Hamdard and Unani: The Contested Terrain of Indo-Muslim Medical Knowledge
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This thesis is a historical anthropological study of the Indian branch of herbal pharmaceutical company Hamdard. I examine Hamdards commercial representation of the Indo-Islamic tradition of medicine called Unani, through a document analysis of a variety of company commissioned literature, including marketing pamphlets, conference proceedings, scientific journal articles, newsprint media, educational materials, and print advertisements. Established in 1906, Hamdard emerged and developed during a period of Indian Muslim cultural modernization, Hindu nationalism, and anti-colonial politicization. I analyze the ways in which Hamdard literature contextualizes a narrative of the companys growth within this history, which sets the backdrop for Unanis professional reform in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century India. An emergent theme in my textual analysis, which I address throughout my project, is how Hamdardas an Indian Muslim companynegotiates this identity while articulating belonging in India.