Why Pavlov

Dhirendranath discussed and did his research on Pavlov all his life and he may easily be called a pioneer in this field in the whole of Asia. He introduced the talent of Pavlov as a scientist in our country otherwise the latter would have been known to only a few people confirmed in the text books only. He was the first to reveal the scientific genius of Pavlov and his influence on our daily life and thought and that alone accounts how a discussion on Pavlov and Dhirendranath is one and the same.

It has to be necessarily remembered that Pavlov was born in Tzaristic Russia, although he was a jew, and worked for 19 years in Post-revolution Russia. On the otherhand Dhirendranath was nutured in British India for 36 years. He started his research work on Pavlov in post-independent India.There certainly was a difference between Pavlov's Russia and Dhirendranath's Bengali society on social-economic ground. The uproar that took place due to Tzar Alexander's work on reformations in Russia could be compared to the changes in thought-current in so called Bengal Renaissance which affected every field of thought but access to European development in the medical science was not so easily available to Dhirendranath as it was to Pavlov.

As such the opportunities that Pavlov enjoyed on his way to become a scientist was not available to Dhirendranath. Also there remained a long tradition of research in the field of physiology in Russia. That helped Pavlov to adopt research on physiology as the goal of life for more easily which was denied to Dhirendranath due to such meagre facilities in India. There also was a lack of such researchers in India who continued any work of research unabated on any subject specially medicine. Further the science of psychology was by then coming out of philosophy and was almost being born as a separate and independent branch of medical science. In such an uncertain field of career Dhirendranath opted for reaserch and profession in the arena of psychology and he could see none who had done so in order that he could get an inspiration as a model. On the other hand Pavlov could drew his inspiration from scientists like Sechenov, Tsion and such other physiologists who were both powerful and worthy to be followed as ideal teachers. There was also a difference in the brain-type of Pavlov and Dhirendranath.

It was in 1936 that Dhirendranath came to know Pavlov suddenly in Australia through Dr. Bethune. Prior to this he had heard about Pavlov like other students but was get yet to understand the importance of his work. He came to know of it from the works of Pavlov that Dr. Bethune left behind on his way to Russia to attend the funeral of the former. Incidentally Dhirendranath stayed in the same house where Dr. Bethune stayed when he had gone to Australia to learn the process of manufacture of powdered milk. There he read the works of Pavlov and came to know the importance of research on neurophysiology which was to change the course of his desired career in life.

Next came a period of conflict. Inspired by Acharya Prafulla Roy's ideal to make India self-sufficient in the field of industrial business, Dhirendranath had thought of the manufacture of powdered milk and he was the only holder of such a certificate in that field in India. He graduated from Calcutta Medical College in 1931 and went for relief work in earhquake stricken Bihar and he had no ambition to be a practising physician at that time. On his return from Bihar he, therefore, concentrated on the business of manufacture of powdered milk following the call of Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy to make the country self-reliant through the spread of Industrial Business and that really prompted him to go forward on the line of his choice without any thought for treatment of patients as a medical practitioner. He went to Australia to learn the trade of his choice but within a few years he realised that to pursue the same was not at all smooth and easy. Within a short period he faced a great crisis in the business of his choice and settled in his Bhowanipur residence closing the trade that he very idealistically started.

In such a tight corner as above, Dhirendranath had the only option to start a profession as a medical practitioner and that he did being a practising psychiatrist privately. The time was 1945-46 and Dhirendranath was about 35 years of age. Initially he started his medical practice in the rented house of Bhowanipur and later in the rented house at Shyambazar permanently.

Here it needs be remembered that Dhirendranath faced extreme poverty during his student days and it was then that he came in touch with active left politics which made it easier for him to be a social scientist rather than a psychiatrist. That was also a time when psychiatry did not develop in our country as of today and that accounts for his work in that field as a pioneer scientist. He was extremely successful as a practising psychiatrist in the later stage of his life and if his original contribution in hypnotic suggestion-therapy could be recorded properly then he would have been known as a front-line psychiatrist of the world but that was not possible to be done and, therefore, it is not a place to discuss the same. Many do not know that apart from his social bondage he was attracted to revolutionary movements in pre-independent India and was attracted to Marxism reading such literature.

