Jaisoorya N M
The ALL C.P. & Berar Homoeopathic Medical Board (Regd.) at Sharda Talkies Hall, RAIPUR, C.P. on the 4th April, 1947.
Sisters and brothers of the profession, Ladies and Gentleman,.
I am deeply conscious of the honour you have done me in asking me to preside at a Homoeopathic Conference of such high standing as this. The honour lies in the fact that a man like myself happens to be, by training, profession and by right, a fully qualified member of the Allopathic School of Medicine.
And yet, if I have been granted the honour to be present among a body of homoeopathic practitioners, it surely must have a meaning. And it is this: In the eyes of many of my allopathic brethren, those who go over to, or advocate any system of medicine other than allopathy, are considered renegades and traitors to scientific medicine. They assume that there is only one medical science and that is allopathic medicine. They forget that there are many aspects to scientific medicine and that their view alone need not be the sole and only correct aspect.
To become narrow and dogmatic in ones scientific approach to phenomena leads to dogmatism, and that leads to prejudice and ignorance and intolerance. it ceases to be scientific. If to refuse to be dogmatic and doctrinaire is equivalent to becoming renegades, then very likely we are renegades. But, in reality, a renegade is a man who sells his convictions and his principles for some material reward or gain. He does not do so out of a sincere belief that what he is going over to is something better. His sole motive is financial and other material gain and not the grandeur of a principle that has won him over to its side.
But take the example of many of us allopaths, and their numbers are increasing day by day. We have openly embraced Homoeopathy with a full consciousness of the consequences of our action. Many of us have thrown up our allopathic profession at the height of our careers. Our incomes were good; we were considered quite efficient in our own line, and we had still further prospects of advancement in wealth and position if only we stuck on to our ropes.
Many of our professional brethren thought we were mad to throw up our profession and to take to something which was “Quackery”; especially when you consider that many of us, like the great Mahendra Lal Sircar and Hahnemann himself had to face financial collapse, starvation, humiliation, misunderstanding, derision, even the loss of former friends, leave alone income.
And if we have patiently borne all these disasters and proclaimed at considerable risks our burning faith, then I want to know how any honest, reasonable man can call such of us as renegades. It should occur to them that when men are willing to undergo sacrifices and loss, something very strong, something very worthwhile sacrificing for, must have inspired many of us to take the steps we have taken, as many had taken before.
As a former allopath, I can openly declare that a homoeopath, if he is a sincere worker, a true devotee of the ethics laid down by Hahnemann, can never hope to earn those large sums that even the average allopath earns with ease. Homoeopathy, if it is to be properly practised, must be genuinely and sincerely practised. It needs a great deal of industry, devotion, much searching of the heart, much devotion to an ideal, and a great sense of responsibility for human life.
In terms of payment, the work of a genuine Homoeopath can never be adequately compensated. Those who wish to come into the fold of Homoeopathy must be prepared for service, self-sacrifice, privation; and they must turn their back on the quest for wealth, ease, comfort and the acquisition of name and fame by the easy road. Homoeopathy has no changing fashions and fads to offer. There is no room for the expensive specialist and the high class society doctor that ponders to whims and moods of his wealthy patients.
At any rate not in homoeopathy. In Homoeopathy there is room only for the devoted and sincere worker who at the same time understands the philosophy of life. Yet, if knowing all these things some of us allopaths have chosen to take the hard and thorny road of Homoeopathy, then logically, must there not be something of undeniably convincing and majestic a quality in Homoeopathy that has drawn us allopaths to it?.
It is quite possible that we have mistaken in our choice. It very often happens that our emotions lead us astray, that we get lost in the maze of intellectual illusions which is Maya. But ten and twenty years should constitute enough time for scientists to realise their mistakes. Allopathy claims to teach us, who have studied it, the scientific attitude towards all scientific problems. We shall not be real scientists if we do not openly admit our mistakes. So would Homoeopathy be unscientific if it did not study and realise its own limitations and deficiencies.
