Human minds are preoccupied, and salves to habits, time worn customs and usages; blind and deaf as we are, few of us care to improve, to let in new light, to remove our ignorance. We do not know enough to respond when knowledge knocks at our door. It is our nature to hold fast to our principles. Creatures of circumstances, we sometimes stagger at the idea of change. Gallileo had to leave his country, Socrates was poisoned, and Christ sacrificed Himself at the cross, simply because there were not enough bold people to take the truths from them. The self conceited and arrogant amongst us fail to realize that our progress is proportional to our modest, humble and recipient nature.
From Hahnemanns time down to the time of his best followers we find homoeopathy many a time assaulted, persecuted and hanged, but it has never dies. Homoeopathy has made great progress and in the few years it has been at work, it has amazed and astonished the oppositionists, and has conquered and converted not a few people from their camp.
In India much of its progress has depended on the people, who are historically and philosophically disposed, and whose very thoughtful questioning nature and craving for knowledge has always given them the ideal to lead a very simple and plain life, and to utilize whatever they thought was for the good of the people.
This is why in India, from very ancient time, we find so many species, so many different kinds of events growing side by side. Indians, to seek a common welfare, encourage liberty of thought in religion, culture, science, medicine and in all other aspects of human activities, and it is no wonder that in India the message of homoeopathy was so cordially received. Although in the beginning only the poor people sought relief from homoeopathy in the many charitable and benevolent institutions, later it was mainly the receptive, philosophical reasoning of the people which nurtured and brought homoeopathy into the stage of development in which it is at present.
With this little introduction I shall begin with how homoeopathy came to India, how it struggled and grew and how it stands at present.
If I am a bit lengthy, and if I seem to tax the patience of my distinguished audience, I hope my tolerant fraternity will excuse me, for I feat, by trying to be very brief, I may not be able to do a full justice to the subject on which they have kindly allowed me to speak.
The history of homoeopathy begins in India in 1839 A.D., when Maharaja Ranjit, in his last throes of agony, all available means having failed, consulted Dr. John Martin Honigberger who only was able to give him any relief. But homoeopathy was little known to our country at that time.
About twelve years later it was gradually drawing the attention of the public when high officials of the government, native princes and rajahs recognized its importance and helped its progress by starting hospitals, charitable dispensaries and helping associations in many places. Mention can be made of Sir John Litler, a deputy governor of Bengal; Mr. Ironside, a session judge, Surgeon Brooking and Dr. Fabre who did much towards the establishment of these centres.
But even up to this time homoeopathy was very slow in its progress, and it was only when Dr.Berigny and his initiate, Mr.Rajendra Lal Dulta, appeared on the field that suddenly the history of homoeopathy in India changed and a period of vast development began. Several leading Indians, Vidya Sagara, Peary Sarkar, Raja Radhakanta Deva, Kali Krishna Mitra, some of whom were a few of the gods gifts to India, learned the secret of homoeopathy and helped its progress.
In a very short time Mr. Dulta commanded a great popularity and cured many hopeless cases which came to him from the other school. One of the contemporaries of Rajendra Lal was Dr.Mohendra Lal Sarkar. A well-informed, learned man, a staunch follower of the older school, he despised homoeopathy, called its follower lunatics, and ascribed all its cures to faith and accessory measures.
But nevertheless he was a worshipper of truth, and while attempting to criticize our Organon he became thunderstruck at the wisdom of the master, and he could realize the defects of the older school. A would-be glory to homoeopathy worked in concert with Rajendra Lal and watched his cases, requesting him from time not to use any medicine, just to convince him of the practical application of the principle of homoeopathy.
At first Secretary, and later on Voice President of the British Medical Association, he shouted out “Eureka” to his fellow practitioners, but they were not ready to hear him. He worked single handed, but the whole of Bengal adored him and approached him to get the benefit of his treatment. His arrogant friends were very low on mounting the ladder while success was smiling upon him. Homoeopathy in India had great leader in him, and before dying he saw thousands of people courting homoeopathy as a better and permanent method of cure.
At the instance of Dr.Sarkar, many physicians left the old school and practised homoeopathy, until we find a galaxy of homoeopathists both from the states and also from the old school filling different provinces of India. I can mention the names of Dr.Salzer, Dr.Bhaduri, Dr. Protap Mazumdar, Dr.R.K, Nag, Dr.Jagat Roy, Dr.Kali, Dr.D.N.Roy, DR.Mohendralal Ganguli and also Dr.Brojendra Lal Banerjee. They were all great all well-known. But they are dead and their places are being occupied by properly qualified men who were following them. There are numerous schools and colleges in different parts of India-and though not all have attained any perfection, they are doing excellent work towards the service of homoeopathy.
Of people, to feed on the popular imagination. With government patronage we could do more, but that is not available. Good, successful graduates from the Bengal Allen Homoeopathic College and Hospital, Central and Regular College, Dunham of Homoeopathic College (very recently established) and also Protap Memorial College and Hospital are competing with doctors from the regular school. Of these, Bengal Allen and Calcutta Homoeopathic are the foremost. In Bengal Allen there are about five hundred students at present. Clinical, outdoor and indoor facilities are many, and they are improving from day to day.
It is good for homoeopathy that many of our graduates are having a decent beginning to their career in many of the district boards. Many doctors are proving indigenous drugs which are expected to make valuable additions to our materia medica.
With the progress of homoeopathy, the number of homoeopathic books, literature and pharmacies have shown a marked increase in the last few years. There are attempts also to start female homoeopathic schools in several places. Almost every household in India possesses a homoeopathic chest. In fact, homoeopathy in India has good progress, and owing to its vast popularity many money-mongers in the grab of homoeopathists are at work to defile the sublimity and purity of the science. Ideas are afloat to develop a central board to check this trading-in affairs, but so far it has not been practicable. But, nevertheless, homoeopathy is claiming greater respect from the public in spite of all the propaganda and opposition from the older school. India in its vast population and innumerable kinds of vegetation presents to the homoeopathic world immense possibilities both from the pharmaceutical and healing outlook.
I have tried to give a view of homoeopathy in India to my fraternity here, and shall consider myself amply rewarded if my American brethren will come forward to cooperate with us in our attempt to improve and consolidate the appreciation it has already earned in India.
The individual inheriting an impaired vital force is handicapped throughout life, for it performs its own legitimate work in an imperfect manner and at the same time must contend with adverse influence in every stage of its existence in the body under his control.
The physician trained to the recognition as the true nature of disease is prepared to recognize not only the underlying cause or constitutional tendency, but to determine the nature of the more recent disturbing influence, and to select that force which will best enable the inherent life of the individual to repeal that which is interfering with its legitimate functions.- Medical Advance, 1895.