Editorial – Struggle For The Recognition Of Homoeopathy

The Committee was of the view that utilisation of homoeopathic graduates, who have completed training for degree course, should be considered for employment in health services. However, those who have received training only of diploma course in recognised institutions, may be considered for employment only after they have had further training for one year in clinical subjects and in preventive medicines.

In April 1937, during the British regime, the wide popularity of the Homoeopathic system of treatment and the growing public demand for the state recognition of Homoeopathy induced Janab Ghiasud-din to move a resolution in the then Central Legislative Assembly to that effect, which was adopted but effect thereto had not been given. But this had its repercussion in Bengal and the public demand for a legislative enactment of a Homoeopathic Bill led the Govt. of Bengal in the Department of Public Health and Local Self Govt. (Medical) to adopt a Resolution (No. 1866 Medl dated 24th June, 1941) as a result of which the General Council and State Faculty of Homoeopathic medicine, Bengal (now West Bengal) was ushered into existence on the 1st April 1943.

Afterwards on the 17th. February 1948 Sri Satish Chandra Samanta (M.P. from Bengal, General constituency) moved a resolution for consideration in the Constituent Assembly to the following effect:

“This Assembly of opinion that homoeopathic system of treatment be recognised by the Indian Union and that a General Council and a State faculty of Homoeopathic medicine be established at once.”

With reference to Sri Samantas resolution an amending resolution was brought forward by Sri Mohanlal Saxena in the following terms:

In view of the fact that treatment by the system of homoeopathy is resorted to by many people, this Assembly is of opinion that the Government should consider (a) The making of arrangements for the teaching of homoeopathy. (b) The advisability of having post graduate course of study; and (c) The advisability of regulating the profession and arranging for the registration of practitioners in order to raise and maintain the uniformity of standards.”

The Honble Rajkumari Amrita Kaur, Minister of Health, intervened at this stage and opined that if “recognition” was intended to facilitate legislation for purposes of regulating the practice under the system and registration of practitioners, then the matter would have to be very carefully considered and a Committee might be appointed for the purpose.

Accordingly a Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee of member under the Chairmanship of Dr. J.N. Mukherji, D sc., F,N.I., F.R.A.S.B. etc., was constituted by order of the Ministry of Health, Govt. of India, on the 31st. August 1948 with the following terms of reference:

(1) To report on the place of homoeopathy to relation to medicine in all its aspects including the treatment, prevention and control of disease; (2) to survey the existing facilities for the teaching of Homoeopathy in India, the extent to which this system of treatment is practised in the country, and the manner in which such practice is carried on, i.e. whether by people adequately trained or not; and

(3) to make recommendations to Government on

(a) the measures to be taken to improve facilities for training in homoeopathy and to regulate such training; and

(b) the desirability of state control of the practice of homoeopathy, and if control is desirable, the manner of such control.

The Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee submitted their unanimous report to the Ministry of Health on the 11th. July 1949. Subject to a separate note by one allopathic member of the Committee. The Committees recommendations, in the main, are as follows:

(1) A Council of Homoeopathic Medicine shall be established by law and called the Central Council of Homoeopathic Medicine, India.

(2) The functions of this Council shall be mainly of a co- ordinating and advisory nature, but the Council will have powers to control which will be exercised through the provincial Boards or Faculties in the following matters:-

(i) Standard, equipment and training of affiliated homoeopathic institutions:

(ii) Standard of examinations to be held for homoeopathic students:

(iii) Registration of existing homoeopathic practitioners;

(iv) Homoeopathic pharmacies, phamaceutical laboratories and manufacturing concerns.

(3) Provincial State Boards or Faculties as may be set up by Government of State Unions or Provinces will be responsible for the maintenance of register, for the actual conducting of examinations, publishing of results and enforcement of disciplinary action, subject to the supervisory authority of the Council.

(4) A central model teaching institution should be established for the training of under-graduates and of post-graduates in Homoeopathy.