Had we allopaths, who have accepted Homoeopathy, any clear and scientific reason to conclude that we had made a mistake in coming to Homoeopathy, we would have returned to our original calling, allopathy, long ago; for, the way back is always open to us. As a scientist, to the best of my conscience, I am here to declare, that after ten years of sincere and critical study of Homoeopathy, I have no reason, whatsoever, to abandon it today or in the future. And the fact that we have not done so, and very likely shall not do in the future, must indicate that Homoeopathy must have some value superior to the one we gave up.
No allopath who comes to investigate Homoeopathy with an open mind ever goes back to Allopathy. So tremendous is its hold on us. Constantine Hering, the ablest assistant to the great German allopath Hufeland, was sent by Hufeland to investigate into the claims of Homoeopathy; and he never came back. Neither did the prize scholar, Jousset, sent by the great French clinician Charcot. Neither did I, nor will anyone. I came because I was charged by my father to study ways and means to evolve the simplest scheme for medical aid to the villages. I found that allopathy could never solve the problems I was facing.
And the more I thought over it the more hopeless I became and the more I came to the inescapable conclusion that for the poverty-stricken villages of our country we shall have to employ any other system of medicine, it may be homoeopathy, it may be Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, anything but allopathy; and I shall have to investigate into their strengths and defects. As far as Homoeopathy is concerned, I can only say what Sir John Wier, physician to the King of England, said: “We have all been sceptics, but facts have been too strong for us. Over and over again doctors have been commissioned to look into it, in order to expose it, only to become its most enthusiastic exponents and adherents”.
But I believe that I shall be wasting your time if I talked to you about the strong points of Homoeopathy. On the contrary as a scientist I believe it is my duty to point out to you its limitations and its weaknesses which it is our duty to study and rectify; because our art, our profession must have one and only one purpose behind it and that is service of the country and its people. If we fail in that, if our art is unsuitable for that single purpose, if our science is too costly, if we ourselves are inefficient and incapable, then Homoeopathy is of no use to our country, no matter how useful it may be to the individual.
I have therefore not come to you, today, as a new convert, filled with the passionate reverence, awe and unbounded enthusiasm of a newly found faith, but as a scientist to discuss with you something of the stupendous problems that our country is facing, not only in matters of National Health but in every aspect of its national welfare. For twelve years I have been trying to study the almost hopeless and terrifying problems of the health of our unfortunate country which has been brought to the verge of ruin, altered into a barren desert and a festering cess-pool of a humanity uprooted by one hundred and fifty years of British rule over us.
Today a new India is rising out of the desolate ruins of the India that once was, India which was humiliated, enslaved, robbed of all its finer values. Let us be clear about one thing. I am by profession a physician. But more than that, I happen to be also a competent economist; and I tell you that a new India is in the throes of a new birth, in pain, blood and tears in the suicidal fratricidal wars of its misguided children. It is our own stupidity that we are waging wars against each other and drenching our precious land with our blood.
It may be that we shall return to sanity after a senseless orgy of mutual carnage, destruction and desolation of all finer values that was the tradition and common heritage of the children of this soil. But the destiny of our country does not depend upon our individual whims and fancies but on deep factors shaping world history. We can at most retard by our stupid actions its achievement. And this new India rising before our eyes is burdened with hundreds of problems old and new; and it will need great courage, faith and a new clear vision to face and solve those problems.
The human mind occupies itself with problems in various ways, but the quientessence of wisdom lies in simplifying our philosophies and in solving intricate problems in the simplest ways. It needs the greatest wisdom to be simple and to take a commonsense view of great problems. That is what we shall have to think of. For us as physicians, charged with the maintenance of National Health of an impoverished country like ours, the task becomes almost hopeless if we fail to take a broad view of the various factors that affect life and the living. Life does not function in a vacuum. It is related to and is affected by its environment.
