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Biography

Ramanand Ramadasan from Calicut Kerala, India graduated in English Literature and British and World History, Post Graduate in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work from the University of Calicut. Obtained MPhil in Social Sciences in Health on the topic Pluralism with in Pluralism -Analysing the Sociology of Ayurvedic practice in Kerala from the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi. Currently undergoing PhD from the same University on the Topic of Pluralism in Yoga. I have been working on the field of Traditional Medicine for the last three years and have delivered lectures and published papers on the same topic.

Abstract

Existence of pluralist health care is a global phenomenon. In India; Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homeopathy co-exist with Biomedicine. This paper maps and expresses the different forms of medical practices within the system of Ayurveda. In a sense it is an attempt to look at the pluralism within pluralism. The paper has two parts, the first part is based on the primary research conducted at northern Kerala, India, popularly known as Malabar. The nuances of each system ranging from Kalaripayattu (Martial arts and healing therapy) Paramparya Vaidyans (Traditional healers) Visha Chikitskaks (Snake bite and other poison healers) and Marma Chikitsaks are presented. Along with the interactions of these, different practices with state sponsored Ayurveda is discussed under the sub headings of 1) Ayurveda as a monolith – problems and prospects in homogenizing 2) Terms
of engagement between Local health traditions and Ayurveda- Who is setting the terms? 3) Knowledge transfer – Appropriation or incorporation? 4) Asymmetrical Pluralism- State response to local health traditions. 5) The question of legitimacy – Perspectives from traditional local health practitioners. Second part of the paper deals with the idea of integration of Indigenous systems to heath care. This part is based on secondary sources and it is looking at the ‘Integration Ideas’ used in Indian health sector after
the establishment of Ministry for AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homeopathy). The theme is discussed under various subheadings such as, The history of Ayurveda and its status during Colonial times and Post- Independence. Philosophical tenets, The Rational Irrational dichotomy- Evidence based medicine and Randomized Control Trial,
Areas of interaction with Biomedicine, Biomedicalization of Ayurveda, Levels of Integration, Health security and Ayurveda.