Medical Encounters in British India

Medical Encounters in British India by Deepak Kumar and Raj Sekhar Basu has been published by Oxford University Press (India).

Deepak Kumar is Professor of History of Science and Education at the Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Raj Sekhar Basu is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Calcutta.

This volume explores the nature of interactions between the East and the West in the field of medicine. It brings into focus conditions and historical processes through which there was an interaction between the social and medical domains, particularly under the rubric of colonialism. It discusses India's medical tradition and the challenges it faced when modern medical system entered the country; the exchange of knowledge between India and the west; and the influence of local medicinal knowledge on its colonial counterpart.


The exchange of ideas and that of tradition was not a simple journey but rather a long and tortuous trajectory which was characterized by both assimilation as well as initiative which sought to differentiate one set of ideas from another. The level of interaction was seldom smooth and it was often ridden with the languages of dominance and hegemony. Through specific examples and case studies, the book also analyses various ailments and the changing medical domain from the point of view of the existing social norms/conditions.

In hardcover, Rs. 875, 360 pages, ISBN: 9780198089216

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