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Journal ArticleDOI

Ruling Classes, Missionaries, Non-state Agencies and Health Issues in Travancore in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

01 Jan 2015-History and Sociology of South Asia (SAGE Publications)-Vol. 9, Iss: 1, pp 80-101
TL;DR: In this article, the authors deal with the initiatives on the part of the government and the non-government organisations in Travancore on health related issues, and argue that though the enlightened government in the princely state of Tamil Nadu realised the importance of developing health programs to cope up with public health issues, particularly because of the frequent incidence of famines, their efforts remained half hearted and the investments remained far low.
Abstract: The article broadly deals with the initiatives on the part of the government and the non-government organisations in Travancore on health related issues. It would be argued that though the ‘enlightened’ government in the princely state of Travancore realised the importance of developing health programs to cope up with public health issues, particularly because of the frequent incidence of famines, their efforts remained half hearted and the investments remained far low. On the other hand, the missionaries were more active in setting up hospitals and dispensaries and these prove to be beneficial for the ‘lower castes’. However, though the missionaries and the ruling circles in Travancore remained divided in matters related to religion, there was some element of cooperation between them in this respect. The health related issues moved in new dimension altogether when there were active interventions on behalf of the Rockefeller Foundation and the proponents of Ayurveda in early twentieth century Travancore.
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TL;DR: This paper argued that the progress achieved by the West pointed to the possible directions for future, but how the past should figure in the new order was quite uncertain and underlined the possible loss of cultural heritage.
Abstract: view, critical of traditional cultural and social practices.’ Their agenda for change, however, was not based on westernization, but a selective rejection and reform of the present. The progress achieved by the West pointed to the possible directions for future, but how the past should figure in the new order was quite uncertain. The increasing influence of colonial culture heightened this uncertainty and underlined the possible loss of cultural heritage. As a result the intellectuals were caught in a paradox: to discard the old and create a new cultural milieu, on the one hand, and to preserve or retrieve the traditional cultural space so that past is not swept off the ground. The efforts to reconcile this paradox led to a critical inquiry into both the past as well as the present. The movement for the revitalization of

46 citations