Social Scientist. v 26, no. 306-307 (Nov-Dec 1998) p. 1.


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Introduction

This issue of the Social Scientist brings together diverse themes for our readers. The first paper - 'Siting the body: Perspectives on health and medicine in colonial Orissa' - focuses on certain aspects against a canvas of social history. Taking up the adivasis and the non-tribal communities, it explores various complexities that range from the Hinduisation of tribals and the contestory aspects vis-a-vis non-tribals to inoculation, the so-called subversive cults and black magic.

Sanjoy Bhattacharya's, 'Re-devising Jennerian vaccines?: European technologies, Indian innovation and the control of smallpox in South Asia, 1850 -1950' delineates the technological aspects of vaccination in colonial India. While questioning the method of locating a 'monolithic' medical establishment which imposed western medicine, it outlines the way things actually worked. Here Bhattacharya contextualises the vaccination programme by referring to factors like class, or the rural areas which were plagued by persistent infrastructural constraints. As emphasised, the opposition to vaccination was premised on a host of complex reasons and not just because it was 'European in character.' The paper projects'the experiments and innovations, which sometimes assumed the form of inoculation in the rural areas. As argued, this could also be seen as a reason to explain the opposition to vaccination. And finally, Bhattacharya shows how the issue of experiments on humans was a feature that was considered normal even in England and a nationalist reading of this can be flawed since vaccine testing on humans actually increased after August 1947, though it did become 'progressively unfashionable' to refer to it.

Manjiri N. Kamat's, The War Years and the Sholapur cotton textile industry' situates Sholapur and its labour history in the context of plague, scarcity, labour shortages and the working conditions in the textile mills. She delineates the links between colonialism and the Indian capitalists at Sholapur by mentioning the pattern of



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