Dr. Bhatias Remarks Evoke Sharp Criticisms.
Mr. B.C. Gupta, Minister for Planning and Health, moved the consideration of the Bill.
The Bill seeks to amend the U.P. Homoeopathic Medicine Act, 1951, by providing for the appointment by government of the Chairman of the Board of Homoeopathic Medicine, the regulation by licence or permits of the preparation and dispensing of homoeopathic medicines, and to appoint with the previous sanction of the State government instructors for the inspection of homoeopathic dispensaries, hospitals and educational institutions in U.P.
The Bill also provides that no person shall on or after the expiry of one year from the date on which Part II of the bill or any section thereof comes into force be entered in the register as a registered practitioner unless he has passed a qualifying examination recognised by the Board.
The Bill also provides that homoeopathic practitioners will be whole timers. A salaried servant otherwise than as a homoeopath, would not be recognised as a whole – timer.
The Minister said that these provisions were meant to encourage homoeopathy, to free it from quacks and to bring it in line with the organisational structure of other medical systems. The provisions were being made in accordance with he recommendations of the Homoeopathic Board.
Kunwar Guru Narain, Leader of the Opposition, said that he welcomed the amending Bill up to a point. The bill tried to make the principal Act comprehensive. Under this new legislation every practitioner of homoeopathic system of medicine could get himself registered, and provision had been made for the registration of those who had been practising this system for the last five years.
To a great extent the amending Bill might facilitate the elimination of quacks in the profession. But mere elimination of quacks would not improve the system as such. For that government should take adequate steps to improve the existing homoeopathic institutions in the State. Not only that, Government should establish more institutions.
U.P. could take legitimate pride that in respect of giving encouragement to all systems of medicine, this State ranks foremost in India. If properly developed the homoeopathic system of medicine would provide cheap and efficacious medicine to the people at very cheap rates.
Kunwar Guru Narain added that the amending Bill had also done a great injustice to the profession. It had taken away the democratic nature of the Board constituted under the Act. Out the 15 members on the Board, ten were to be nominated by Government. While the principal Act promoted the election of chairman by the Board the amending Bill took away the right and gave authority to Government to nominate the chairman. The Statement of Object and Reasons did not show that the election of chairman had been a failure. Such being the case he failed to see the justification for nominating the chairman.
The amending Bill had made provision for granting licence. Those who practised the system were not making huge profits like their counter parts in the allopathic system. It would be unfair to tax them much. Concluding. Kunwar Guru Narain urge Government to keep their licence fee at the lowest level.
Mr. Panna Lal (Congress) and Mr. P.C. Azad (Cong.) supported the Bill. Mr. Azad said that the new provisions would check quackery and spurious dispensing.
Dr. b. B. Bhatia (Ind.) supporting the Bills consideration denied that homoeopathy was science. He said that not a single homoeopath had proved the claims of homoeopathy.
He went on to say that howsoever expensive the allopathic system was, it should also be provided in villages. It was surprising he said, that people should support homoeopathy here and consult allopaths outside.
Referring to the proposal of homoeopathic college he drew lesson from the recent happenings in the Ayurvedic College where educated students revolted against the unscientific teachings of the Ayurvedic system. The same would be the fate of homoeopathic college, he added.
Dr. Bhatia said that he hardly ever saw a homoeopath in the U.S.A or Europe during his recent tours. The homoeopathic medicines were manufactured abroad to be thrown on the illiterate public of india.
Mr. Badri Prasad Kacker (Cong.) supporting the consideration of the Bill expressed his surprise over what Dr. Bhatia had said about homoeopathy. He asserted that homoeopathy was as good a science as any other branch of science was.
Referring to the achievement of the Unani medical system, the member referred to the great accomplishments of Galen of ancient Greece and Hakim Ajmal Khan. Similarly, he referred to the greatness of Charak, Dhanvantri and other ancient physicians and said that science could not be monopoly of Western medical practitioners alone.
He named Dr. Sen of Kanpur who embraced homoeopathy although he was an accomplished allopath and refuted Dr. Bhatias assertion that homoeopathy was not a science. The member, however, held that there were several immature and in – experienced practitioners who had actually defamed the system.
Mr. M.J. Mukherjee (Cong.) welcoming the Bill asserted that homoeopathy was as common in European countries as in India. He referred to the establishment of the Royal London Homoeopathic College in London to contradict the contention of Dr. Bhatia.
Mr. Jyoti Prasad (cong.) supported the provision for the nomination of the chairman of the Homoeopathic Board. This, he thought, would protect the Board from falling into party squabbles.
Mr. Kanhaiyalal Gupta (Ind.) thought that homoeopathy had benefited more people than the allopathic system. The member characterised the observation of Dr. Bhatia as uncalled for.
Dr. Ishwari Prasad (Ind.) welcoming the Bill expressed the view that Homoeopathy would play a leading role in the treatment of the people.
He thought that the remarks of Dr. Bhatia were uncalled for and unbecoming of his position. It was the habit of allopaths to condemn other systems of medicines without caring to know anything about them. “It was amazing to hear from him that Homoeopathy was unscientific.
Dr. Prasad said that most of the allopaths had lost all human fellings and were interested only in earning money. They behaved in most arrogant and unsympathetic manner towards the poor patients. They were unfit for a poor country like India. He thought that the Allopaths had no right to make such derogatory references towards the ancient medical systems of Ayurveda and Unani, which were saving the lives of thousands when Wester scientists were leading a life of savagery.
In India, Dr. Prasad said, the primary concern of Vaids and Hakims was to heal people, while the primary concern of Allopaths was to earn money from the patients. They did not feel any shame in charging heavy fees even from poor patients, who could not afford to pay so heavily.
