Medical transformation in Madras Presidency: military and civilian perspectives, 1890-1940

Year of award: 2015


  • Arnab Chakraborty    

    University of York

Project summary

This will be an investigation into the growth of complex military medicine and the ways in which it shaped colonial medical policy. I will examine military medicine as a combination of clinical, technological and public health innovations, including trials which were later expanded across colonial Madras. I will look at the transfer of techniques and technology to civilian medicine through Indian Medical Service (IMS) officials. I will also assess variations in urban and rural contexts. 

Using discussions and debates between IMS and Subordinate Medical Service officials, as well as an analysis of official reports, journals and newspapers, I will investigate the counter-narrative of success; the arguments about the dangers, limits and expense of new technologies. I will look at how these influenced military, civilian, indigenous and European perceptions in the Madras Presidency, to what was being classed by colonial authorities as cutting edge medical technologies and care protocols.