On his return from Australia he contacted the Russian Embassy to get hold of Pavlov's research works and pursue his studies in that direction. After this he was engaged in the business production of powdered milk for 12-14 years but was unsuccessful in doing so. That made him rent a house around 1947-48 in Bhowanipur and start practice as a physician. There were may choices in his mind at that time but there was an interim period when he was not associated with practising medicine. Tradition required him to learn the practice anew which was insulting to him and so he decided to work in such a field of medicine where he would not be compelled to work as an intern.

At that time he was urged to do something with his social consciousness which was developed with the integration of Pavlovian second signalling system and Marxian dialectical materialism and that prompted him in his choice to practise psychiatry.That apart he nurtured some boyhood hobbies like football and drama. He wrote many plays and organised a play-group to stage those plays. We may now call those plays as India's first qualitatively composed psychodramas. He also decided to bring out a Bengali journal dedicated to the emancipation of the working class through the individual emancipation of people in the perspective of Marxian social science, social workers and the front runners of the party, educated in the modern trend. So in 1961 under his editorship was published quarterly Manabmon. It must be mentioned that the name Manabmon came from Dhirendranath's young poet friend Arunachal Bose.

From the above it is not difficult to understand that due mainly to social obligations Dhirendranath was not able to concentrate either in physiology or in psychiatry and so he spread his life's activities in many diverse directions. Hence he was not able to get for himself any strict disciplined academic studies and research as Pavlov did. We could expect that from him had he gone to any Western country to pursue his research and psychiatry practice remaining attached to any Institution in India. That helped many lesser people to earn greater honour and recognition in the field of psychiatry than him. Due to such negligence he immersed himself fully in the socio-political thoughts in many diverse directions and started flowering in such a field day by day.

In midst of all such activities enummerated above, he organised many seminars, discussions and himself participated in those. That undoubtedly spread the name and scientific works of Pavlov on Indian soil. This indeed is a mentionable fact in our social history and he participated in discussions wherever those were held and he was invited to participate. The only problem remained in that the American Psychaitry Association did not support Pavlov's hypnotic suggestion therapy and so the latter was not accorded the importance he deserved in India. Pavlov's scientific discoveries, therefore, faced ridicule which was uncalled for Dhirendranath, inspite of his powerful influence and abilities, was not serious enough to establish the great scientific mind of Pavlov to psychiatrists of India to counter the ridicules that they hurled at Pavlov's thoughts unnecessarily.

The Work of Pavlov

Basic research on neurophysiology had started fairly at the time of Pavlov and the curious readers would do well to read Daniel Todes Pavlov's Physiology Factory, published by Jhon Hopkins University in 2002. However Pavlov had worked on Russia's tradition of systematic research on physiology in such areas as cardiovascular system, digestive system, autonomic nervous system etc.. Working that way Pavlov automatically entered into the baffeling 'psychic secretion'. He was trained in various famous laboratories of Europe under renowned physiologist such as Hidenhen, Ludig and he had an idea of the nature and structure of physiological laboratories. While carrying on his research as mentioned Pavlov discovered condition reflex as applied to the higher cortex of animals. Out of this research emerged laboratory made experimental neurosis, orienting reflex (what it is?), personality types etc. Still a doubt did arise to their applications on human beings for the experiments were carried on dogs. That made Pavlov carry a different experiment.

A small boy would fold his finger if electric shock was given to that part. It was an unconditional reflex. If then a warning bell was sounded then the boy would fold his finger hearing the bell itself. It was a preliminary conditional reflex. If now the word 'bell' was written on a paper the boy would fold his finger looking at it. What experiment was it then?

