South India

Kammatipaadam...Not a Real Village but a Reel Village

Photography courtesy of  Miles Trevelyan-Johnson

Photography courtesy of Miles Trevelyan-Johnson

The rural lifestyle dependent on hunting and/or agriculture has been the primary socio-cultural preference among civilizations throughout almost all of human history. The early 1800’s saw only 3% of the worlds population living in cities, 150 years later that number had jump to 30%. In 2008 the world’s population was recorded to be equally split between urban and rural areas. It is projected that by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will be living in cities. The majority of this growth will be experienced in less developed countries. 

Advancements in technology, healthcare, access to food, water, shelter and a milieu of other modern amenities have made city life a far more poignant choice than it had been in the past however, to what consequence.

India, the sub-continent has had a crucial influence on the global climate in the areas of medicine, technology and socio-cultural evolution for centuries. More still, India now provides a model for human socio-culturally evolution under the pressures of population growth. 

Kammatipaadam, a film from the Indian State of Kerala – highest English literacy rate in India at 94%, highest life expectancy at 78 years, lowest population growth at 3.4%– artfully depicts the possible effects of urbanizations coming from the perspective of one of the most governmentally successful states in India. 

This time around Arjun’s Arrow speaks with Shaun Romy, about her lead role in the film and its stark rendition of urbanization and its effects on the Dalit communities of India.

Kammatipaadam Trailer



Alternative Medicine, Ayurveda and Cannabis

Nearly 2,700 years ago the Doctor Suśruta authored the text Suśruta-saṃhitā, a keystone text in Ayurveda, a system of medicine founded in India.

The text went on to become foundational to the practices of modern medicine with 184 chapters that analyzed over 1,200 illnesses, 700 medicinal plants, 64 preparations from mineral sources and 57 preparations based on animal sources. The Saṃhitā further examines surgical practice detailing the removal of internal foreign bodies, dentistry, extraction and transplantation of organs and glands, hernia treatment, intestinal failure and obstruction, caesarian section, osteology and the gamut physiological conditions.

Suśruta is perhaps best known for being recorded as the first physician to successfully perform a cataract surgery.

In the Samhita’s references to proper practice in the art and science of medicine; prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ailments plaguing the physical, spiritual and mental condition are practiced systematically, adjusted based on the individuals medical history and lifestyle.    

Despite its use for thousands of years, Ayurveda has been reduced to being labeled as, “alternative medicine” or, “holistic medicine,” when in fact; it is a principal of modern medical science.

Of course, medicine has changed; technology and productivity have been major contributing factors to the changes. However the feasibility of over diagnosis, over prescription and over addiction in the United States, where three out of five American Adults are on at least one prescription drug and the number of adults taking five or more prescription drugs has jumped from 8% to nearly 20% since 2015 the question begs why have historical sciences, not been given tenure in the healthcare world, despite their proven effectiveness.  Dr. Uma Dhanabalan dives into the subject.