Homoeopathy - An approach towards legal acceptance
"In the treasury of nature, there are many Gems; those only are worth carrying away, which we know how to set"
The history of Homoeopathy in India is linked with the name of Dr. Honigberger, a French man who brought homoeopathy to India. He was attached to the Court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He arrived at Lahore in 1829-1830 and was later invited to treat Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, who happened to be seriously ill of paralysis of vocal cord with swelling of feet and native physicians were unable to improve his health in 1839. Dr. Honigberger later on went to Calcutta and started practice there, where he was chiefly known as the 'Cholera Doctor'
This therapeutic system came to be practiced in India during the life time of Dr. Hahnemann, the father of Homoeopathy, when a German Physician and Geologist came to India round about 1810 for geological investigations and remained for some time in Bengal where he distributed homoeopathic medicine to the people
Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar, was the first qualified physician in India who was inspired by the favour of lay-homoeopath Babu Rajen Datta, who himself practiced homoeopathy and treated successfully many patients, some of whom were distinguished men of the time such as Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Raja Radha Kanta Deb Bahadur. Later Dr. Mahendra Lal Sircar was instrumental in spreading the prestige and fame of homoeopathy far and wide in India. Ultimately more and more people started taking homoeopathic treatment for various diseases.
Because of its popularity, there had been demand for a long time for recognition of Homoeopathy as a system of Medicine by the Government of India. In April, 1937 Md. Ghias-ud-idin, M.L.A., moved a resolution in the Legislative Assembly for the recognition of Homoeopathy. The resolution was passed and forwarded to the State Governments for its implementation and Bengal was the first province to constitute a Homeopathic State Faculty in 1943.
After the formation of National Government on 17th February, 1948 Shri Satis Chandra Samanta, M.P. (West Bengal) moved a resolution for consideration by the constituent-Asssemby of India which run as follows -
"This Assembly is of opinion that homoeopathic system of treatment be recognized by the Indian Union and that a General Council and a State Faculty of Homoeopathic Medicine be established at once."
In moving his resolution Shri Samanta advanced the following arguments in support of his resolution namely -
- The system of medicine known as homoeopathy had been recognized by countries like Germany, France, England and America and also by certain Provinces and States in India, such as Bengal, the United Provinces and others.
- The system had been found to be efficacious and treatment thereunder was very cheap. it was, therefore, ideal for adoption in a poor agricultural country like India.
- State recognition and control would ensure proper scientific training of those who might practise the system and put an end to quacks and quackery thereby remove risk to life of people treated thereunder.
An amended resolution was moved by Shri Mohan Lal Saxena, Member of Parliament (UP) in the following terms.
"In view of the fact that treatment by the system of Homoeopathy is restored to by many people, this Assembly is of the opinion that the Government should consider
- the making of arrangements for the teaching of Homoeopathy;
- the advisability of having Post Graduate Courses of study; and
- the advisability of regulating the profession and arranging for the registration of practitioners in order to raise and maintain uniformity of standards."
This resolution was unanimously adopted and subsequently the Government of India appointed a Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee in 1948, and Committee submitted a report in 1949. This Committee recommended that Central Council of Homoeopathic Medicine should be established. Besides, the provincial Homoeopathic Council should also be established.
Homoeopathic Advisory Committee
In 1952, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, the then Union Health Minister appointed a Homoeopathic Ad-hoc Committee which functioned upto 1954. Later on the same Committee was designated as the Homoeopathic Advisory Committee with the Director General of Health Services as its Chairman. In 1956, this Advisory Committee was taken over by the Ministry of Health and Secretary in the Ministry of Health became its first Chairman. The Homoeopathic Advisory Committee recommended the appointment of an Honorary Homoeopathic Adviser in 1960 and Dr. K.G. Saxena was appointed first Honorary Homoeopathic Adviser to the Government of India in 1962. This Committee also recommended the constitution of a Central Council of Homoeopathy. A special panel of Planning Commission of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy endorsed this recommendation in 1952, 1956 and 1966. The Central Council of Health comprising of the State Health Ministers recommended in 1965 that the Central Council of Indian Systems of Medicine may be set up as early as possible to lay down and regulate the standards of education, examination and practice in Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathy.
Towards A Separate Council
Various All India and State Homoeopathic Associations had also been supporting the formation of Central Council of Homoeopathy in various Congresses. The Central Council ofHealth, therefore, constituted a Sub-Committee in October, 1967 with Pandit Shiv Sharma the Chairman to look into the details of the proposed legislation.
Accordingly, the Bill for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy Central Council was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 17-12-1968
A joint Committee of Parliament considered the Bill. The exponents of Homoeopathy and also the experts of the three systems of Indian Medicine, viz., Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha represented before the committee that the basic concepts of Indian Medicine were different from the fundamentals of Homoeopathy and, therefore, a separate Council of Homoeopathy was needed. For the proper growth and development of all the four systems, the Committee recommended two separate independent Central Councils, one for all the three systems of Indian Medicine and the other for Homoeopathy. The Committee amended the Bill suitably so as to make provisions for a composite Central Council for the three Indian Systems deleting references to Homoeopathy. The Committee also recommended for preparation of a separate Bill for Homoeopathy and drafted a Bill on similar lines for introduction in Parliament.
Accordingly, The Homoeopathic Central Council Bill was drafted and was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 3rd April, 1972. Shri Jagdish Prasad Mathur, Member of Parliament moved a motion in the Rajya Sabha for reference of the Bill to another Joint Committee of both the houses and adopted by the House on the same day which is resolved as under -
"That the Bill to provide for the constitution of a Central Council of Homoeopathy and for matters connected therewith be referred to a Joint Committee of the Houses consisting of 45 members; 15 members from this House namely:
- Sh. Sasankasekhar Sanyal
- Sh. Bhupinder Singh
- Sh. N.G. Goray
- Sh. K. Nagappa Alva
- Sh. Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya
- Sh. Sitaram Kesri
- Sh. Man Singh Varma
- Sh. T.K. Srinivasan
- Sh. K.C. Panda
- Sh. Manubhai Shah
- Sh. Sultan Singh
- Sh. N.P. Chaudhari
- Sh. T.G. Deshmukh
- Smt. Purabi Mukhopadhyay
- Sh. T.K. Srinivasan
and 30 members from the Lok Sabha;
that in order to constitute a meeting of the Joint Committee the quorum shall be one-third of the total number of members of the Joint Committee;
that in other respects, the Rules of Procedure of this House relating to Select Committees shall apply with such variations and modifications as the Chairman may make;
that the Committee shall make a report to this House by the first day of the Eighty first Session; and
that this House recommends to the Lok Sabha that the Lok Sabha do join in the said Joint Committee and communicate to this House the names of member to be appointed by the Lok Sabha to the Joint Committee."
Subsequently following motion in Lok Sabha was passed :-
"That this House do concur in the recommendation of Rajya Sabha that the House do join in the Joint Committee of the Houses on the Bill to provide for the constitution of a Central Council of Homoeopathy and the maintenance of a Central Register of Homoeopathy and for matters connected therewith, made in the motion adopted by Rajya Sabha at its sitting held on the 3rd April, 1972 and communicated to this House on the 4th April, 1972 and to resolve that the following 30 Members of Lok Sabha be nominated to serve on the said Joint Committee, namely -
- Shri Ziaur Ansari
- Shri Vidya Dhar Bajpai
- Shri Kushok Bakula
- Shri Muhammed Khuda Bukhsh
- Shri A.M