The above experiment had shown a conditional reflex concerning a bell in the boy's mind. The bell sybmbolically through our language had given rise to a particular signal message. That bell consciousness created in him a special awareness regarding all known and unknown bells. Knowledge of such human language from our infancy gives rise to such conditional reflex within us. Thus from the progress of our language learning the symbolic representations of events that we encounter from a chain of conditional reflexes in a very disciplined way. That phenomenon has been termed second signalling system. Because it develops through our unconditional reflexes of special signalling senses which we may call first signalling system.

Pavlov through his theory of inhibition, also given the explanation of the phenomenon hypnosis acting on our nervous system. While working on animals Pavlov observed that there is a tone in the activities of the brain that controls our all such conscious activities such as motivation, memory, intelligence, attention, judgement etc.. Therefore the amount by which such tone increases or decreases according to that the brain gets excited or depressed or awake or sleepy or hypnotic depending on different psychical state. Pavlov, at that time, had no access to modern instruments in laboratories to measure accurately the physiological activities of the organs of animals. Also knowledge of the composition and activities of the brain were very limited then. Hence Pavlov's research on the human brain was based on hypothetico-deductive method or according to Whewell-Wilson's term method of consilience (jumping together, just opposite to reductionism). Later the students of Pavlov worked in this field in Russia and East Europe extensively.

With the fruits of the labour of the foregone researches Dhirendranath started his theoretical work on the subject 'word as a psychotherapeutic factor'. The principle of this was to employ 'words' as suggestion in psychotherapy or to use the same for treatment of psychiatry. For we make people laugh or cry or inspire with words. Thus Dhirendranath used Pavlov's research on cerebral cortex practically in his psychiatry treatment.

Later Dhirendranath went to Russia many times to see the research of Pavlov but was not satisfied. He had presumed that the theory of conditioned reflex coupled with second signalling system could be stretched for further research in that direction which sadly was not done. Therefore the treatment of psychiatry cases which Dhirendranath started here was methodically his very own and that reflected the original process of his individual approach to psychiatry and its treatment of psychiatry patients.

Psychiatry in India

It may also be said that psychiatry was not so common in India at that point of time though Girindrasekhar started work in this field around 1930 in R.G.Kar Medical College but it was not systematically continued the way it should have been. In those days vagabond chronic schizophrenics were commonly termed lunatics. At that time only three doctors worked in this field --- they were Dhirendranath, Dr. Ajit Deb and Dr. Davis in Ranchi. Later Dr. Nagen Dey, on his return from England, started treating psychiatry patients. Also there was hardly any medicine for psychiatry patients. When any patient was disturbed, he was given bromide and if depressed he was given caffeine. In the meantime the followers of Freud had organised Indian Psychoanalytical Society during the Second World War. Dhirendranath introduced Pavlov in India much after that period. He called himself a follower of Pavlov but that was not highlighted at all and for this a few things could be held responsible.

First and foremost was the fact that almost the entire intelligentsia including even the leftists were deeply influenced by Freudian theory of psychoanalysis. Indian intelligentsia with a deep rooted colonial heritage and enveloped with Vedanta, was no exception. It was found out and preached that Pavlov was a Russian scientist and as such Stalin's communistic Russia made use of Pavlov's methods to brainwash the people of Russia. This assumption was then spread all over the world and Dhirendranath was stamped as a follower of that Russian method.That was also due to the fact Dhirendranath was a pronounced Marxist and most of his friends and acquaintances were such.

Accepting such a situation as above Dhirendranath continued his Pavlov following but he was not attracted by Pavlov's strict discipline of research and its attempt at finding the truth. Also he opted for the establishment of an independent Institute of research on psychiatry rather than an attachment with an established Institution like the Medical College for such research. He was more interested in social science rather than physiology or medicine. He aimed at a change of the mental set-up of the majority of the people rather than an individual and that kept his mind occupied as a pioneer in the field of psychiatry in India as also Asia as an original researcher concerning the same. Such efforts turned him into an Institution himself.