The remarks of Dr. Bhatia were unjust and unfair, he added. He hoped that Government would not be influenced by what allopaths said about other systems of medicine.
Hakim Birj Lal Verman welcoming the Bill said that Dr. Bhatia has made a very cheap speech like the roadside quacks. His utterances, he added, were the height of irresponsibility. The strike in the Ayurvedic College he asserted, was instigated by these allopaths. They succeeded in it because the institution had been placed under the supervision of allopaths. Thus experience, he hoped, would be an eye – opener for Government.
These allopaths, he added, who thought that they had the monopoly of all knowledge were now running after the Ayurvedic and Unani medicines.
Mr. C.B. Gupta, replying to the debate, said that Dr. Bhatias Speech was irrelevant and had no connection with the subject under consideration. He assured the House that Government would not be influenced by the opinions of allopaths in regard to other systems of medicines. Government, he added, wanted all the systems, specially the Ayurvedic and Unani systems, to develop and expand. The budget provings were the proof of this interest of the Government.
Government, he announced, had decided to allot an adequate sum for the development and expansion of Ayurved and Unani in the Second Five-Year Plan. The objective of Government was to lead to a synthesis of all these systems of medicines.
The Minister, however, asked the Vaids and Hakims to realise their shortcomings and to work hard to overcome them. the Minister thought that to condemn everything off-hand as unscientific was an unscientific attitude in itself.
Reverting to the provisions of the Bill, the Minister pointed out that the president of the Medical council was also appointed by Government. Government thought that this provision should also be incorporated in the Homoeopathic law to protect the Board from party politics. Besides he added, good doctors did not like to embroil themselves in party politics and elections.
Referring to the Ayurvedic College and its working, the Minister said that experience had shown that students with a scientific background were not prepared to learn from teachers who has no scientific knowledge themselves. This, he added, should be a lesson for the vaids and Hakims, who should now make it a point to learn the modern science.
The House then passed the motion for the consideration of the bill, and took up clause-wise discussion.
An amendment mover by Mr. Jagannath Prasad (Cong.) to the effect that the chairman of the Homoeopathic Board be nominated from amongst the members of the Board, was accepted by the Minister and passed by the House.
The amendment of Kunwar Guru Narain, seeking to delete the provision for the nomination of the chairman, was opposed by the Minister and rejected by the House.
The House accepted another amendment moved by Mr. P.C. Azad (Cong.) providing that only qualified Homoeopaths should be appointed as inspectors of Homoeopathic dispensaries.
During the third reading of the Bill, Kunwar Guru Narain asked the Minister to take early steps to establish a well equipped homoeopathic college and hospital in Lucknow.
Dr. Ishwari Prasad (Ind.) welcomed the announcement of the Minister in the House about the systems of medicine, other than allopathy.
Mr. C.B. Gupta, the Health Minister, winding up the debate hoped that the Vaids and Hakims would work self-lessly to propagate and popularise their systems of medicines by serving the people.
The interest of Government was to see that all the systems developed so the practitioners of every system could serve the people. This, however, did not mean that government would remain indifferent to the modern science. They, would, at the same time, try their best to get all the advantages of modern science that it could provide.
The House then passed the Bill and rose to meet on Monday at 11 A.M.
The Pioneer, 17-9-55.
Dr. Menons letter quoting the statement of Sri Shetty, Health Minister of Madras, with regard to Homoeopathy; and the foregoing account of the debate in the U.P. Legislative Council in connection with the passing of the U.P. Homoeopathic Medicine (Amendment) Bill, 1955-just go to show how much clouded the reasoning of an educated man becomes when under the sway of passion, prejudice, dogmatism and a sectarian mentality of the stamp of a trade-guild. Sri C.B. gupta, the Health Minister of U.P. cannot be euologised enough for his very correct attitude towards the different systems of medical practice extant in our country.
Some of his remarks are real gems and should be taken note of by anybody, be he a science-man, a medical practitioner of any category, a politician or especially a legislator and/ or an administrator on the Governmental level in our country, e.g. (1) the Government would not be influenced by the opinions of allopaths in regard to other systems of medicine; (2) the objective of Government is to lead to a synthesis of all the important systems of treatment existing in our country: (3) to condemn everything off-hand as unscientific is an unscientific attitude in itself; and (4) the interest of the scientific attitude in itself; and (4) the interest of the Government was to see that all the systems developed so that practitioners of every could serve the people.
We thoroughly agree with what Sri Gupta remarks. It might have some justification that the state should encourage, support and rather identify itself with one system of medicine, which should be regarded neither as Eastern or Western, foreign or indigenous but as an integral corpus of scientific knowledge and practice belonging to the whole world and to which every country has made its contribution.
But the days are still far off for the ideal synthetic system of Medicine which will accomodate ad rightly assess the different methods will accomodate and rightly assess the different methods of approach to the study of diseases end consequential therapeutic practice- as are evident in Homoeopathy, (so-called) Allopathy and Ayurveda.
Each of these regular systems of medicines has its own interpretation and its own way of application of several fundamental principles of science; and it is these difference of approach which and interpretation and the practice growing out of them which give each system its individuality. The whole truth regarding Life and diseases and cure of sickness is not the monopoly of any system of medicine. Let the Govt. provide ways and means for the fullest development of each school of medicine.
We do claim that Homoeopathy has opened our eyes to a new field of drug-actions. We do claim that it is the bounden duty of the state and the people to see that this veritable heritage of mankind is not lost through dogmatism, secteranism, unscientific mental attitude and short-sighted policies of the government.