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Famine, disease, medicine and the state in Madras Presidency (1876-78).

Sami, L.; (2006) Famine, disease, medicine and the state in Madras Presidency (1876-78). Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis is a critical examination of the relationship between different levels of the colonial state and its medical services in the relief of famine in Madras Presidency during 1876-78. The state was irrevocably divided in moral, administrative and financial terms in its responses to famine and the provision of famine relief during this episode These divisions made for inconsistencies in the relief of distress, and resulted in widespread suffering and starvation. However, they also allowed for considerable latitude by the Provincial Government in the implementation of Imperial famine policy, and for the medical profession to gain administrative authority by claiming expertise in the scientific determination of standards of state support for the famine stricken. This famine heralded the beginning of organized all-India state intervention in famine processes through the institution of famine codes and organized bureaucratic machinery for the early prevention of agrarian distress through prompt state intervention. To this extent, this particular episode was a 'prime mover' in the history of the medical profession and the history of state intervention in famine relief in India. The thesis seeks to address critically several problems in the historiography of famine, colonial medicine, disease and the state in modern South Asia through this case study. It attempts to do so through a critical re-examination of material used by previous authors and the use of some hitherto unused sources from the Provincial archives.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Famine, disease, medicine and the state in Madras Presidency (1876-78).
Identifier: PQ ETD:592238
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest
UCL classification:
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1444928
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