For an assessment of Dhirendranath's research we have to know the work of Pavlov very briefly because where the latter drew an end to his work, the former actually started his psychiatry practice from there itself. Many complain that Pavlov put stress more on the quantitative side of physiology than on its qualitative aspect. This indeed is not correct as Pavlov tried to equate both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the physiological activities of human brain. That was his own effort and its success was not fairly preached in the West. As such Pavlov was honoured more as a physiologist than a psychologist. It may be assumed that Western scientists took time to understand the effort of Pavlov's research in psychology through the medium of the neuroscience specially higher nervous system.

That accounted for the hurdles which prevented true assessment of Pavlov's research stamping it as merely a materialistic work. Dhirendranath's research also grasped unnecessarily on account of that. He moved through the nook and corner of individual human brains and failed in his efforts to systematise the many types of those and came to the conclusion that mental diseases could only be separated broadly. Human beings are self-similar and are all different personality types, so are their mental diseases and their treatments. The history of mental diseases and their treatments have baffled doctors for fairly a long time because of such diversity or individual uniqueness.

If Dhirendranathhad only noted down his experiences then he would have been accorded world recognition. Suffice it to say that we shall, therefore, discuss the merits of Dhirendranath's psychiatry practice in view of the research work of Pavlov.

Practicing Psychiatry

During the time when the medical science was rapidly progressing, psychiatry and psychiatric treatment were also getting developed in its own way. The specialist doctors of various diseases were increasingly realising that mind and body were both connected very closely and so while treating diseases of body, treatment of mental diseases was also necessary. As such with the progress of medical treatment applying newer medicines came to be applied to psychiatry comprising medicines that were not available earlier. Let us touch this subject a little in detail.

The father of psychology Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was a contemporary of Pavlov and a neurologist. He was influenced by the popular concept of physical science i.e. Law of Conservation of Energy. But he was at the same time heavily influenced by German biologist Ernst Haeckel's (1834-1919) theory of recapitualtion i.e. ontogeny repeates its phylogeny. Astonishingly throughout his life this recapitulation theory was his dominant focus in each and every writings.

However Freud believed that vital energy, drive etc. are ingrained in people right from the time of birth and those move in the body till the time of death. As such the growth and development of a person would mean whether the said energy is transforming naturally or getting stuck somewhere somehow. The different sectors of the body for such purpose are mouth, anus and genitals. Therefore if energy or life force is stuck in those parts, then the personality of a person would likewise be influenced and psychological imbalance may also ensue. Freud had an unique notion about mind that it is divided into conscious, unconscious, sub-conscious and such other compartments. So when Freud started his work with psychiatry patients then primarily he thought of the said compartments of the mind of each person and proposed his theories of psychoanalysis, interpretation of dream and such other in connection with his free association method. Still his theories were mere theories substantiated by laboratory experiments but some earned recognition in applied psychotherapy and were being used in various parts of the world though Freud was never popular in the laboratory based scientific culture in Europe.

In the movement of psychology or psychiatry such patients who were totally helpless had to be institutionalised as a social need. So for development of psychiatry demand of biological therapy was increasing. Now on for the treatment of physical ailments, mental diseases were considered or equated for treatment. For this electroconvulsive therapy, brain ablation and inocculation of malarial parasite for creating fever were applied widely though a conflict remained. It cannot be said that the conflict has ended by now though the importance of keeping the mental asylums clean and hygenic was recognised. Then psychotherapy sounded like religious message but in the fifties a revolution started in the field of treatment of psychiatry after introduction of drug chlorpromazine in France in 1950.

American Hegemony

In the above mentioned circumstances, after two World Wars when Europe was shattered, leadership in psychiatry like other fields of science gradually passed into the hands of America. Here it had to be said that conservative European Society did not accommodate it very healthy to dissect the human mind in laboratories. There the famous physiologist Sherrington did not felt comfortable to go beyond spinal cord in research works. He was averse to the idea of connecting the central nervous system i.e. brain with the spinal cord. But Pavlov was fearless and instead of encouraging his research famous British physiologist Sherrington told him, ' Your research work smacks materialism, so it would not be popular here.'

