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A medical sociologist with a historian's obsession with detail and documentation, Poonam Bala tenaciously follows the developmental trajectory of medical pluralism in India with a keen eye to the dynamic social production of health and healing systems as social systems, practices, and technologies of power. Covering a broad swathe of history, this book explores how a turbulently emerging Indian State with shifting alliances and evolving rules ideologies (with the accompanying emergence of class and caste identities and opportunities) gave rise to a particular growth of scientific and, specifically, medical traditions in India. As a set of healing practices, a literary art, and a cultural knowledge base, India's medical traditions represent 'an acculturated product' of competing ideologies and the expression of contested State, and social and religious policies over time. Bala focuses on the power of State intervention and multiple levels of patronage to shape medical practice and theory, and in turn, India's very history.