Articles by Madhulika BanerjeeSubscribe to Madhulika Banerjee

Local Knowledge for World Market

This article looks at some of the sites of contestation that mark the encounter of ayurveda with globalisation, making it a marginal player in the medical market. With enormous pressures being exerted by the dominant establishment including the pharmaceuticals industry, alternative medical systems have been confined to marketing alternative products. The real challenge for ayurveda in the global economy lies in defining the parameters and terms of those parts of its knowledge system that are considered adaptable to the market. However, in the scramble to protect markets and knowledge regimes, it is not yet understood that there is a deeper colonisation being played out in the edging out of alternative world-views inherent in these medical systems.

Public Policy and Ayurveda

The modernisation of Ayurveda has been the focus of both state and civil society organisations since colonial times. This paper argues that modernisation of Ayurveda undertaken by both the state and civil society has been governed by a 'pharmaceutic episteme' which focuses on retaining the usefulness of Ayurveda as a mere supplier of new medicines while dismissing its world view on the body, health and disease. This episteme continues to govern contemporary attempts to modernise the system, as is illustrated by the recently announced comprehensive policy on indigenous systems, the first of its kind since independence.
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