Here the development or honour due to Freud must be given. He thrashed the then Europe's conservative societies concept regarding the double standard dealing between mind and soul and opposition to ideas on sex. What Freud did was to spread his ideas regarding sub-conscious sexual suppression, death-eros, masochism, sadism etc. and that silenced the clergies and the so called leaders of the conservative societies. Still Freud failed to get the recognition due to him from scientists even though he was successful in uprooting the concept of 'soul' from the Europian society, as Laplace-Galelio-Newton and Darwin did it from the physical science and biological science correspondingly.

On the other hand when Freud went to America in 1908 he own the hearts and support of general physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists and the society of the intelligentsia. Two American disciples of Freud namely Brill and Jones as also the dearth of theories of the newly flowering studies of psychology contributed their might in establishing Freud in America. Also William James, the father of American psychology, suffered a heart attack just before the felicitation of Sigmund Freud was held. He suffered from chest pain while talking to Freud and was thus unable to say anything in opposition. That helped Freud conquer America and the entire world for by then America had gone up Europe in every way. The absolute truth of this became further apparent after the two world wars. That also helped the spread of Freudian movement among the progressive leftist intelligentsia of India.

Dhirendranath and his Society

Dhirendranath had to wage his fight like Sabyasachi (Arjuna) against all opposition. Even Dr. Masani, the President of Psychoanalytical Society of India once said to Dhirendranath," You look to be lonely so if you want your own welfare then join us. Otherwise you would be crushed."

Pavlov was truly an academician. On the otherhand Dhirendranath was one of the pioneers of popular science able to express the different aspects of science in fluent Bengali, editor of Manabmon where he wrote on social science for the intelligentsia, a very successful psychiatrist and a dramatist. Still Indian Medical Community did not give him his due recognition inspite of his great qualities of head and heart but he would be greatly remembered in the history of Indian science and philosophy.

One has to think why Dhirendranath was not given due recognition in the present community of doctors. The quotational part would be a little lengthy but on account of necessity a little patience is prayed of the readers. In his essay entitled Bankimchandra regarding his contribution to modern literature Rabindranath Tagore said, "... At a time when best educated Bankimchandra contributed his entire artistic genius at the lotus feet of Bengali language and the great work he did, that we fail to understand properly even today.

Then many lesser people with lesser education than Bankimchandra used to swell up in pride writing a few lines in English. Those people hardly realised that they were building sand dams like squirrels on the sea.

Bankimchandra renounced such pride and honour of his time easily and devoted his entire energy for revealing the unknown to the educated people and there could hardly be anything more courageous than that. Endowed with great power he overlooked the encouragement and honour from people of his type and equal and walked on an unexperimented, unknown and dark path employing his new life's all power, hope and energy with great courage and confidence. It is, therefore, not easy to measure the quality of Bankimchandra."

The above hold good about the singular contributions of Dhirendranath too.

The following are the possible reasons for a proper assessment of the contributions of Dhirendranath in the untrodden field of the science of psychology in India and Asia as well.

  1. Dhirendranath had no conventional specialisation (degree/diploma) in the field of psychiatry. Many thought that he was not a specialist, just a quack or a behavior therapist.
  2. He had no connection with the society of psychiatrists. On the otherhand Dhirendranath was thoroughly disgusted at the limited power of innovation of then practising psychiatrists and used to express the same.
  3. Many psychiatrists and physicians almost thought him to be untouchable as he was a Marxist. A few Marxist physicians only knew party's programmes and slogans and nothing more. That made Dhirendranath the only intelligentsia in his circle where he moved.
  4. The method of his treatment employed hypnosis. That made his contemporary psychiatrists think that in the pretext of treatment Dhirendranath used to cheat and hoodwink people.
  5. Finally Dhirendranath was not attached to any Medical Institution or any educational Institution.

Dhirendranath was perhaps unable to get any student in his life because of the reasons cited above. At the fag end of his life he got some unworthy young psychiatrists who have kept his Institution lighted now. This indeed is not a happy state of affairs.

