This is the third episode of the podcast "Becoming Modern: Healthcare and History in India". The primary theme pertains to the challenges, in historical research, of finding and incorporating the voices of the oppressed and the under-privileged (the "voiceless"). In the history of healthcare, which has traditionally been dominated by the perspectives and voices of male physicians, the absent or under-represented voices have mostly been of patients, communities, and community-based practitioners. In this episode, we will listen to historians speak about how they have worked to uncover such voices, and what that tells us about the history of medicine and healthcare in India. We will learn, for example, how the spread of railways in the 1800s led to an uptick in people traveling to distant places for pilgrimages -- a side-effect of which was a rise in epidemic disease; and how some personal letters of Rabindranath Tagore written to family members throw more light on one of the most significant changes in medical thinking in the nineteenth century.
This episode is hosted by Kiran Kumbhar and features the historians David Arnold, Nandini Bhattacharya, and Projit Bihari Mukharji. The excerpt at the beginning of the episode was read by Macwin Fernandes, and is from an 1883 article by physician Sakharam Arjun. The two audio excerpts in the episode are from the films "Achhut Kanya" (1936, written by Niranjan Pal), and "Sholay" (1975, written by Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar).
Chapter describing the colonial-era quinine distribution system, from the book "Malarial Subjects: Empire, Medicine and Nonhumans in British India" by Rohan Deb Roy
Article on nineteenth century "magic lantern" shows by Katy Scott (magic lanterns were mentioned by David Arnold in this episode)
Book by Samiksha Sehrawat on the many facets of the public response to hospitals and modern biomedicine, titled 'Colonial Medical Care in North India: Gender, State, and Society, c. 1830-1920'
Book by Projit Mukharji on the multi-layered refashioning and modernization of Ayurveda in colonial India, titled 'Doctoring Traditions: Ayurveda, Small Technologies, and Braided Sciences'
Article by Pallavi Das analyzing the complex dynamics involved in pilgrimage centers and the spread and control of epidemics, titled 'Rethinking Cholera in Jagannath Puri in the Nineteenth Century'
Article by Kiran Kumbhar on B&W Indian movies like Achhut Kanya which illuminate important aspects of healthcare during their time, titled 'How B&W Bollywood Has Preserved a Snapshot of India's Public Health Story'