Indian Medical Genius
Bhagvatsinhji might have brought from Scotland not only the medical
knowledge but also the contempt of science of healing as it had been
developed in the land of his birth.
Most of the Indian who proceed to Europe for the
study of Western Medicine were young and unacquainted with India’s
past. The returns to their country filled with prejudices and take
delight in belittling their ancestor’s medical accomplishments.
As the result of research he came to the
conclusion that both medicine and surgery had been developed to a
high standard in India in ancient times and that the discoveries
made by our forefathers had been borrowed by other nations. The
Indian Medicines deserves preservation and investigation. The Indian
Medical gazettes persuade a similar policy. Bhagvatsinhji was
congratulated on having supplied a carefully return and interactive
short history of Aryan Medical Science which would form a valuable
and useful to any medical men’s library.
Lay Press in Britain, taken almost as a whole treated the work very
fairly. In the course of a lengthy review of the Times (London) for
example, stated that India. ‘Must have marched both fast and far
during last year to produce a feudatory ruler who could write such a
highness had already made European Science a living fact that
throughout his territories, and his present book is not less
creditable to him as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
reviews of Standard (London) also dealt kindly with the Thakore
Saheb’s effort to reconcile the two systems of Medicine.
In the course of a short review the Scotsman
“Possibly its value is more literary and
historical than medical and scientific though it is by no means
certain that our Doctors have nothing to learn from the Indian
Materia Medica, or may not be able to obtain a suggestion here and
there from the ancient wisdom of the Hindus, embedded as it is in
myth and superstitions and in what, to the Western mind, seems sheer
nonsense and rubbish.”
The Englishman (Calcutta) spoke very highly of
the work without in any way qualifying its praise. It stated: “The
book is not a mere curiosity, but if it is approached in a right
spirit of fairness and inquiry, it will probably disclose the germs
of not a few of the marvelous discoveries in the realm of medicine
of which the nineteenth century is so justly proud.”
The Indian press, almost without exception,
welcomed the book. Papers in Kathiawar, Gujarat, Madras and Bengal,
wrote in glowing terms of Bhagvatsinhji’s achievement.
The Kathiawar Times thought that: “His
Highness the Thakore Saheb does a two-fold service by presenting his
work to the public in as much as it invites a public research into
the dingy recesses of Indian antiquity and tells our graduates whose
smattering of law and medicine teach them to cast to the winds the
teaching of the ancient sages and who flatter themselves that they
are imbibing it from a pure and fresh fountain-head, forgetting all
the while that it is nothing more than a second-hand edition in a
crude and incomplete form of what their ancestors learnt and taught
the world outside.”
The Hindu (Madras), the Mahratta (Poona), the
Amrita Bazar Patrika (Calcutta) – in fact almost every Indian
paper of any importance-contained glowing reviews of the volume. It
would, they hoped, usher in an era of better understanding between
India and the West.