Its reaction to and relation to its environment becomes the reality. The reality in our country is the terrifying problem of its stark and naked poverty. It, therefore, becomes all the more essential to assess with great exactitude the material possibilities that exist, so that we can reasonably hope for in the visible future in our country. That means a comprehensive knowledge of economics and economic possibilities. We must know as to what is possible and what is not, what is feasible and what is not, what is essential today and what is not, for a limited sum of money that our country can bring together.
Factors governing economic changes in a country are not so easy to influence or alter as factors governing political changes. It is also advisable to remember that political changes come far in advance of economic changes and that while political revolutions can be easily brought about, an economic revolution takes it own time and obeys quite a different set of laws from political upheavals. Failure to recognise this fundamental point has been responsible for the wasting of much time, energy and national finances in the shape of “Post-War Plans” in India and elsewhere, and elsewhere, except in Russia. All Russian Plans, the great 1st, 2nd and 3rd “Five Years Plans” have been based on fundamentally very sound principles.
They never looked centuries ahead or made schemes for forty years to come. No economist in his senses can foretell what the shape of things would come to be ten years hence. In this uneasy, unhappy world of today, full of strife and unrest, it becomes almost impossible. And yet The Bhore Committee Report has put up a plan which would take forty years to complete. The fundamental principles upon which the Russians have based all their plans, as realists, are on a realistic and thorough analysis of things as they really exist which is taken as the starting point. We can and must make plans on the basis of facts as they exist and of things already achieved. Only then do we make few mistakes.
BASIS OF A PLAN.
It is therefore essential to differentiate between what constitutes a plan and what a programme. A plan is built on what is available, ready at hand, capable of being exploited, consolidated and enlarged. A programme is a promise of the future and a hope capable of being fulfiled only when certain preconditions are granted or facilitated. It remains only a promise until it is fulfiled. Having worked as a member of the National Planting Committee of our country I had good deal of trouble in making my colleagues there appreciate the fundamental point, and therefore I must stress that point again. If our plans are to be built on the realities of today and of the facilities available, then the greatest single reality in India is its financial stringency.
As a competent economist I fear no challenge of this statement from any Finance Minister. The second greatest reality is the discrepancy between the health needs of the people and the inadequate medical services they receive, which, as the Health Commissioner with the Govt of India plainly admits “so far has not touched even the fringe of the problem”. The third greatest reality is the paucity of allopathically trained men as mentioned in the Bhore Committee Report. Therefore, I must tell you something about the Bhore Committee Recommendations. What is the Bhore Committee Report? Is it a plan or a programme?
Can it be a plan at all? The answer is No! Why? Because it is not based on the realities of today nor does it seek to make use of the facilities at our disposal now and here, nor based on the possibilities that can be guaged with reasonable exactitude and which can be developed if we had the will and had known how to, as I shall prove to you very soon. What it is therefore? A programme, a promise of the future that can only be fulfiled if premises be granted that do not exist today. I have not met a single allopath, be he Health Minister in the Provincial Govts or the learned Surgeon General, who could stand upto my economic arguments.
What is the greatest weakness, apart from several other glaring weaknesses in the Bhore Committee Recommendations? It lies in the fact that these excellent plans can only then go into operation when a very large sum of money is placed at its disposal. It is not less than 1000 Crores as initial capital and recurring expenditure. And that money, I as an economist can tell you without fear of challenge from any quarter, and judging from the trend of events as our country is suffering and must necessarily pass through, will not be available for a long time to come.
The Bhore Plan is like a beautiful motor car, a beautiful piece of machinery, but which cannot move because of the dearth of petrol. And that means that, however fine and impressive the Bhore Recommendations may be, however desirable and as a piece of scientific thinking certainly an achievement, they will not and cannot work because of one single and at present insuperable hindrance, which is a terrible and tangible reality, namely, the lack of the necessary finances.
