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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 19, May 11, 2024

Climate action / Poll Irregularities / Homeopathy | Humra Quraishi

Saturday 11 May 2024, by Humra Quraishi

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Fires spreading out across the hills of Uttarakhand yet there’s little of the expected hue and cry! Not even by those particular politicians who otherwise miss no opportunity talking of environment, having video films shot in and around tiger reserves… Today as fires rage across the hills of Uttarakhand, one can well imagine the plight of the tigers and rest of the animals (human beings included!), surviving in and around the Corbett Park belt and far beyond. Not to be overlooked this vital basic fact: according to latest estimates 44 per cent of the forest areas in Uttarakhand are affected by raging fires!

A pity that the political lot together with the administrators come out with those typical stale speeches on the World Environment Day (5 June) or on the Earth Day (22 April) or any of the hyped days, otherwise fires can be seen spreading out, destroying life and livelihoods but it doesn’t seem to bother the ruling lot!

I don’t see a way out of this terrible mess, unless, of course, individuals come forth and cry hoarse at the destruction heaped on the environment and the connected factors. This brings me to focus on the New Delhi based documentary filmmaker and green activist Suhas Borker. He is one of the founders of the Green Circle of Delhi, a volunteer group started in 1992 to protect Delhi’s green spaces. Last month, in April, the group launched the Citizens’ Action Plan for Climate and Heat (CAP) in Delhi. To quote Suhas Borker: “It’s a plan for the people, by the people of Delhi…We are heavily in campaign mode now, after months of drafting this plan…The Citizens’ Climate and Heat Action Plan is a document divided into six areas, all dealing with different sectors through which the adverse effects of heat and climate change can be tackled at the city level.”

FROM FIRE TO THE FRYING PAN! Nah, one is not talking about the rising temperatures in the Northern States of the county. But what’s upsetting and unacceptable is the blatant violations taking place during the polling days. The video-shots emerging from Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district and also from the adjoining areas are enough to depict mass scale violations. Muslim voters were treated not just shabbily but roughed up and almost kept away from their voting rights! Reports of burqa clad women treated in the worst possible way! All this happening so very blatantly with the obvious involvement of the ruling political lot together with the official machinery under their very direct control! In fact, it will be great service rendered if researchers and RTI activists get details to the constable level recruitments in the police force of Uttar Pradesh. Details to the political interference or call it by any other term of your choice, in recruitments?
And not to overlook news reports coming from Gujarat where non-BJP candidates harassed to the extent that several decided to withdraw. For their survival in every sense of the term. Hurdles were thrown in, to the extent that it got to impossible for them to even move around! Was just viewing videos of Congress candidate from Gandhinagar, Sonal Patel. And the way she describes in great detail the harassment that she and her party workers have been facing. But architect turned politician, Sonal Patel, is no ordinary woman. She carries a strong personality. Speaks very calmly but seems equipped with nerves of steel to take on the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, in Gandhinagar!

On this World Homoeopathy Day- 10 April, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the man who gave the due significance to homoeopathy in our county was none other than Mehar Chand Davar.
As his son, Praveen Davar details: “ My father who had his early education in Gujranwala and Lahore, made up his mind to become a doctor. What motivated him to do so was perhaps the feeling, that must have persisted when he was growing up, that he lost his parents, when he was three, and his elder brother before he turned 15, and availability of quick medical attention may have saved them. But why he chose the discipline of homoeopathy is not known. It is possible that he made this choice only after leaving Lahore for Kolkata where he must have discovered the growing popularity of this German origin system of medicine. Even today when homoeopathic treatment has taken roots in many urban centres of the country, Kolkata remains the metropolis where homoeopathy is the most trusted alternative system of medicine.”
He further says that Mehar Chand Davar had no difficulty in getting admission in Calcutta Homoeopathic Medical College which was the only recognized homoeopathic college in the country. After graduating from the college, Davar spent an additional year for post graduate degree specializing in Tuberculosis. Having finished his post graduation Davar moved to Lahore in 1935 and set up his practice there and soon became very popular. But before leaving Calcutta he took a pledge that he will get homoeopathy recognized by the government of India in two years time. This was because homoeopathy was not yet recognized and there were many quacks who had sprouted in Kolkata and other big cities...Having gained the confidence of a large number of members of the Central Assembly, and with the help of his friends and patients turned friends he managed to get the signatures of 40 members of the Assembly for tabling a resolution for recognition of Homoeopathy by the government of India. … “The resolution on recognition of Homoeopathy was moved in the Central Assembly with the majority of Congress members favouring the resolution. Put to vote, the resolution was carried by a narrow margin of eight votes. Thus Homoeopathy was recognized by the Imperial government of India, 10 years before independence. Today, after 75 years of independence there are over 3 lakh qualified homoeopathic medical doctors and nearly 200 recognized colleges in India.”

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