The evolution of Indian government policy on Ayurveda in the twentieth century

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  • The attempts by the British and Indian governments to regulate medical practice in India generated an outpouring of numerous, long and scattered documents. In order to be able to grasp the outlines of these processes of attempted control, I offer here a framework for understanding this landslide of documentation. I shall also offer some perspectives concerning the relative importance of some of these documents, as well as a sense of their content and influence. Broadly speaking, the documentation can be divided into two classes: • Reports into specific topics commissioned by governments, and • Government legislation in the form of Acts. Documents in both these categories have been generated both by • individual Indian states, and by • the central government in Delhi (and Colombo). Some regional reports (presidency or state) seem to have had as much authority as central government ones. For example, the Usman Report of 1923 was a regional Madras report but had national importance. Regional reports predominated in the period up to Independence, after which central government reports become the norm.

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    © 2008 D. Wujastyk et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Wujastyk, D. (2008). The evolution of Indian government policy on Ayurveda in the twentieth century. In D. Wujastyk & F. M. Smith (Eds.), Modern and Global Ayurveda: Pluralism and paradigms (pp. 43–76). New York: SUNY Press.