It may be argued that money should be made available and you will tell me that Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru has said at the The Health Ministers Conference at Delhi on Oct. 10, 1946 that “If funds could be available for big wars, there was no reason why they should not be provided for to fight against ill-health and which was like the enemy from within and weakened the nation. No doubt it was a gigantic task but it was one of those urgent questions which had got to be attended to if we were to avoid situations like the after math of the Bengal famine.”
I say with all due deference to Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru that, while I agree with him in his desire, I cannot agree with his optimism that the finances can be so readily found. We have neither the trained army nor the munition nor the money, but we have, what the Bhore Committee could not appreciate, and which the allopath would hate to admit, a band of guerilla fighters who have often snatched a victory when the regular armies were routed. In order to know how to use them one must see how others have done it. It was the Boer, ill-armed, that inflicted defeat upon defeat on a highly military British army.
It was the Russian Guerilla and Partisan armies, ill-trained, that helped the regular Russian armies to defeat the worlds most fearful military machine, the German Army. And while British arms were suffering one defeat after the other in this last world war, it was the common man of Britain who held on undaunted and never admitted defeat. If we should accede to the Bhore Plan it assumes that no battle should be fought against an enemy already in our midst unless we have a large and well-trained army of death and bacilli fighters which will take forty years to prepare, provided we can find the money.
This is typical of the antiquated British way of thinking, and it is a fact that till recently the British never knew the technique of guerilla or of mobilising a people, until it was taught to them by a British Communist. That is the difference between the narrow British way of thinking and the broad realistic way of mobilising a people at which Soviet Russia is an expert. If we should apply this analogy to the Bhore Committee Report, we see immediately its glaring weakness, it narrow thinking, its attempt to preserve the rights and privileges of a small body of allopaths who are so small in numbers, but whose privileges are so great that it is almost like the struggle between the Zamindar trying to keep his rights and the peasant demanding his own rights.
The proportion of the Zamindar, who has too much, to the peasant, who has too little, is beyond all decency. Let us be clear about one thing beyond all shadow of doubt. The Bhore Plan is unworkable under existing circumstances. These circumstances will not change for a long time to come. On the contrary, there is every possibility and probability of their becoming worse. I am speaking of the financial aspect. Let us be clear about this one cardinal fact. Still more, let the Health Ministers and Surgeon Generals be clear about this fact. We stand today just where we were yesterday, before all these impressive but inapplicable “Post War Plans” began. What then?
It means that we still need a plan that can work under existing circumstances. With regard to Public Health we are as static as we were before. I say it is a great pity, because the Bhore Plan is a very thorough and painstaking analysis of present health conditions in our country, a very thoughtful and exhaustive study of things as they are and as they ought to be. But what a pity that these men who made the report did not know what is possible and what is not possible economically in our country.
I do not know how many of you here have made a study of the Bhore Committee Report. I know that hardly a handful of allopaths and even smaller number of officials of the Medical Departments have waded through it. And the reason is that it is very voluminous and comprehensive, going into 4 large volumes, and it is not everybodys business to afford so much time to see its strength and weaknesses.
SALIENT POINTS FROM THE BHORE COMMITTEE REPORT.
In a very short analysis let me tell you the facts that the Report has determined. It wants 1000 Crores for it to be put into action. It cannot get it. It wants 40 years to complete its work. No social economist or political economist is prepared to tell you what the shape of things will be in the next forty years. A forty years plan can be proffered only by men totally ignorant of historical phenomena.
They have shown by their investigations that India has today 47,500 allopathic or so-called “Scientifically trained” doctors and India needs or will require 2,36,650 such scientifically trained men; that India has at present 7000 nurses and will need 7,40,000, that is, more than 100 times the number of today; that we have 5000 midwives today and need, 112,500, that is, more than 600 times the present figure; that we have 750 dentists and need 92,500 dentists; and that we have only 65 qualified pharmacists while we need 84,000. I quite agree with all these figures.
