THE HONORABLE PUNDIT JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
Prime Minister, Union of India,
Recognition of Homoeopathy is of the highest economic importance to the State in restoring the sick to health.
With greetings and deference I beg to submit the following for your kind consideration.
I note with great interest the report of the meeting of the Governing Body of the Council of Industrial and Scientific Research held at New Delhi on the 25th. August 1947, over which you presided, when it was decided that immediate steps should be taken to establish a Central Drug Research Institute in the country for the promotion of drug research in general, from botanical, chemical, pharmaceutical, pharmacological, bacteriological, micrological and clinical view points. Nothing could be more encouraging, and it promises great strides towards advancement in the field of indigenous drugs and the consequent economic gain to the nation.
In an impoverished country like ours where the mass seldom gets one full meal a day the approach to the maintenance of National Health should be based upon realities of the situation and not upon the fantastic recommendations of the Bhore Committee that requires one thousand crores of rupees to put the scheme into action. India wants a system of medicine which promises the greatest efficacy at the minimum cost. The Bhore Committee was not unfettered by the cabal and conventions of the Indian Civil Service and the Indian Medical Service, hence they did not invite evidence of the practitioners of Homoeopathic, Ayurvedic and Unani medicines.
HOMOEOPATHY, since its advent in this country over a hundred years ago, has always been a very popular, economical and safe haven in towns and particularly in the rural areas of almost all the provinces, even in times of the most terrific and extensive epidemics.
Homoeopathy is a thoroughly scientific system of medicine and its founder and his followers were, and are even today, brilliant graduates of the traditional school of medicine. Sir John Wier G.C.V.O., M.B., CH.B., Homoeopathic 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.”.
A common plea is made that the majority of the homoeopathic practitioners outside the Presidency towns are not qualified medical men, hence cannot be entrusted with health services of the people. The British Indian Government always discouraged every system of medicine that did not promote and stimulate British drug trade and which required study of the principles of any other medical school by the graduates or the licentiates (of the British medical institutions) covenanted to India. “A Manual of Family Medicine and Hygiene for India” by Sir William Moore, K.C.I.E. formerly Surgeon General with the Government of Bombay and published under the authority of the Government of India, was the result of a prize offered by the Government of India and awarded to the author in 1873.
This manual was widely circulated amongst the numerous Government servants, their families and office establishments, necessarily scattered over India in positions more or less remote from Western medical and surgical aid. It contains 130 prescriptions and instructions regarding medicated baths, disinfection, and first aid. Thus, every English knowing Government servant in the mofussil became a medical missionary without being a qualified medical man. This also effectively crippled all other system of medicine in India.
HOMOEOPATHIC medicine, owing to its utmost cheapness, safety in application and colossal success in curing the sick, has become immediately popular. Today there is hardly a household where a small homoeopathic medicine chest and a copy of “Family Practice” are not to be found. This has achieved immense economy in the enormous medical expenses of middle class families who are also thus able to render free medical aid to destitute people in cases of common ailments.
It also indirectly reduces medical expenses of the State. In the flood of mounting costs, Homoeopathy will prove an undreamed of boon in medical economy, reducing medical costs a thousand fold over those of traditional medicine, while increasing the power of curing in like proportion. Every time it deserves encouragement and support at the hands of the Government of an indigent nation.
HOMOEOPATHY is founded upon only a positive and indisputable scientific principle and unalterable law of nature. Indigenous drugs are as much its armaments as imported medicinal substances. A considerable number of Homoeopathic medicinal tinctures are prepared locally from indigenous herbs and plants and these have been adopted in Homoeopathic practice. A good number of these, having been found efficacious in their therapeutic applications, has been adopted in the United States and are regularly exported from this country.
The accompanying catalogue gives a comprehensive list of Homoeopathic tinctures prepared locally by a fully equipped Laboratory which is directly conducted by fully qualified and experienced science graduates, and every preparation is issued from this Laboratory after thoroughly assaying same according to the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia; yet, I should elect Government control of this assay by the Central Drug Laboratory, Union Government, to which one specimen from every batch of preparations should be submitted for certification, even at a small fee; and I trust every honest and dependable manufacturer will readily accede to this proposition.
I am greatly intrigued at the suggestion of a ban said to be shortly imposed on imports of medicines from outside India. Indeed, all Patent and Proprietory medicines should come under this restriction. In the matter of allopathic pharmaceutical and biological preparations, none is more competent than Dr. Jivraj Mehta to advise. But it is rather premature to extend the operation of such restriction to Homoeopathic medicines, such as are not grown in this country or will not grow in this country owing to climatic and soil conditions.
Yet, some of them are really so efficacious that in the interest of the sick these cannot be dispensed with. For instance, Gelsemium (yellow Jessamine), one of the most frequently required drugs in homoeopathic practice, has for its habitat rich moist grounds along the sea-coast from eastern Virginia and southward to Mexico; its fresh root is employed for preparing Homoeopathic tincture.
BENGAL was the earliest depository of Homoeopathy in India, and has ever since been fostered and propagated by many a brilliant medical graduate of the Calcutta University, such as Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar, M.D., C.I.E., founder of Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Dr. Pratap Chandra Majumdar, L.M.S., Dr. Behari Lal Bhaduri, L.M.S., Dr. Akshoy Dutt, M.B., and a host of medical graduates of the recent time. Bengal has thus the valid and superior title to consultation by your Ministry of Health so far as Homoeopathy is concerned.
Your Ministry may kindly arrange that drug research in the Central Drug Research Institute shall, along with other view points, include investigations and experiments (technically called Provings) according to the Hahnemannian method and principle.
I, therefore, submit that your Ministry may kindly confer with representative of All India Homoeopathic Pharmacies Federation. 84 Netaji Subhas Road, Calcutta, before precipitating any interdiction on Homoeopathic medicines. My pious hope is that a day may come when, through the efforts of the Central Drug Research Institute (in its bureau of Homoeopathy), indigenous equivalents of those exotic medicines will be discovered which will yield adequate therapeutical results. It is then that we shall boldly eliminate all such imports.
I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient Service
The Homoeopathic Herald.