The truth behind the legend: European doctors in pre-colonial India
The aim of this article is to point out that the medical history of India in the seventeenth century needs to be studied for its bearing on the history of medical science in this country. During the period 1644–1717, European physicians in India were sought and pampered by the Indian ruling class. English doctors were able to translate this professional goodwill into concrete commercial concessions for the British East India Company. The concessions gave the Company an edge over its rivals, and, more importantly, gave it a cause to fight for. In consequence, the Company was transformed from avaishya (trading) organization into akshatriya (territorial) one. These conclusions warrant a more rigorous professional study of European doctors vis-à-vis their Indian counterparts in the pre-colonial period.