But tell me how are a people whose per capita income is Rs. 62-3-3 per annum as compared with Rs. 1049-6-5 of Great Britain and Rs. 1371-7-3 of the United States, to meet the expenditure the Bhore Committee wants? On the average the Provincial Govts spend on medical aid and health one and a half anna in Bihar to 5 annas nine pies per head per annum in Bombay, and if we were to keep on the same level as Great Britain and U.S.A. we should have to spend at least Rs. 3-3-0 per head per annum and that is absolutely impossible. There is a lot of wishful thinking even among our capitalistic economists. For instance, the Tata-Birla Plan, known as THE BOMBAY PLAN, has built up its arguments on fundamentally wrong assumptions.
According to the agrarian economists, Ramaswamy and Wadia, our agricultural production cannot be raised more than 50 p.c. and the Tata-Birla Plan puts it at 130 p.c. What the Bhore Committee forgets is that equally important, if not more important, nation building programmes, many in number, will demand equally large sums, if not larger sums, and where is the money to come from if not from the people themselves? In short, the Bhore Committee has proposed what actually amounts, in structure, to the Socialised Medical System of Soviet Russia with one great difference, that socialised medicine was possible in Russia because every thing else was socialised from top to bottom in very aspect of life.
NEWSHOLME and KINGSBURY in their classical report have recommended the Medical System of Soviet Russia as the model to copy, and in a recent lecture the famous Bombay surgeon, R.N. COOPER has warmly praised it. But one cannot have only one department of life and state activity socialised, as medicine, in a country where laws are made by landlord and the capitalist and the blackmarketeer, the war profiteer, the zamindar; and the upper classes control the political and economic power.
FUNDAMENTAL WEAKNESSES IN THE BHORE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS.
I beg leave of you to further analyse the Bhore Plan because it is the plan that the Govt has accepted in good faith, though none too wisely. But as long as we ourselves cannot produce and offer a better plan we have no right to blame the Government. And we cannot offer a better plan unless we can assess the strength and weaknesses of other plans and also have the courage to see the weaknesses in any plans we offer, not only their strength.
One way or another we have to face the problem when the Bhore plan has left us in the lurch. And the fundamental weaknesses in the plan are these: namely, that it has totally ignored, what even our National Planning Committee recognised long ago and which it very rightly summarised in the following words; “Our resources are extremely meagre.
This fact imposes the necessity of building up an organisation in the cheapest manner possible. Yet the organisation must be all-embracing and one must make at least a beginning in taking care of the health of the country.” It further observes, “The appalling ignorance of the masses and their religious and social prejudices make the introduction of scientific medicine peculiarly difficult. This circumstance makes it imperative that any organisation built up to be effective must call for the maximum cooperation of the people themselves, and must be made to appear as a result of their own effort, rather than have an appearance of an imposition from above.
The Bhore Committee has further ignored or is not aware of the findings of the League of Nations Medical Committee as has been emphasised by DOROLLE (C.H. 1253, No: 1,1937), namely, the guiding principle should be in the first place to treat only those cases with the western system of medicine that need it.
The larger percentage of those others do not need the complicated and specialised modern system; and since their condition is not serious, they should be allowed to have recourse to the traditional pharmacopoeias and systems of treatments where they are available. Further, the Bhopal statistics of COL. ABDUR REHMAN show that only 23 p.c. of those needing treatment really require allopathic medical aid, and only 10 p.c. of these 23 p.c. require hospitalization, i.e. 3 p.c. of the total.
Thus 97 p.c. of those needing treatment can be treated ambulantly or at least in simplified institutions. DR. JIVRAJ MEHTA, in his presidential address at the First Conference of the Physicians of India Association, December 1944, has made a very significant observation, namely, that 87 p.c. of all medical activity is general medicine and the remaining 13 p.c. belong to the specialised subjects such as surgery, etc., and only 13 p.c. need specialised care.
