'Tabiyat: Medicine and Healing in India’ examined the history and contemporary practice of sustaining human health in one of the world’s great civilisations. The exhibition featured dazzling antiquities and modern vernacular art in an aesthetically seductive, intellectually rich mix of art, science, history and the ordinary made extraordinary.
Tabiyat is the common Indian word for both physical and psychological health.
Traditional midwives, bonesetters, faith healers and heart surgeons sustain tabiyat through radically different practices. Healers in India are as varied as its religions and languages.
Visits to an Indian home, street, shrine or clinic show that practices meet and sometimes blend. But underlying the variety and combinations is a recurring difference. Analytical approaches, like Ayurveda, Unani and Western medicine, contrast with those where spiritual belief predominates.