Clogs in the wheel
It would sound rather queer that the progress of Bengals homoeopathy has been retarded during recent years, when one finds such prolific growth of teaching institutions of all descriptions as well as private agencies for pedling diplomas. Activities are not limited within these two spheres.
Within a short space of time several so-called associations styled as Boards, Shabhas and Societies have grown like mushrooms under individual aegis, several such being located in one town or one city or even in one street, each having a small handful of members who happen to be either the most obliging friends or doctors of creation of the founders; and subscriptions being within the range of annas -/2/- to annas -/4/- per month and allowed to fall in area indefinitely, these societies do not bore their members.
Yet, every growth is not conducive to the soil; and an unhealthy growth is oftener than not a positive menace which should be weeded out as soon as possible, if integrity and fertility of the soil is desired.
But these do not constitute the only clog in the wheel of progress. There are others and bigger ones too. The conflicting class-interests are none the less responsible for the contumely which Bengals homoeopathy is facing on all sides. There are several classes of homoeopathic practitioners in the province, and in the provincial capital itself class-conflict in all its bitterness is obvious more than anywhere else. Again, amongst members of one and the same class alienation is not less manifest.
Let us take stock of the number of the diverse classes. We find : (a) Medical graduates bedecked with British medical qualifications; their number though negligible, they hardly know each other, perhaps because of the reverses in their avowed allopathic practice as much as in their present unproductive labour in heretical homoeopathic practice of adoption; and therefore they seek to avoid each other for concealing their economic plight. (b) Medical graduates sine overseas qualifications, some even specialized in special subjects, equally failures in allopathic practice that forced them to make a circumstantial selection of homoeopathy, doing a piebald practice for want of a regular grinding in Hahnemanns theory and art.
They introduce themselves to the public by primarily abusing allopathy, then employ allopathic analgesics to relieve their patients and prescribe liniments, plasters and antiphlogistine in pneumonia and antipyretics in hyperpyrexia; and above all they recite pages of physiology and pathology to the relations and attendants of the patients, pointing out to these astonished people that such wonderful stock of learning is the monopoly of these heretic doctors. These medical men likewise avoid meeting each other of the same class, pretending to be too busy with roaring practice to exchange friendly visits.
(c) American trained M. D.s of recognized Universities; their number is dwindling, being not replaced by a new generation; for people designing to adopt the homoeopathic medical profession have learned by this time that the money required for the trip to and fro and for the expenses to stay in the U.S.A. four years, as well as for the study expenses, may be better utilized by investing the amount in a roomy and showy motor car, a well furnished chamber and tip-top stylish habiliment; because doctors are now clever enough to comprehend the psychology of our modern society whose male and female members mostly think more about the fineness of the fabric than its warmth, and more about the cut than the convenience; above all, more about the doctors make-up than his professional merit.
Most of these M. Ds keep themselves isolated from one another and from the rest in the profession with a view to enhance their individual market value. They wean each others society to such an extent that when one presides at a meeting the others are religiously absent from it, for each wants to occupy the chair and others will not stand before him to speak or sit to listen; and by queer coincidence the whole lot of them will get important professional engagements on that very day and at that particular hour compelling their reluctant absence. (d) American M. Ds who only touched the soil there and came back within from 6 to 12 months, obtaining an M.D. from somewhere or from an unrecognized haunt.
They are more irritating and irritable than those in class (c), but, in their garments they excel the style of all classes while at their residence they do not use the Indian dhoti but a sleeping suit of chequered pyjama and coat. They claim Rs. 16/- per visit, but generously accept Rs.2/- in suitable circumstances (e) The Overland Mail M. Ds who manage to obtain the “M. D. (U. S. A.)” by the grace of International Postal Service at an incredibly cheap price, and without the bother of studying the alphabets of homoeopathy.
Stagnating in homoeopathic squalor and basking in medical ignorance they are perilous to the genuine homoeopathic profession (f) The graduates of the authentic homoeopathic colleges whose case we pleaded in our July number, and who suffer from the vicious intrigue of being perpetually placed upon a satellitious orbit.
(g) The Accidental Doctors, who used to read vernacular homoeopathic books on domestic treatment, and treated minor ailments in their own family and among the neighbours, before and after office hours, whom the people give the honorary title of doctor for courtesy and for keeping their doctor in good humour; after retiring from service they gather all the courage to contest registered medical graduates practising homoeopathy, and thus build a nice superstructure of income over their pension or allowance.
Excepting the homoeopathic practitioners in class (f) the rest do not care a straw for a State Medical Faculty of Homoeopathy. In this country there is no law regulating and controlling medical practice, hence it is of little interest to other practitioners whether a Faculty comes into being or not. Their self-seeking interests form the biggest and worst clogs in the wheel of progress of Homoeopathy. The Ministry only can save the situation by promulgating the Faculty by its executive authority, now and without procrastination.