K P Girija
Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences (2017) Volume 8 No 3
This paper looks at the process through which ayurveda is historicized as the classical tradition of Kerala (and India), at the cost of a variety of practices or ayurvedas. By the twentieth century, medical practice gained a respectful status and became an earning profession. The negotiation and competition to control a commonly shared public space of medicine led to various public interventions. Individual body became a social body and an object of knowledge around which a variety of debates begin to occur. These formations, along with print culture, changing
economic relations, new associations and institutional frameworks emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth century India acted as an umbrella space for the intermingling of a range of practices in their renegotiation with knowledge and power. In these processes ayurveda attained the role of a professional classical tradition with various kinds of validations or accepted conditions to become a knowledge system while adhering to its own tenets. Some others such as nattuvaidyam got pushed to the margin as folk medical practices. The analysis is done by reading the
first indigenous health magazine, Dhanwantari published from the British Malabar from 1903 onwards for a span of twenty three years.