ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reviving Past as Future

At the inauguration of a hospital in Mumbai, funded by Reliance Foundation, on 25 October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that we feel ashamed of ourselves when we compare our country to the rest of the world in the health sector. He added that we could be proud of medical science in India and of our achievements in the past. He elaborated this point, arguing that “according to the Mahabharata Karna was born without a mother’s womb, which meant that genetic science was practiced then”. He added that “Ganesha, the elephant-headed god, was proof of the presence of a plastic surgeon who placed the head of an elephant on a human being”. After referring to Arya­bhatta he asserted that “this country possessed such capabilities in the past and we need to regain these capabilities”.

Medico Friend Circle has always embraced open-minded scientificity in the form of continuous support to the re-evaluation of all systems of medicine including allopathy with a goal of evolving an “integrated polypathy”. However, as public health thinkers, practitioners and activists we are concerned by such statements by the prime minister. They treat serious health issues of mortality and morbidity and the problems of the health sector as matters of shame and national pride, rather than as genuine problems of the people that need to be addressed in a humane manner, and as a matter of democratic citizenship and rights.

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