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ORIGIN & GROWTH OF HOMEOPATHY

          Homoeopathy came to India as early as 1810 when, Dr. John Martin Honigberger disciple of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann visited India and treated patients. In his second visit in the year 1839, he treated the then ruler of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit Singh with Dulcamara. Maharaja was so happy with results and he encouraged him to continue the Homoeopathic treatment in India. Homoeopathy continued to spread and Indians found in its philosophy and principles, a reflection of their belief and culture. The ancient Hindu physicians had, in fact recognized the "Law of Similars" as one of the principles of treatment. Surgeon Samuel Brooking, a retired Medical Officer had the courage and conviction to establish a Homoeoapthic Hospital at Tanjore, in South India, in 1847. There have been a number of other well-known enthusiasts like Dr. Cooper and Dr. J. Ruther ford Russel, two Government Medical Officers, Mr. H. Ryper, a military pensioner, Captain May and others of Calcutta, made Homoeopathy popular among the masses of Bengal. Last but not the least, was the services rendered by Dr. C. J. Tonnere, M.D. the French Homoeopath, proved " Acalpha Indica " in the year 1851 was first Health Officer of the town of Calcutta and later he established Homoeopathic Hospital. In 1861, a virulent epidemic of malarial fever was raging over lower Bengal and it was at this juncture that the great philanthropist, Late Babu Rajendra Lall Dutta, a layman, truly laid the foundation of Homoeopathy and started its practice with astounding results. He converted the redoubtable allopath and his opponent, Dr. Mahendra Lall Sircar, M.D. D.L., C.I. E. to Homoeopathy. Dr. P.C. Majumdar, M.D. another Homoeopath of Calcutta started his practise in 1864 and laid the foundation of Calcutta Homoeopathic Medical College in 1885.

         
The year 1867 is also memorable for the establishment of Banaras Homoeopathic Hospital with Shri Loke Nath Moitra as Physician In-charge. In August 1869 a homoeopathic charitable dispensary was started at Allahabad with Shri Priya Nath Bose as the Physician In-charge of the dispensary Homoeopathy was not becoming popular only in Bengal, but also its fragrance started spreeading to other parts of the country. Rev. Father Muller, the great Jesuit Missionary of Mangalore in the South; Mr. P. Subbarayulu, the large- hearted lawyer of Kakinada in the East; and Mr. V. M. Kulkarni, the tireless telegraphist of Bombay in the west - all these like Babu Rajendra Lall Dutta of Calcutta, are names to conjure with the development of homoeopathy in India. Homoeopathy became more prominent with the opening of several dispensaries in the second half of the nineteenth century. In April 1937, Md. Ghias -ud-idin, M.L.A. moved a resolution in the Legislative Assembly for its recognition. The resolution was passed and forwarded to the State Governments for its implementation and Bengal was the first province to constitute a Homoeopathic State Faculty in 1943. After independence and formation of National Government, on 17th February, 1948 Shri Satish Chandra Samanta, M.P. (West Bengal) moved a resolution which runs as follows " This Assembly is of opinion that homoeoapthic 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". This resolution was unanimously adopted. Government appointed a Homoeopathic Enquiry Committee in 1948 and the Committee submitted its report in 1949. In 1952, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, the then Union Health Minister appointed a Homoeopathic Ad-hoc Committee which functioned upto 1954. In 1954 Government of India constituted a Homoeopathic Advisory Committee, this Advisory Committee was taken over by the Minister of Health and Secretary. Ministry of Health became its first Chairman. Govt. of India appointed Dr. K. G. Saxena as first Honorary Homoeopathic Advisor in 1962. A Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Committee was established in 1962 to lay down the standard for Homoeopathic drugs. In 1969 for the development of ISM & Homoeopathic drugs an autonomous council was established. On 17 th December 1973, Central Council of Homoeopathy was established by the Government of India with the enactment of Central Council of Homoeopathy Act, 1973 with the following objectives.

"To evolve minimum standards for admission, duration of course of training, details of curricula and syllabi of studies of Homoeopathy, uniform title of degree and diploma, uniform courses of study of not less than four years duration and maintain central register of practitioners of Homoeopathy’’.

