BUREAUCRACY vis a vis DEMOCRACY.
An old adage says, whosoever goes to Lanka becomes a Ravana. The Imperial Secretariat or the Writers Buildings, with courtly make-up of democracy, can hardly shed its bureaucratic puissance that pervert official mentality into sub-janta and nothing-more- to-learn conceit. Imperialist bureaucrats, of course, had their intensive training to rule a dependency for the purpose of furthering their own national economic interest by exploiting an enslaved country.
They therefore vowed not to learn anything that might effect consciously or unconsciously any immediate or remote change of outlook. The Indian officials under them had to work slavishly within the groove fixed by their foreign masters, and did not dare divert their attention beyond the line of action prescribed for them.
We are directly concerned with medical matters, so let us survey what policy the bureaucratic Ministry followed in administering its medical and health department in the Centre and the Provinces. The manufacturing of doctors, though placed via the Indian Universities, were actually under the directions and dictation of the foreign members of the Indian Medical Service who used to come to this country with the avowed object of earning fat salaries and extortionate fees in private practice, yet grumbling all the time that their total intake falls much below the average income of their Harley Street contemporaries.
At the same time they were covenanted for protecting the interest of the foreign drug manufacturers and to infuse in the mind of the indigenous people and medical students a sense of odium against all other medical systems. Thus, the medical men delivered from the medical schools and colleges established by the foreign rulers and affiliated to the State Medical Faculty and Universities, were alienated from indigenous systems of medicine and have never been given the opportunity of carrying out any research in indigenous medicines in an independent way.
A nation of die hard materialists as they are, they would not realise the importance of Vayu, Pitta and Kauf, the Tridosha, nor would learn to feel these to an exactitude placing their fingers over the pulse of the patient; they want to have it demonstrated by means of a mechanical instrument, such as they do with the aid of Sphygmomanometer. Their pachydermatous finger-tips and quaky nerves are too unsteady to receive the subtle impulse of Tridosha.
Likewise, they detest, they discourage, they taboo the study of the Homoeopathic science and art of healing because their thick skull and stony brain cannot grasp the subtle philosophy of the life-principle, the inviolable law of nature in Similia Similibus Curantur and the infinite potency of infinitesimal doses, and because of the mighty fear that once the Homoeopathic system of medicine become fostered by the Government and embraced by the people the prospect of the most profitable business in imported medicines will be doomed for ever in India, thoughtless of the enormous economic gain that Homoeopathy will afford to the country.
In the matter of prevention of diseases and sanitation the foreign rulers made elaborate and pompous exposition of District and Municipal Health administration, quinine distribution depots, vaccination against small-pox, inoculation against cholera, etc. The peoples mind, kept willfully undeveloped, is made to take these superficial and half-hearted measures as truly sympathetic and humane.
Where is the effort to re-excavate and cleanse foul ponds, weed out jungles and open up parks and play grounds in the villages, fill up the dry ponds that have become refuse-bins and prolific breeding places of mosquitoes, instead of occasionally sprinkling a few whiffs of phenyled kerosene to serve only as an eye-wash? Where is the effort to eliminate and destroy decomposed meat and fish, rotten vegetable, contaminated candies and confectionery, deteriorated food-stuff in hotels and restaurants and the filthy conditions prevailing in those places? Where is the effort to educate the mass to health and sanitation consciousness?.
Does democracy in liberated India differ from the above picture of the by-gone bureaucracy? The same policy of giving eye-wash t the ignorant mass seems to be still resorted to. Improvement in the teaching of medicine with comparative study of the different systems has not yet been thought of, because the hierarchy in the Central and Provincial Ministry of Health never did themselves make such a comparative study and thus can hardly appreciate its value.
Many a time we suggested through these pages a post- graduate study of the Homoeopathic Organon of Medicine and Materia Medica for every medical graduate before his appointment to a government job. While the I.M.S. held the hagemony ours was a cry in the wilderness. The importance of such study may not be unknown to Dr. Jivraj Mehta through the activities of the Homoeopathic Post-Graduate Association of Bombay, the President of which Association, if consulted, may throw a flood of light on the methods of such study.
The Ministry of Health at the Centre and in the Government of West Bengal may any time count upon our services in formulating a curriculum of such post-graduate study completing in course of one year.
If the Ministry shed prejudice driven in by the intensive influence of the foreign rules, and if they really feel for the incomparable poverty and humiliating illiteracy of the mass, all their schemes have to be based upon efficacy and economy for which, if necessary, let them take the trouble of learning new things and new ideas themselves.