Vortrag: Reformulating Ayurveda: Western science, tradition and therapeutic modernisation in the Indian state of Kerala
Western science, tradition and therapeutic modernisation in the Indian state of Kerala
Dr. Burton Cleetus, Department of History, University of Calicut, Kerala (Indien)
Until 1947 a part of Kerala was an independent Princely State (Travancore). Although it retained a certain measure of freedom from British interference in the administration of its internal affairs, public health and medicine were re-organized from the late nineteenth century onwards in congruence with policies devised in provinces under direct British colonial governance. The ways in which indigenous medicine became reconfigured in reference to (and imitation of) Western professional and institutional structures has been well documented in the historiography, in particular to Ayurveda. However, existing historical work equates “indigenous medicine” with the Ayurveda based on textual dogma (i.e. focusing almost exclusively on the Sankrit-based, elite focused indigenous tradition of Ayurveda). Scholars have not concerned themselves with the many, varied forms of local practices that flourished within the context of a plural health care market. Yet, for the majority of people, such non-Sanskrit based and informal medical services remained the main accessible and affordable kind of medical care throughout the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century. The paper seeks to examine the process by which Ayurveda came to be reorganised a national/cultural entity articulated through the larger discourses on social acceleration of various caste and communitarian groups under colonialism.
Ort und Zeit:
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