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Dr. P.N. Varma - A Silent Crusader who has changed the face of Homoeopathy in India

Dr. Nidhi Luthra

Dr. P.N. Varma completes over 50 years of active service promoting homoeopathy scientifically. The widely read "Pondering Views" by him is highly popular, each discussing different but contemporary vexing problems faced by homoeopaths. Pressurized by massive demand to know more about him, his work we digged deep into his past.

Dr. P.N. Varma

Dr. P.N. Varma, an Indian homoeopath and a scientist has made significant contributions to homoeopathy - the studies of learning and motivation, scientific aspects, professional practice and unique books on the subject. Dr. P.N. Varma was born in 1937 at Patna. He remained there as he grew up. Very few know this fact about him being born in a family of homoeopath Dr. A. L. Varma (DALVAR). His father was an active leader for the development of homoeopathy and is credited for the establishment of first homoeopathic manufacturing unit and a homoeopathic medical college in 1928-29 in the state of Bihar. After Bengal, Bihar was hot with activities for Government recognition of homoeopathy. The activities and efforts materialized in 1953 by an enactment called Development of Homoeopathic System Act, 1953 of which his father was an active leader. He represented India at International Homoeopathic Congress in London, as back as 1950, and founded an association for research in Homoeopathy. He read about the status of homoeopathy in India carried in Britain Homoeopathic Journal October 1950 issue. This Dr. P. N. Varma re-enacted by representing Govt. of India at International Homoeopathic Congress 1990 at Barcelona (Spain).

Always on the Top
Dr. P.N. Varma had done his B. Sc from Patna University and secured the top position with a gold medal followed by M.Sc (Tech) Pharmaceutics from the University of Kolkatta. He also topped his post graduate level of the old homoeopathic course.

Hon’ble Health Minister Jagdambi
Prasad during a visit to Dr. Varma’s
office (File photo)

Starting a Career in Homoeopathy
Though he belonged to a family of Homoeopaths, Dr. P.N. Varma’s full interest in homoeopathy only developed after he met Dr. B. K. Sarkar in Kolkatta who inspired him to devote himself to homoeopathy. Dr. B.K. Sarkar considered an authority on homoeopathic philosophy was the first chairman of Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia Committee; it was him who made Dr. Varma a member of the Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia Committee. The committee included Dr. K. G. Saxena, Dr. G. S. Bhar and Dr. P.N. Varma along with Drugs Controller of India and Experts. The aim of the committee was to formulate the standards of homoeopathic drugs for the first time in India. The first Homoeopathic Pharmacopeia of India was published in 1971 that contains the standards of homoeopathic drugs, which attracted the attention of the government. The Government then offered to set up a drug standardisation unit under Dr. Varma’s supervision. Dr. Varma’s decision not to leave Patna during that time made the government take a decision of setting up the unit at Patna itself, provided with a pharmacognosist, pharmacologist, chemist and a homoeopath. Thus with the efforts of Dr. P.N. Varma and some more people, homoeopathy was brought under the purview of Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

Dr. Varma with Mr. B.K. Shrestha
and other prominent manufacturers
during formation of Federation of
Homoeopathic Manufacturers
of India (2001)

Dr. Varma when young got ample interaction with the then stalwarts working for development of homoeopathy in India. With such legacy, it was not difficult for him to get M.D. Homoeopathy in early 50’s. In mid fifties in a small book on Family Guide, he had highlighted about the deficiency of vitamins, minerals as cause of many suffering and listed the vitamin contents of different food items which could be suggested along with homoeopathy. In 1962, his three papers on Hygrophilla were accepted by the Indian Science Congress. Immediately followed another paper “Scientific basis of Homoeopathy”. It was carried by all the leading homoeopathic Journals. He came in focus for his ability to interpret homoeopathic concepts with modern technology, trends and practices. His background with university top career, gold medal, and unique combination of a homoeopathy and pharmaceutics HMD (the then postgraduate degree in homoeopathy) M.Sc.(Tech) Pharma of Calcutta University paved his credibility as a consultant both in industry and profession. Disturbed with the then prevailing quality of homoeopathic medicines, he wrote to the Government of India and others for urgent need for Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India and statutory controls. He was made a member of the Working Group with Dr. B.K. Sarkar, Dr. K.G. Saxena and Mr. Bhar to expedite release of pharmacopoeia in 1967 (where he was retained till he retired in 1995) and later the responsibility of establishing Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory in 1975 and Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy in 1979. They are the two apex bodies of Govt. of India for quality control and research respectively.

Irrespective of political changes
taking place at Union Cabinet level,
Dr. Varma successfully promoted
homoeopathy and its expansion plans.
Here, explaining details to attentive
Hon’ble Minister, Mr. Alam.

Rightly called the Grandmaster of Homoeopathy (the title conferred upon him jointly by ten homoeopathic associations in the year 1989), Dr. P.N. Varma, his knowledge on homoeopathic medicines with their pharmacological aspects is amazing. I haven’t met any other homoeopathic doctor (with due respect to all homoeopaths) who can most clearly or explicitly talk about the scientific aspects of homoeopathy. His authority over scientific basis of homoeopathy cannot be debated upon. When we talk of scientific homoeopathy, we talk of Dr. P.N. Varma. Dr. P.N. Varma has changed the way that many have looked upon homoeopathy by giving it a scientific bend, yet clearly unexplained so far.

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