If you ask me “Is Homoeopathy progressing in India?” I would quote two eminent Indian medical men. Dr. Younan, President of the All-India Homoeopathic Conference, said: “In the early days our practice was confined to the city of Calcutta, but homoeopathy has spread since then right through India, even to the distant provinces of the Punjab and Ceylon.” Dr. A. N. Mukherjee said at the same conference: “We have converted millions of people in India to Homoeopathy, and I venture to assert that there are more convinced homoeopaths in India than in all the other countries of the world combined.” That assertion is quite true.
I venture to say that there is scarcely a single village in India without a homoeopathic practitioner. Everyone in India has heard of homoeopathy and of its wonderful curative results, and in leading towns, such as Calcutta, Benares, Allahabad and others, homoeopathy is on a par with allopathy. In Calcutta alone there are more than 500 homoeopathic practitioners. Moreover there are in India about a dozen Homoeopathic journals printed in English and the native tongue.
India has not only a large body of homoeopathic practitioners but a number of important teaching institutions. The oldest is the Calcutta Homoeopathic Medical College which was started by Dr. P.C. Majumdar on the model of one of the great American institutions. The second is the Central Homoeopathic College and the third is the Bengal Allen Homoeopathic Medical College, which has become the foremost homoeopathic college in India. All three are situated in Calcutta.
There are other homoeopathic institutions throughout India, about which I cannot give any details. Each of the three colleges has attached to it a hospital and each of them gives a well planned course of studies extending over four years. These colleges teach all medical subjects. I cannot conscientiously say that these homoeopathic colleges have as high a standing as the best allopathic colleges of Calcutta, but they are good second rate institutions as regards both their scientific outfit and their methods of teaching. These colleges turn out thoroughly competent general practitioners, but no specialists. They are not advanced enough for this.
If we cast a glance at the homoeopathic teaching institutions we find that there are some of high character, such as the three mentioned above, while there are others which are inferior, or very inferior. Unfortunately there is no controlling authority over these institutions, and it must regretfully be admitted that some of them have been created for purely commercial ends and that they are conferring diplomas of little value upon students who have received very inadequate training.
Herein lies the greatest blemish on Indian homoeopathy. Unfortunately we have as yet no power to deal with those who have obtained worthless medical titles. However, I would draw attention to the fact that among the Indian homoeopathic practitioners there is a large proportion of highly qualified and capable men, as qualified and as capable as any to be found elsewhere.
Recently steps have been taken to organize homoeopathy. Conferences have been held with this end in view, and the object of these conferences is to standardize the degree-giving colleges by means of a central examiniNg board and the advancement of homoeopathy in many other ways.
India is well supplied with homoeopathic pharmacies, both native and foreign. Some of these are great and powerful organizations which have branches in almost every important town. Some of these pharmacies have a large publishing and book-selling business. Native Indians have created proving societies for the study of drugs and they have written some truly valuable books. I have no doubt that homoeopathy has a great future in India, where it is far more highly developed than is realized in Europe.
HOMOEOPATHY IN INDIA.
BY DR. S. DAS, of Khulna, Bengal.