If this is conceded, then I beg leave to state that, as things stand today in India, and taking the present standard of medical practice in allopathy, the 87 p.c. of general medical activity that Dr. Jivraj Mehta spoke of can be managed any day just as efficiently, if not more efficiently, by properly trained homoeopaths and ayurvedis. I am an allopath and in therapy as good and upto date as any allopath is in India, and yet I am here to declare that homoeopathic therapeutics, certain ayurvedic methods and approach to the problems of chronic diseases, are far superior to anything in allopathy as at present practised in India.
And I am prepared to make this statement openly anywhere and before any body of allopaths. It only proves one thing, which Bhore Committee deliberately ignored, not out of forgetfulness but out of purposed policy. And that is, that a great deal of general medical activity in the field of therapeutics can be safely taken away from allopathy which is badly organised and ill-equipped and a total failure in the villages, and new forces can be harnessed which have been deliberately ignored and suppressed.
Even the President of the All-India Medical Conference, CAPT. P. B. MUKHERJEE, in his splendid Presidential Address, Dec. 1946, had to express surprise at the lame excuse that the Bhore Committee offered. We should remember that out of the 47500 allopathic doctors available in India, as many as 35000 practice in the large and smaller towns so that not more than 12500 of these scientific gentlemen are available to the 6.75,000 villages of India. If we study the Bhore Committee report we will notice the number of contradictions this august committee lands itself in when dealing with the question of the indigenous system of medicine in India.
On the one hand they confess that they did not have the time to go into the matter and to assess it properly. In the same breath they claim that the allopathic system is the only one through which the health of the country can be maintained.
In one breath they say that the indigenous systems are “unscientific” and at the same time confess that these systems have a very large hold on the overwhelming masses of the people, not only over the illiterate but also over the intelligentia. They also admit that the treatment is cheap and that the empirical knowledge that has been accumulated over the centuries, has resulted in a fund of experience of the properties and medicinal use of minerals, herbs and plants which is of value.” In other words the Bhore Committee, which claims to be”scientific” has taken a very unscientific attitude when the class and economic interests of the allopaths come into danger under competition from other bodies.
Especially if we will remember, and the Bhore Committee surely could not have been ignorant of it, that whether we like it or not, whether our Health Ministers like it or not, and whether the members of the Bhore Committee like it or not, not more that 23 p.c. of Indias sick population will go to allopaths for treatment; and the remaining 77 p.c. will fall back on the indigenous and other treatments such as Homoeopathy. The Bhore Committee has absolutely no excuse for having neglected this aspect.
The terms of reference were extremely wide, namely, “to make a broad survey of the present position in regard to conditions and health organisations in British India and to make recommendations for future development.” They could have had every help in making their investigations into the role of the indigenous and other systems in India if they wanted to. They went so far as to invite experts from foreign countries (U.S.A., Great Britain, Soviet Russia and Australia) to come to India and tell them how things are done at their places.
But they found no time to invite experts in Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Unani, Siddha and other systems to come and give them an insight into the extent to which these systems have a hold over the people of this country. That the Bhore Committee has built a plan on the ridiculous assumption that there are only 47500 physicians in India, is both unscientific and untrue. It is estimated that in the Madras Presidency alone there are over 40,000 physicians practising the indigenous systems.
Calculated on the average we might easily find that in India we may have over 2 to two and a half lakhs, practicing systems of medicines other than allopathy, and these the Bhore Committee has conveniently ignored. It may be true that these practitioners are inefficient, unscientific; and that the systems they practice are not modern. But the fact remains that as long as the allopaths themselves cannot offer something superior and cheaper than water we have now, and at a cost the the country can afford, there is no hope of allopathy ever totally displacing these systems, no matter however much the legislation may be forged in favour of allopathy.
Even SIGERIST in his History of Medicine in India has admitted that it will take a long time for the better trained men to replace the untrained indigenous physician. But till then “it would be worthwhile to study whether these practitioners could not be used during the period of transition as auxilliary personelle.” There is at least some commonsense in this view.