Uniform Education in Homoeopathy at diploma and graduate level was enforced in the country in the year 1983. Forum for Post Graduation have also been notified by Central Council of Homoeopathy. In 1978 separate Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy established.

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DR. JOHN MARTIN HONIGBERGER

Click here to enlarge the photo of Dr. John Martin HonigbergerDr. Honigberger was born at Krostadt, a town in Transylvania in Rumania. After passing his M.D. with distinction, he became a successful practitioner. Dr. Honigberger arrived at Lahore in 1829-30 and was later invited to treat the Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, who happened to be seriously ill. Later he stayed on in Lahore even after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He wrote a book about his experiences, titled. "Thirty-five Years in the East." He came from his native country, Transylvania through Levant, Egypt, Arabia and Persia and then on to India. He resided for about 15 years in the Punjab and returned via Afghanistan, Bokharo and Russia.

He left his native town in 1815 for Constantinople. Later in 1817 he visited Jerusalem and as a physician to the Governor of Toccata, he traveled with him to Asia Minor. His first patient at Lahore was the adopted son of General Allard. His fame spread only when he treated and cured some soldiers who had been bitten by a mad jackal and were beginning to show signs of hydrophobia, after some soldiers had already died of the bite.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh was impressed by him when he treated his favorite horse of its bad ulcers of the leg. Maharaja developed confidence in him, made him to accept the management of a gunpowder manufacturing factory and a gun stock establishment. Being homesick, Honigberger went back in 1834 and the following year he went to Paris met Dr. Hahnemann and his wife. Later on the advice of Dr. Hahnemann, he bought a large quantity of homoeopathic medicine from Hahnemann's Pharmacist, Lehmann of Kothen.

In the year 1836, he happened to visit Vienna and was infected with cholera, which was raging there. He saved himself by taking Ipecac every half an hour. He was impressed greatly by the results of homoeopathic medicine both in himself and others.

He decided to start his practice at Constantinople. He treated cases of Plague with Ignatia. He was led to use Iganatia as he saw Armenians were wearing a string tied to a bean of Ignatia and it seemed to give them protection where so many people were dying every day.

He also treated a case of hemorrhage with Aranea diadema, which brought him both name and fame.

On learning that Maharaja Ranjit Singh wanted him back, he reached Lahore in 1839 in the company of General Venture after an adventurous journey.

After the death of the Maharaja his position and influence waned till Sardar Jawahar Singh came to power, and restored him to his former position as Court Physician and Director of the gunpowder mill. In 1849, Punjab was annexed by Sir Henry Lawrence. With the abolition of the Sikh Darbar he had to relinquish his post. He was granted a pension. Later he returned to his country.

It is not known when he died, but his life was full of adventure and pioneering. He was the first man to introduce the name of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann and his healing art to India.

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DR. PRATAP CHANDRA MAJUMDAR

Click here to enlarge the Photo of Dr. Pratap Chandra MajumdarDr. Pratap Chandra Majumdar took his L.M.S. degree from Calcutta Medical College in 1878 and later got the honorary degree of M.D. from U.S.A. Converted to Homoeopathy by his father-in-law, Dr. B.L.Bhaduri, he fortified his grasp of Hahnemannian Homoeopathy as the worthy assistant to Dr. L. Salzer for a long time He proved number of indigenous drugs, and wrote a large number of books in English and Bengali. He edited the Indian Homoeopathic Review, the second oldest homoeopathic journal in India. He attended the Fourth International Homoeopathic Congress held in Chicago in June 1891. In collaboration with Dr. D.N. Roy, he established the Calcutta Homoeopathic Medical College in 1881 and maintained it till his death. He expired on Oct. 22, 1922.




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DR. RAJENDRA LAL DUTT

Click here to enlarge the photo of Babu Rajendra Lal DuttBabu Rajendra Lal Dutt may be called the Father of Indian Homoeopathy. He converted Dr. M. L. Sircar to Homoeopathy. He brought Homoeopathy into high esteem by curing illustrious luminaries like Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Raja Sir Radhakanta Dev and scores of others.

He was born in 1818 in the famous Dutt family of Wellington Square, Calcutta and amassed an immense fortune by dint of his personal talent in honest business and trade and spent the whole of it in various philanthropic works and mostly for Homoeopathy. He expired at the age of 71 years on June 5, 1889 leaving Homoeopathy in Bengal, on a firm, sound and wide footing.




