economic-cultural ills of the bourgeois-landlord system.

[4] In the name of modernization, aping the Western ways of life, has been the fashion and a passion.  Fast and Junk Foods,  cold drinks,  sedentary life style etc have led to life-style diseases like obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid etc,  which can be cured safely by life-style changes and drugless therapy, coupled  with Yoga and Dietary practices.  Modern Medicine for these diseases have been only multiplying diseases than curing them.

[5] Food grains,  cereals,  vegetables, fruits grown by using chemical fertilizers,  pesticides etc have been manufacturing “new diseases” and have to be remedied only by organic farming.  This needs radical changes to be introduced in Farming Practices in order to produce safe food grains, cereals, vegetables, and fruits.

[6] Reckless industrialization leading to pollution of ground water and environment need to be tackled,  as water polluted with Flouride, Arsenic, lead etc have been leading to disastrous diseases.  Similarly pollution of environment shall be tackled as this again manufactures diseases.

[7] Modern Medicine, Hi-tech Hospitals,  Corporate Drug Manufacturers,  unscrupulous Doctors also turn agents of multi-national corporates for attraction of cuts and foreign  Jaunts.  They have multiplied the menace of Health care and these have to be remedied.

The current slogan has been – “Long live diseases –  diagnostics – Doctors-Corporate Medicine” – and this shall be eradicated.

[8] The most important concept of “Prevention is better than cure” shall come into practice.  To create this awareness education,  propagation and promotion of a healthy life-style is necessary.  This could save not only  people but the country from the massive drain of money from this country to unscrupulous multi-national drug manufactures and manufactures of medical instruments and gadgets in foreign countries.

[9] Rivalry between various systems of medicine shall be put an end to and a new integrated approach to be developed to enable each system to supplement and complement the other in order to cure the patient and not make him curse the unhealthy malpractices of competition and rivalry.  To realize this, the entire Medicare and public health care shall be nationalized and taken over by the State.  This alone can put an end to commercialization and all the existing malpractices in the Private Sector controlled Medicare System.  India can take a leaf  from China,  which has along with Modern Medicine, renewed and developed the Chinese traditional medical systems like acupuncture and drugless therapy.  There is a need to prioritize treatment procedures.  The first and foremost priority shall be to prevention of diseases and better health care measures to be followed by  drugless therapy (naturopathy-yoga –dietics) and as only a next resort drug therapy and that too placing priority to indigenous systems like  Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy and as a last resort to Allopathy and the surgical methods.  In this process the sophisticated-scientific advanced technology in diagnostics shall be used,  wherever and whenever necessary.

[10] Last but not the least,  is the dire need to totally decolonize medical education and to reformulate the entire system by developing a new medical education system to suit the Indian conditionalities.  This is possible only when medical education is totally rid from the clutches of private sector and is totally taken over by the state sector.  This alone can put an end to the  scams and rackets of “Doctored Colleges” and the production of Doctors with degrees but with no real medical education.  In India 75 percent of the population is in rural areas and medical education does not expose its students to diseases of rural people.  In this connection Dr. B.M. Hegde’s incisive and highly relevant  article – “Is the present Medical Education relevant to India’s needs?”  is highly pertinent and needs a thorough study and implementation.  The need of India is as rightly proposed by Dr. B.M. Hegde,  a case of “Basic Doctors” to man our family medicine facilities in towns and villages,  and the course of study shall be patient-centred and community based.  What we require is not “Repetitive research of the Western type”  but “Refutative research to demolish many myths in medicine”.

Without going into details, enough to say,  India needs to design its own New Medical Education,  both at the Degree,  Post-Graduate and Post-Doctoral levels to suit our objective conditions and our people, more so the poor suffering crores.

This ten point Blue-Print is only  touching the periphery.  We need to go deeper and deeper into details and finally develop “a people-oriented holistic system of new medicine”,  and “a new medical education system”  which will save this country and the people,  who are now totally infested with the colonial mind-set and a slavery to the West.

-*****-

( Dr KS Sharma, Born 1934, Hubli-based, is the  Founder President of a group of Institutions including  Institute of Naturopathy and Yoga, a  20-years-old  Centre of drugless therapies;  Fluorosis Mitigation Research and Resource Centre, FMRRC;  Indian Institute of Marxist Theory and Practice;  Dr. Da Ra Bendre (Jnana Peeth Awardee) Research Institute, and an ITI.  He is a Retired Professor of Law and a doctorate in political science,  who was earlier  a Vice President of ISSA. He is better  known as a man of  the masses who  has been a leader of working class for over 45 years now, focused on unorganized labor, and as Founder- President of Karnataka State Govt. Dailywage Employees Federation, successfully organized one lakh dailywagers of Govt of Karnataka who got regularized after 30 years of struggle that included street battles and legal battles going upto Supreme Court. He is a great teacher, poet, writer, dramatist, literary critic, columnist, publisher, orator,  health activist and a  social scientist . A few of his articles appeared in contercurrents.org.

He may be contacted at :

Vishwa Shrama Chetana campus,  Gokul Road, HUBLI, Karnataka . PIN 580 030.

Or e-mail to :  kuvalaya_hubli@rediffmail.com)

 

1.What is History: E.H. Carr, Vintage Books, NewYork, 1961-P.86

  1. ibid P-
  2. ibid P-173
  3. ibid – P-179
  4. Romilla Thapar “Cultural Pasts”, Oxford University Press, 2000, Ninth impression, 2010, P. 994]
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  • K SHESHU BABU

    Elaborate discussion. The debate on the influence of capitalism and commercial impact on medical education and health care should continue so that adequate reform in the system may be thought of