In this context a few facts may be borne in mind. Dhirendranath never accepted the membership of Marxist party nor was he its blind supporter. He helped many people in diverse ways. Naxalite Amulya Sen (Masterda) did hide in his house day after day. Gopal Halder, Hiren Mukherjee and Bhupesh Gupta were his close associates. Poet Arunachal Basu looked at him as God and Manik Sarkar of S.U.C.I. used to bring patients to him paying Rs.1 as his visit. The present chief minister of this state used to spend time gossiping with Dhirendranath in his Shyambazar residence. He treated many political leaders and workers and helped them generously. His name always appeared in the signature paper of A.P.D.R. and Kapil Bhattacharya organised his first meeting in his house. On his return from China Hemanga Biswas narrated his experience in his house. In his stewardship 'Reflection of contemporary contradiction and alienation on the mind of an artist' was discussed in series seminars. Such and many more instances would prove that he was a complete social man and was never afraid to express his views on any subject freely.

Dhirendranath and his Laboratory

Dhirendranath in his young age helped the secret terrorist parties working as couriers and supplied arms collecting those from Khidirpore Docks. Later the whole society of his motherland was his entire life's research laboratory. He used to think, write and discuss about every subject concerning the people and the society of this country. But he hated disturbance, unlike Pavlov, as he lacked Pavlov's courage. He used to shy away from anything that seemed to brew any disturbance and fearing insult used to think a number of times before asking for any help from anyony for his Institution. Still it must be said that he was greatly helped by his friends and he often said that he was fortunate to get helping friends all around him.

What efforts did Dhirendranath initiate to establish his Institue's laboratory as Pavlov's student? Let a brief history of the same be said for the understanding of encouraging readers as there were only one or two private Institutions when an Institute of Psychology or Psychiatry was being planned. That made the proposed Institute not only the first of its kind in India but in Asia too. On many occasions he planned to set up his desired Institute but dearth of money barred him from realising his desire. He could only organise a few workshops on psychiatry but failed to train general primary care physician in somatizations and psychosomatic disorders of treating patients on financial grounds.

It might be recalled that in 1974 under the leadership of the then Chairman of Central Drug Control Unit, Dr. Bishnu Mukherjee a great search for a house in North 24 Parganas was made for Pavlov Institute's own laboratory. Also a few publications in English were made in that direction but all efforts did not last long. It must be mentioned that Dhirendranath went to Russia thrice but was not satisfied by the work being done on Pavlov and did not show any interest to work in that field here.

On the other hand American psychiatrist Gnat established a laboratory to work on Pavlov's research concerning higher nervous activities in 1930 learning the method from Russia. That spread the achievements of Pavlov among the English speaking nations.

One more fact needs be said that Dhirendranath ran his Institute and research alone without any help from anyone. If asked the reason behind such solitary position of his, then he jokingly said that Bengalees are like amoeba and so their number must be kept lesser and lesser otherwise the Institute would be shattered for there is hardly any example where five able Bengalees have done anything together. Also it would have to be borne in mind that to keep the light of his Institution glowing, Dhirendranath continually suffered from financial plight.

Pavlov was a laboratory based scientist, Dhirendranath was primarily a practitioner of psychiatry yet was a scientist with a difference. Dhirendranath worked on psychology, psychiatry, social science, physiology etc.. On account of that Dhirendranath's due recognition took time in the West as those branches were not recognised as science. That way none knows when will he be accepted as a scientist in India.

Philosopher Debiprasad Chattopadhyay named four great men as truly scientific minded. Akshoy kumar dutta and Prafulla Chandra Roy in the 19th century and Satyendranath Basu and Meghnad Saha in the 20th Century. But there is no dearth of talented people in Bengal and judging from all angles we may call Dhirendranath truly a scientist minus any glamour as he was not a Professor on any renowned College or University. He was just a practitioner psychiatrist and as such quack to many people who failed to know him properly. His due recognition stumbles further as he was a confirmed Marxist trying his best to establish dialectical materialism in Indian tradition of thought. The naked attack of non-Marxist academicians from all fronts pricked him throughout his life. That made him work silently in almost an island of his own thought he could not overcome a disappointment that even his close associates failed to appreciate his pioneering work in psychology and psychiatry. In spite of all such obstacles, Dhirendranath did not waver even an inch from his ideology and social responsibility as a psychiatrist and social activist.

