Iqbal’s speech on the resolution regarding Unani and Ayurvedic’ Systems of Medicine delivered on the 22nd February, 1928.
Sir, the impression is gaining ground amongst the people of this country that the Government has commercial interests in view and is, for this reason, encouraging Western system of medicine on the one side and discouraging indigenous system of medicine on the other. I do not know how far this impression has basis in truth but the fact remains that the Yunani and Ayurvedic systems of medicine do not find favor with the Government.
In my opinion, in spite of all that the supporters of the Western system of medicine say, the latter has yet to learn much from the Unani system of medi cine. Many of the books written on the Yunani system and specially those written by Najib-ud-Din Samarqandi, have not been published. There are in the libraries of Europe many works which, if published, are sure to serve as eye-openers to those who boast of superiority of the Western system of medicine.
Nor can we lose sight of the fact that ours is a poor country. Its people cannot afford an expensive system of medicine. It is, therefore, essential to introduce and encourage a cheaper system. From this point of view I think our Yunani and Vedic systems very much suit the people Of course the way in which our medicines are prepared is defective and requires improvement an institution is needed to teach pharmacy.
Our own system of pharmacy, I believe, is more conducive to the health of the people than any other methods. If you excuse me, Sir, a little digression, I may mention that while I was in England, an English friend of mine told me that our way of cooking food was unnatural so much so that the original flavor of the food was entirely lost in the act of cooking it He praised the Western way of cooking food. Thereupon I told him that what we did with our food, the Westerners did with their medicines. I will, therefore, request the Government to give a little more attention to this matter.