Traditional Indian Medicine: heritage, health security, ontology
In 2012 the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) offered institutional and logistic support to build, strengthen and consolidate a research network on the contemporary relevance of Indian Medical Heritage (InMerit_RN). This network off ers a virtual space for collating research findings and other information about India’s medical heritage, covering diverse perspectives, interests and backgrounds (www.iias.nl/research/indian-medical-heritage-research-network). Besides off ering a platform to researchers, InMerit_RN also wants to inform the larger public about the outcomes of social-cultural and historical research on Indian medicine. The network especially wishes to link initiatives and people who work on the contemporary relevance of these traditions both in India and in Europe. Of special interest is the integration of Indian medicine in India’s public health system and its role as a second resort for middle class Indians and Europeans: the ‘CAMinisation’ of Indian medicine. Since the 1980s ayurveda in particular, the largest and best known among India’s medical traditions, has been exported to the West and taken its place as a form of ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ (CAM). This makes Indian medicine, in addition to being a local and national phenomenon for which there is a department in the Indian Ministry of Health, a global affair.
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