1918 The cure of Spanish flu, ordered by doctors, was contraindicated in the principles of Gandhiji | Ahmedabad News – ABOUT MAG 2020

Ahmedabad: The Covid-19 outbreak is a disturbing reminder of a century-old pandemic, the Spanish flu. The flu reduced India’s population by about 1.7 crore in 1918. Even Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India’s freedom movement, was not spared by the flu.

Almost all historians have noted Gandhiji’s reluctance to follow orders from his doctors because they have clashed with his principles.

Many historians report Gandhiji disease. The book entitled “The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-1919: new perspectives”, edited by David Killingray and Howard Pillip, says: “The flu spread in the Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, where Mahatma Gandhi, Charles Andrews and Shankarlal Parikh were affected . “
Almost all historians have noted Gandhiji’s reluctance to follow orders from his doctors because they have clashed with his principles. But everyone describes how he later gave in to doctors’ advice, encouraged by his wife, Kasturba. Laura Spinney in her “Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How the World Changed” says: “The doctors came to give him the benefit of his advice, but he rejected most of it. Many of them protested to him for his promise not to drink milk – the result of his disgust at the practice of phooka, in which air is blown hard into a cow’s vagina to induce her to breastfeed. “
Spinney goes on to say, “Supported by Kasturba, a doctor argued that, based on this, he could not object to drinking goat’s milk, since phooka was not practiced on goats.” Gandhiji agreed, “but later regretted it bitterly,” noted the historian and quoted Gandhiji as saying to an associate later: “Abandoning someone’s guiding philosophy in the interest of living was unacceptable: this prolonged and first long illness in my life provided a unique opportunity to examine my principles and test them. “

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Paula Fonseca