Leprosy in Colonial South India: Medicine and Confinement

By Jane. Buckingham | Go to book overview
Save to active project

7
Confining Leprosy Sufferers: the Lepers Act

If the initiation of the Leprosy Commission was a reflection of both British admiration for Fr Damien and fear of the disease, then the Government of India's March 1889 decision to employ ‘special legislation’ was also as much a reflection of fear as of the change in viceroys in December 1888 from Dufferin to Lansdowne. On 15 June 1889, ‘a Bill to make provision for the isolation of lepers and the amelioration of their condition’ was circulated for comment to all local government and administrative authorities in India. 1


The 1889 Leprosy Bill

The 1889 Bill revived the issue of forced confinement of vagrant leprosy sufferers raised in the 1840s, and again by the Royal College of Physicians' report. As before, it was not those of the higher socio-economic classes with leprosy, but those who were also vagrant and poor, the majority of whom were Indian and Eurasian, who were identified by British authorities as a group for whom, in Foucault's terms, confinement was a natural condition and the asylum a true ‘homeland’. 2

The limitation of confinement to vagrant leprosy sufferers alone and the absence of disease-control measures to regulate the work and, if necessary, movements of non-vagrant leprosy sufferers, were matters of dispute among British and Indian authorities, as they had been in Norway. Criticism of the 1889 Leprosy Bill marked the beginning of a decade's debate and negotiation over the terms of legal compulsory confinement of leprosy sufferers in India. Comment on the Bill from the Madras presidency indicated the extent of conflict among medical, legal and administrative authorities within

-157-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Leprosy in Colonial South India: Medicine and Confinement
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 236

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?