The health problem of India is the problem of the health of the village and the villager. Any system that can tackle that cheaply, efficiently and with minimum trained personelle is the one that we shall choose. If homoeopathy can do it I shall recommend it. If Ayurveda can do it, I shall prefer that, so also Unani. The sole criterion is and must be that we should get, under existing circumstances, for a given sum, the maximum results with the minimum of expenditure and organisation.
WHAT INDIA NEEDS TODAY.
In considering all these problems I would beg you not to consider yourselves as homoeopaths, allopaths, ayurvedis and Hakims, but solely and in the first instance as physicians all facing the almost hopeless and stupendous problems of Indias health.
In what way can each system be employed, in what way can each system help, in what way can all the systems be coordinated and harnessed immediately and now, under existing circumstances, with the facilities available, that is the question; that is certainly the factual basis for a plan and not the dreamy picture of the Bhore Recommendations, And no plan, at any rate no health plan, has any hope of success in India if it does not base itself on four fundamental principles so admirably formulated by DR. J. B. GRANT in his Health of India, namely, we shall have to make any step taken in India yield, for a given sum spent here, seven times that results which is expected of that sum elsewhere in richer countries. That is, we must make one Rupee spent here, yield in return what rich countries would expect for the expenditure of seven rupees. Can this be done? The answer is YES!, IF, and it is a very big If.:-.
1. If we can know what can be done in that way.
2. If we know the best method to do it that way.
3. If we can find or produce people who know how to do it that way.
4. And, finally, if we could know what sort of design and structure of service the people want, would appreciate and derive benefit from to the maximum extent.
In short the entire design and structure of whatever steps we may take shall have to be scrutinized and tested solely by a ruthless analysis of the economic situation in our country and the possibilities of its future development. But still more important is the fact that all measures must be judged by their failure or success as applied to mass, and this also applies to Homoeopathy; and all future plans of national welfare and reconstruction must be planned with one side view, the paying capacity of the villager and its suitability to his needs.
GRANT has put it very admirably as follows: “Adequate plans for public health services can be undertaken only with a knowledge of the realities of the economic situation. The results of any social service administration depends upon the money available and the way it is spent. Much ineffective administration results from violating these principles. The solution lies in the development of a plan whereby the facilities purchased elsewhere in other countries at a cost of seven shillings per capita can be obtained with local economic resources.
It can be done, and has been done elsewhere in other countries of relatively low economic standards. Limited sums do not make adequate and good service impossible, provided the people want the services and are prepared to contribute work in lieu of money and provided there are people with the knowledge to plan such a service.”.
THE PRESENT SITUATION.
At present there is only one thing open to us. Let us remember that we have only an Interim Government. Everything in India is in a period of rapid transition. There is no crime in having also an interim Health Plan devised to meet the exigencies of the situation. The Bhore plan and all such beautiful plans I should postpone till such time as adequate finances are available. In the meanwhile the peoples health or ill health cannot be adjourned at will as cases in the law courts. They must be given the simplest and readiest form of medical service suited to their needs, and this I have explained in great detail in my memorandum to the National Planning Committee.
It has been my fathers contention that it is better for our people to die of semi- medical aid than of no medical aid at all. What we envisage is a simple rural medical service scheme and in it there is room for all systems of medicine that have anything tangible to offer. I told you about the guerilla battalions that played havoc with the enemy when the trained regular armies had failed. I consider any man, no matter who, be he a Vaid, Hakim, Homoeopath or of any other system, if he can be useful in our present time of emergency, should be taken up and utilised to his utmost capacity We have not got superfluous men today who cannot be used.
I know it because I spend 8 months touring in the villages each year and I am authorised to speak about the difficulties and the needs of rural medical aid better than all surgeon generals and medical officials who sit most of the time at their desks, And from experience I can tell you that the average allopath, as compared to the Homoeopath and the Ayurvedic, is a failure under the simpler environments and conditions of the village. He is lost out there, and is reduced to the level of a mere symptomatologist. In this capacity he is far more at a disadvantage than the homoeopath or the vaid.
