Homeopathy in India

Homeopathy in India

Dr. John Martin Honigberger, from Transylvania, came to India in 1829. As an allopath, he treated Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Punjab. In 1834 he returned to Europe and made the acquaintance of Hahnemann. In 1837 he was practicing in Constantinople, but received word that the Maharaja wished him to return. He returned to India in 1839 and introduced homeopathy.

A wealthy businessman, Rajendra Lall Dutt became interested in homeopathy in 1850 and convinced an allopathic doctor, Mahendra Lal Sircar, to investigate the system. Dr. Sircar is considered the "Hering" of India. Many prominent Indian homeopaths studied with Dr. Sircar. Sircar's courageous conversion to homeopathy led to a constitutional crisis at the University of Calcutta, which wished to rescind his medical degree. This was averted only when he resigned from the university. Father Mueller, a Jesuit missionary, brought homeopathy to south India in 1878, but even before him homeopathy was practiced in the small princely states of Thanjavur and Pudukottai under the patronage of the respective Princes.

King lists 16 graduates from India who studied at US schools between 1850 and 1905. The 1931 Directory reported there were "many mongrel homeopaths in Calcutta." The Supreme Court of India recently ruled that one could practice only the system for which he is licensed to practice. The homeopathic degree is the BHMS and DHMS- the Bachelor and Doctorate of Homeopathic Medical Science.

There are 110 institutes in India teaching homeopathy; all attached to universities. All teaching institutions have hospitals and dispensaries attached. In all government hospitals there are homeopathic wings. City Municipal Hospitals have a homeopathic wing. Whether all these are very active and what sort of homeopathy is practiced are different questions. There are an estimated 150,000 homeopathic practitioners in India. The country is represented in the LMHI.

At the current time, there are over 120 four- or five-year homeopathic medical schools in India. Nineteen of the colleges are maintained by the state, most of which are affiliated with universities. An article in the World Health Forum stated that, "In the Indian subcontinent the legal position of the practitioners of homeopathy has been elevated to a professional level similar to that of a medical practitioner."