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 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.

     The 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 book’. 

     His 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.

     The 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 (Edinburgh) commented:

       “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.


Sir Bhagvatsinhji

The Maker of Modern Gondal



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