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DR. MAHENDRA LAL SIRCAR

Click here to enlarge the photo of Dr. Mahendra Lal SircarDr. Mahendra Lal Sircar, C.I.E., M.D., D.L., was not only the greatest homoeopath of his time in India, but also a great scientist. He was born on Nov. 2, 1833 in Paikpara, near Howrah. He appeared at the M.D. Examination in 1863 and came out first. He devoted his life wholly to the propagation of the principles of homoeopathy. The Calcutta journal of Medicine, edited by him, was started in Jan. 1868 for this purpose.

In the field of physical science, Dr. Sircar has made great contributions and was a pioneer of scientific research in India. He also inspired Dr. J. C. Bose and Dr. P. C. Ray. Recurrent malarial fever and bronchial asthma clouded the evening of his life and he died on Feb. 23, 1904.




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DR. DIWAN JAI CHAND

Click here to enlarge the photo of Dr. Diwan Jai Chand Dr. Diwan Jai Chand was born on 3rd July 1887 in Bhawalpur State (now in West Pakistan) and had his initial medical education at the K.E. Medical College, Lahore. He left for U.K. in 1910 and returned in 1913 after passing L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S.(Edin), L.R.F.P. & S. (Glas), D.P.H. (Edin), D.T.M. (L?pool), L.M: (Dub).

On return from U.K. he joined service with the Punjab Government as Dy. Sanitary Commissioner in the Public Health Department, one of the first Indian to be appointed to that high post. He resigned soon after and started a clinic at Lahore in 1915. He soon became converted to Homoeopathy.

For some time he was the President of the Punjab Homoepathic League at Lahore. He was the founder and Principal of National Homoeopathic College in Lahore in the early twenties. After partition of India and Pakistan he shifted to Delhi and established his clinic at New Delhi. He was President of the All-India Institute of Homoeopathy, Delhi Branch, for some years. He also founded and edited an excellent journal, "Health and Homoeopathy".

In 1952, he was appointed a Member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Homoeopathy, which in 1956 became the Homoeopathic Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health, Govt. of India, and was a member till his death. He passed away on 14th May 1961.

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DR. K.G. SAXENA

Click here to enlarge the photoDr. K.G. Saxena was born on 25th Sept 1912 at their ancestral house in old Delhi. His early schooling was at Ambala in Banarsi Das High School and Karachi in Khalsa High School. He did his matriculation from DAV High School and Intermediate from Hindu College. He took admission in Calcutta Homoeopathic Medial College and completed his studies in 1937. He was married to Shakuntala Devi on 5th March 1937.

He enjoyed the privilege of being the first Honorary Physician to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the President of India and continued to serve the succeeding President's in the capacity till 1986. He also worked as first Honorary Adviser (Homoeopathy) to Government of India from 1962 to 1971 and made Herculean efforts for the recognition and advancement of Homoeopathy from 1937. In 1994, Dr. K. G. Saxena was made the chairman of Homoeopathic Advisory Committee for the development and expansion of Homoeopathy in Delhi. He also served as Chairman of National Committees such as Homoeopathic Education Committee, Government of India, Homoeopathic Research Committee, Government of India, Rural Homoeopathic Aid Committee, Family Planning Committee, Scientific Advisory Board, and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy. He presided over 18 National Homoeopathic Congresses, was a special invitee to the International Homoeopathic Medical League Congress in London, 1965, Athens 1969, Washington, 1987. He served as the National Vice President of India of the International Homoeopathic Medical League and was the Secretary General and later the President of Honour of the Indian Institute of Homoeopathic Physician. In recognition of his selfless services to the cause of Homoeopathy he was conferred Padam Shree award. He was also conferred with National Award at Calcutta by N.C. Chakravarty Memorial Committee for his magnificent contribution towards the development of Homoeopathy. The international Homoeopathy congress, New Delhi decorated him with "President of Honour "in 1967 and again in 1989 in Calcutta.

The journey of this legendary homoeopath came to and ends on 23rd October, 2003. His demise has indeed left a vacuum- a void which can never be filled.

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