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A History of Subaltern Healing in South Asia

Professor David Hardiman

The focus of attention in South Asian medical history has been almost entirely on the biomedicine that came with the British, and the supposedly ‘classic’ South Asian alternatives – Ayurveda, Unani Tibb and Siddha. In the process, the therapeutic experiences of large numbers in South Asia are ignored or marginalised. Even today, biomedicine in its legitimised form is still hardly available for many, either on grounds of cost or because of lack of facilities. Ayurveda, Unani Tibb and Siddhai – in their more erudite, textually grounded forms – have been, and still are, largely inaccessible for the mass of the people. This situation has allowed for a range of healing practices to flourish alongside each other. More... (PDF Document)

 Events Events
  • May 2009 - Workshop hosted and supported by the Centre for the History of Medicine. Report (Word Document)

  • 18th Feb 2010 - Round Table Discussion: Conceptualising Subaltern Medicine at the Indian International Centre. Chair: Prof. Ashis Nandy, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi

  • 19th Feb 2010 - Workshop at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi, India, 'Situating the Subaltern in South Asian Medical history'. Professor Hardiman presented a paper entitled 'The Healing Touch'

 Publications Publications


Medical Marginality in South Asia: Situating Subaltern Therapeutics, to be published in 2012 by Routledge (edited by David Hardiman and Projit Bihari Mukharji) (PDF Document)



Situating the Subaltern in South Asian Medical History

Healing DHWellcome