This is the fifth episode of the podcast "Becoming Modern: Healthcare and History in India". We discuss a basic question here: how do people become historians? History is certainly not among the subjects that children and teenagers in India are universally encouraged to pursue, so we asked historians how it is that they chose this option during high school or college. Not surprisingly, there isn't a single, uniform track to enter the academic world of history, and in this episode we delve into some of those multiple pathways. We also learn about how our historians then became interested in the history of medicine and healthcare.
This episode is hosted by Kiran Kumbhar and features the historians Nandini Bhattacharya, Shilpi Rajpal, Projit Bihari Mukharji, and Sanjoy Bhattacharya. Nandini Bhattacharya is a Professor at the University of Houston, Rajpal is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Copenhagen, Mukharji is a Visiting Professor at Ashoka University, Sanjoy Bhattacharya is a Professor at the University of Leeds, and Kumbhar is a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University.
The audio excerpts used in this episode were accessed on YouTube: from the film "3 Idiots" written by Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi (here); from the film "Swades" written by Ashutosh Gowariker, MG Sathya, et al (here); from an interview of Romila Thapar by Eshan Sharma for the Karwaan channel (here); from the film "Shree 420" written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and VP Sathe (here). The song featured at the end is "Sikandar ne Poras" from the 1962 film Anpadh (lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, composer Madan Mohan).
Article "Making the Case for History in Medical Education" by David S. Jones, Jeremy A. Greene, Jacalyn Duffin, John Harley Warner
Episode "History and Historians" of our podcast
Speech from 1918 by Sanskrit scholar and historian Ramkrishna G. Bhandarkar on the importance of a critical and academic analysis of the Indian past
Book "Contagion and Enclaves: Tropical Medicine in Colonial India" by Nandini Bhattacharya (open access)
Book "The Past as Present: Forging Contemporary Identities Through History" by Romila Thapar
Website of "Karwaan: The Heritage Exploration Initiative"
Article "Post-Colonial Histories of South Asia: Some Reflections" by Sugata Bose
Podcast "New Books in South Asian Studies" by the New Books Network