It is surprising to note that after Girindrasekhar, the only man who with some originality practised psychiatry and psychology was none other than Dhirendranath and he alone could claim an authority to that new branch of mental health and neuroscience. He was a product of the Bengal renaissance and it was difficult to find a man his equal at his own time. His writings have yet to be translated in English to make him known to other provinces. Perhaps lack of proper academic discipline left much of his work neglected. Still it is surprising to note that for about fifty years he continiously worked on the psychology and psychiatry innovating newer ways and methodology. Examples of those are as enumerated below:

  1. When in the treatment of psychiatry, psychotherapy or counselling were not applied anywhere in the world, Dhirendranath in 1950 had worked with hypnosis and its concommitants in Calcutta itself. Such psychotherapeutic method of treatment was his own discovery and no research was done on it even in Russia. He started making audiocassettes on the subject of hypnotic-suggestion therapy from 1978 though in India apply of hypnosis in treatment method was thought to be immoral in the footsteps of American Psychiatric Association which had banned it. After many considerations the method was adopted in the sixties in America yet Dhirendranath was ridiculed for such treatment method and he had to work with it.
  2. He used to apply medicines to psychiatry patients in his own way. While treating a patient he used to judge his Pavlovian brain type and treated him accordingly. Dhirendranath did not accept the Western method of application of medicine to a person considering the weight of his body and that created arguments among his students. Later Dhirendranath's method was found correct, as the brain of a patient, it was seen, could hardly tolerate all medicines applied in the conventional psychiatry.
  3. Before accepting such method of treatment he opined that it was very difficult to categorise psychiatric patients and so the patient's brain type and social class had to be considered. It was difficult to accept his opinion for without classification, treatment of psychiatry patient was not at all easy. We realise how Dhirendranath struggled against such odds working in the field of psychiatry. Of late Indian Psychiatry Society in December 2002 has published a pamphlet and sent the same to its members highlighting the problems that Dhirendranath had encountered and for which many people did not hesitate to call him a quack too.
  4. He was very much opposed to the use of E.C.T. or electroconvulsive therapy and used to raise his voice against its use whenever he got a chance. Nowadays all psychiatrists agree that use of E.C.T. must be done very sparingly and carefully if at all needed to do so.
  5. It is now being said in the movement of mental diseases that psychiatry patients must be freed from Asylums and Institutions and brought back to families. It is interesting that Dhirendranath said so around 1950 (documented in Manabmon), far ahead of the present movement.

Dhirendranath said around 1950 that chronic schizophrenics must be counted as mentally handicapped and yet this demand is to be realised.

Many people do not know that Dhirendranath was publicly honoured for his works in 1986 and the mental hospital at Gobra was named Pavlov Hospital and he was named the Chairman of the advisory council but he and his students had to leave the place due to political turmoil. Looking at the psychiatrists there it is suspected if they have at all heard the name of Pavlov and his research.

Leaving aside rivalry and narrow-mindedness in our poor and backward country it is now our duty to properly preserve the fruits of research and present that to the mankind. We must never forget that he represented an entire century in his field. That accounts for the fact that many thoughts and many researches are all stored in his writings representing a century itself. Our efforts should be to scientifically analyse and follow the fruits of his painstaking works spreading fifty years. It is not that we are not trying but to know the true talents such a big person we ought to be equipped further. We rearly have not been able to initiate true research following his example but hope to do so in the future.

Still we shall carry on the work of establishing with honour the names of Pavlov and Dhirendranath as great scientists of higher nervous system. We believe that those who bear the flag get the needed inspiration to do so. We hope that we shall have both power and energy to do so.