I saw it in Bihar and many other provinces. We should know how to exploit and guage the capacity of each man and put him in the proper place. The intelligencies of a Government lies in being able to use each man to his fullest capacity, in giving each man the type of work he can carry out. Can this be done? Yes, provided we have a simple elastic plan built on the realities of today and provided we have the men who know how to select the men we have at our disposal. It may be asked, will not the state of health deteriorate. My answer is NO! Things cannot become any worse than they are today.
On the contrary there is every prospect of an improvement because you give a purposefulness to men who are stagnating, because they are not saddled with responsibility and have been denied human dignity. I told you that our plans must be interim. When the time and circumstances come for better plans, by all means scrap the out-dated ones. That is but logical and fair. So also the so- called “unscientific” Homoeopaths, Ayurvedis and Unanis will die out when you can prove to the people the superiority of scientific medicine, in general therapy of which I as a competent allopath am less and less convinced the more I study Homoeopathy and Ayurveda.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH HOMOEOPATHY AND AYURVEDA IN INDIA?.
It is but right that you should expect me to tell you something about the shortcomings of our profession here in Homoeopathy and Ayurveda and Yunani. The defect is due to the fact that there is no Government aid or control. Should the Government demand a high standard and facilitate it with adequate financial help we shall get a better and higher quality of practitioners than we have at present. Today, to pursue the study of and system of medicine other than allopathy is more a liability than an asset, difficult to capitalise. The allopath in India started as a compounder. It is Govt. encouragement that made them what they are now.
If good men are encouraged to take to the study of these sciences there is no reason why we should not produce men as efficient as any in allopathy. As an allopath I can say, give me a ward in a hospital with the same facilities that you give your allopathic physicians and I shall show you far better results in the healing of the sick with homoeopathy than any allopathic physician can with allopathy. As homoeopaths we have to serve with missionary zeal. We can never know too much of our science and nothing can be too good where human life is concerned.
Actually I have no right to speak to you about the defects and shortcomings of homoeopathy since I am an allopath. The trouble in India is that we are likely to become enthusiastic sectarians and dogmatists. That man is a scientist who recognises the limitation of his science. Let us be scientists and not only blind followers of Hahnemannian teachings. The greatness of Homoeopathy lies in its simple law of cure, Similia Similibus Curantur. And yet in this great simplicity lies the greatest danger because it is not always applicable though apparently indicated. The more I study it the more I am convinced that Homoeopathy and Ayurveda have very much in common.
They are the only two sciences that have studied constitutions and the nature of chronic diseases. I would urge you to cooperate with the Ayurveda because someday India may find that a synthesis of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy would be the only means to meet the problems of mass medical aid in India. It does not mean that allopathy is to be discarded. On the contrary I consider the allopath as a specialist whose aid will be needed in specific cases such as surgery, preventive medicine, gynaecology, radiology etc.
But that is about 13 p.c. of all medical activity. There is much I would like to tell you, but that which I would like to discuss is, or should be, more the concern of Governments, i.e. if they wish to listen to it and learn something new. FINALLY: Before I close, let me thank you all for having listened so patiently to what I have had the honour to place before you, and for the honour you have done an allopath like myself in allowing him to address you. And I feel that I cannot do better than close with the words of the great economist WADIA who said:.
“No policy of unthinking imitation nor any tinkering with details will avail. The lines along which a solution of our problems lies may not lead us straight to our goal. The process of human evolution is a process of trial and experiment through which we grope our way over the stepping stones of our failure and errors. But it is better to venture stones of our failures and errors. But it is better to venture forth on the strength of a larger faith than grovel in the dust along trodden paths wind and wind in a planless world.” And this applies so much to the India of today seeking a new way out of our of her ancient miseries.