(5) With regard to training in Homoeopathy it was recommended that there should be a single course of training, namely the University (Degree) course and the minimum qualification for admission to the course should be the same as laid down by the Indian Universities in respect of the regular system of medicine. The College course should be of the same standard as laid down by the Indian Universities and the duration of the course should be five academic years.

(a) Four homoeopathic members of the Committee consider that there should be a Diploma Course of four years in addition to the University course.

(b) Five homoeopathic members consider that homoeopathic subjects should be taught from the very first year while the other thinks that it should be taught from the second year. It is recommended that the homoeopathic subjects should be taught from the very first year.

(6) Provision of facilities in recognised institutions for Homoeopathic Researches.

(7) Adequate number of homoeopathic hospitals and dispensaries under the charge of homoeopathic doctors possessing prescribed qualifications should be established. Pharmacies and organisations concerned with the preparation and manufacture of homoeopathic drugs in India should be placed on a proper footing and government should assume the authority to intervene in cases of lowering down of standards, adulteration of drugs, bad dispensing etc.

(8) Govt. should provide facilities for training in homoeopathy in order to give Homoeopathy a chance to evolve its own genius.

(9) It is recommended that effect may be given to the above recommendations as early as possible.

The Homoeopathic profession waited for the reaction of the Central Government to the Report of the Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee. In the event of the Ministry of Health keeping silent over the matter, a deputation of representatives of the All India Institute of Homoeopathy waited upon the Honble Rajkumari Amrita Kaur on 11-4-50 and arising out of the discussions a memorandum was submitted to her.

The important item in the said memorandum was the acceptance by the deputationists of the proposal that the preclinical portions of the teaching of Homoeopathy (Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology) should for an inferior period be conducted in Allopathic institutions, with certain provisions and safeguards. But the clinical portion should be taught in separate Homoeopathic institutions. This memorandum was subsequently ratified by the General Council State Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine, West Bengal.

In the meantime the Health Ministers Conference under the Chairmanship of the Honble Rajkumari kaur (Minister for Health Govt. of India) was being periodically held; and in the third Health Minister Conference held at New Delhi (Aug. Sept. 1950) accepted the recommendations of the Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee with slight modifications. But the Ministry of Health postponed the consideration of the Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee Report as well as of the resolutions and recommendation of the Third Health Ministers Conference with regard to Homoeopathy, till it received the opinion of the Medical Council of India.

The Medical Council of India took long to treat and discuss the matter. In its meeting held on the 19th and the 20th April 1952 resolutions were passed that (1) there should be “only one system of medicine in India, namely the modern system, with a minimum uniform standard as prescribed by the Council”; and (2) that the study of indigenous systems and of homoeopathy should, therefore, be promoted only at post-graduate course of training after the intending practitioner has obtained basic qualifications in modern medicine as in the case in respect of homoeopathy in the United Kingdom, Europe and America.

It is evident that the opinion of the Medical Council of India is virtually a confirmation of the discussion notes of the two allopathic members of the Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee.

Soon after the publication of the resolutions of the M.C.I., the Homoeopathic State faculty of West Bengal took up the matter and in one of its general council meeting the whole subject was discussed thread-bare and certain resolutions were passed condemning the decision of the M.C.I., and exposing the fallacies and absurdities implicit in their resolutions.

The General council of the Homoeopathic State faculty, also passed a resolution to publish a brochure giving the details of the present status of Homoeopathy vis-a-vis the Central and Provincial Governments of India, the main recommendations of the H.E.C. Report, the publication of the M.C.I. resolution passed in their general council meeting as published in the news press, and the resolutions passed by the Third Health Ministers Conference and the resolution passed by the General Council of the Homoeopathic State faculty, West Bengal at its meeting held on 1-5-52. The proposed brochure was published by the Registrar, Homoeopathic State faculty, W.B. and was circulated amongst the members of the Parliament, State Legislatures and the General Public.

N C Das
N C Das