By Rachel Berger (auth.)
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Additional info for Ayurveda Made Modern: Political Histories of Indigenous Medicine in North India, 1900–1955
28 Communities that came into being after the Vedic period have also claimed Ayurveda as a vital part of their tradition and to have aided in 30 Ayurveda Made Modern its evolution. Various sects that emerged out of the Indic civilization remain part of the broader spectrum of Hinduism and have adopted aspects of Ayurvedic thought as their own. 33 A lack of evidence makes it difﬁcult to consider the possible contribution of the medical practice of non-Indic rural communities, particularly those groups that became known as the adivasis, or ﬁrst inhabitants.
Can the idea of a system of medicine truly account for the complexities of a medical tradition that poses ambivalences towards textuality? How would the regional and linguistic divergences that alter Ayurveda’s manifestation measure up to a model that holds a unilateral truth about the body at its centre? And what of the slippery role of religion in all of this? Historians are split on the issue. 53 Leslie’s study undertook a comparative view of medical systems in India (Ayurveda), China Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the Middle East (Unani Tibb), in order to examine the ways in which norms of practice, designation of authority and expertise, and adherence to key texts underlay each tradition.
This hybrid history not only reveals the inadequacy of Hindutvic accounts of Ayurveda but also points to the interactions and overlaps between several different medical traditions that came to 23 R. Berger, Ayurveda Made Modern © Rachel Berger 2013 24 Ayurveda Made Modern necessitate a more aggressive demarcation of Ayurveda in the modern period. This vague delineation of Ayurveda as caught somewhere between science and faith is encapsulated in the discourse of medical historiography through the identiﬁcation of Ayurveda as a biomoral tradition.
Ayurveda Made Modern: Political Histories of Indigenous Medicine in North India, 1900–1955 by Rachel Berger (auth.)