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PSYCHOANALYSIS IN COLONIAL INDIA
PSYCHOANALYSIS IN COLONIAL INDIA
OXFORD U N IV ER SITY PRESS
t t b
OXFORD uxrwftjmr m u
YMCA Ubraiy Budding, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi 110001 Oxford University P it« to a department of the University of Oxford. It farther* the University's objective of excellence in research, achokrahfr and education by publishing worldwide to Oxford New York
Athem Auckland Bangkok Bogod Buenoa Aire* Cape Tbwn Chennai Dar es Salaam Delhi Florence Hoag Kong Istanbul Karachi Kotkata Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Mumbai Nairobi Paris Sto Paulo Shanghai Singapore Taipei Tbkyo Ibronto Warsaw with associated companies in Berlin Ibadan Oxford b a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press In the UK and in certain ocher countries Published to India by Oxford University Press O Oxford Unhmtoy Press 2001 The moral rights of the author have been asserted Database right Oxford University Press (maker) First published 2001 AH rights resered. No part of this pubhcadon may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, to any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at die address above Ydu muse d o c drculate this book to any ocher binding or cover and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer ISBN 019 5*4 5421 Typeset to Dante MT by Eleven Arts, Keshav Puram, Delhi 110035 Primed to India by Pauls Press. New Delhi 110020 and published by M anar Khan. Oxford University Press YMCA Library Building, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi 110001
t y iZ '2 .'7 3 0 fo I - i H - oM
I n t r o d u c t io n
T h e Structure o f the Book
Personal, T heoretical and M ethodological Perspectives W h a t This Book is N ot A bout
PARTI BRITISH PSYCHOANALYSTS IN COLONIAL INDIA Chapter 1 T
U sb s
reatm ent o f
P sychoanalysis in
B r it ish P a t ie n t s
T h e 'Punjab Head*: Psychological Aspects o f British Life in Colonial India in the 1920s T h e T reatm ent o f M entally D isturbed British Subjects in Colonial India O w en Berkeley-Hill (1879-1944)
Berkeley-Hill's Innovations in the E uropean M ental Hospital Psychoanalysis in th e Colonial Context: A Case Vignette
vi • Contents C hapter 2 B r it ish P sychoanalytical T I n d ia n P o l it ic s
exts o n
C u ltu re
Berkeley-Hill's Publications on Hindus, Muslims and Anglo-Indians Hindus as the White Man's Burden
Mujlinu as Threat to Europeans: 53 *Lessonsfor the Practical Politician' Berkeley-Hill 'j Vïcwj on Sex and Race
Beyond ‘Divide and Rule': On Hindu-Muslim Unity
C.D. Daly (1884-1950) on Kali and Bande Mataram On Kali and the Hindus'Castration Complex A Psychoanalytic Study o f Indian Revolutionary Activities
Berkeley-Hill and Daly in Retrospect: India and its Discontents
PART II T H E W ORK OF INDIAN PSYCHOANALYSTS C hap ter 3 P sychoanalysis
T he Institutionalization o f Psychology and Psychoanalysis in Calcutta
G irindrasekhar Bose (1887-1953): T he Doyen o f Psychoanalysis in British India
T he Form ation o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society
C hapter 4 T
reatm ent o f
in t h e
I n d ia n P a tien ts
A Deck Chair in Lieu o f Freud's Couch: 121 T he Structure o f Bose's Psychoanalytic Practice
Contents • vii Bose's Psychoanalytic T heory
‘T h e W ish to be Female': Tw o Case Vignettes Case No. 212
Case No. 441
Vishnu on Freud's D esk and Freud's P ortrait in Bose's Office: T he C orrespondence betw een Bose and Freud Psychoanalytic Elem ents in th e W ork o f O th er Indian Psychotherapists D. Satya Nand
C hapter 5 I n d ia n P sychoanalytical T C ulture
exts o n
P o l it ic s
H om age to Freud, and to Indian T h o u g h t
Psychoanalysis in the Transition to Independence Indian W ritings on the 'O th er
H ie Indian 'Anti-Oedipus': 181 Variations o f the Oedipal Triangle A fterm a th
A cknow ledgem ents
B ib l io g r a p h y
h e co lo n ial situ a tio n h a d a decisive im p a c t o n th e early developm ent o f psychoanalysis in India. Sigm und Freud's Indian followers integrated psychoanalysis into their struggle for independence. British colonial officers, on the o th er hand, defended British colonial hegem ony w ith the help o f psychoanalysis. Case studies and culturaltheoretical publications employing psychoanalysis in British India were th u s n o t only representations o f psychoanalytic findings, b u t also rejections o f o r adaptations to the respective colonial realities o f their authors. T h at psychoanalytic practice and w riting in colonial India w ould be so closely interw oven w ith social contexts w as n o t w h at Freud h ad envisioned psychoanalysis to be; his ideal was th a t o f a culturally an d politically im partial and universally applicable science. A closer lo o k at Freud's correspondence reveals, however, th at his attitudes tow ard ‘the O ther m irrored European hegem onic strivings. In letters to his friend W ilhelm Fliess, Freud confessed to his identification w ith conquistadors and colonizers, and on 13 Decem ber 1931, Freud w rote to Girindrasekhar Bose, thanking him for an ivory figure o f Vishnu th at Bose had sent him on behalf o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society: 'T h e Statuette is charm ing, I gave it the place o f h o n o r o n m y desk. As long as I can enjoy life it will recall to m y m ind the progress o f Psychoanalysis(,) the proud conquests it has m ade in foreign countries . . / (emphasis m ine).1 This cobra-headed representation o f Vishnu indeed rem ained w ith
2 ♦ Psychoanalysis in Colonial India Freud until the end o f his life and stood o u t am ong th e ‘dirty, old g o d s / as. he called his collection o f prim arily Greek, R om an and Egyptian statues, because it was n o t earth-coloured b u t ivory w hite, n o t an antique b u t a contem porary carving, n o t M editerranean b u t S outh Asian. But Freud's ‘conquest* in India rem ained o ne in his im agination only. T he psychoanalytical ‘intem ationale’ o f w hich he dream ed was n o t realized, and the Freudian O rient was n o t w hat Freud had th o u g h t it was. As will be show n, in their public voices Indian m em bers o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society did n o t tu rn o u t to be theoretically loyal to Freud, for they pointed o u t th at central assum ptions o f his psychoanalytic theory either w ere n o t valid in the Indian cultural context, o r had to be adjusted to fit these conditions. As a result o f his extensive experience w ith Indian, prim arily Bengali H indu, patients, Bose developed his ow n psychoanalytic th eo ry and th e ra p e u tic m eth o d , w hich h e com m u n icated to F reud in th e ir correspondence. Thus, through his letters to Freud betw een 1922 an d 1937, Bose sought to tu rn Freud's conquistadorial m onologue in to a dialogue. Bose and th e o th e r fifteen founding m em b ers o f th e Indian Psychoanalytical Society w ere m ostly Bengali m edical doctors o r psychology professors (o r b o th as in th e case o f Bose), w h o m et regularly in the residence o f the Bose family at 14, Parsibagan Lane in Calcutta. This 'salon' soon becam e a centre o f psychoanalytical activities, and even th o u g h th ere w as n o 'c o n q u e st', th e re w as nevertheless a lively reception o f psychoanalysis in colonial India. T he form ation o f this society as early as 1921 was unusual. N ot only was it th e first one outside the Euro-American w orld, b u t it was founded even before several E uropean societies, for example th e French one.2 A reconstruction o f the activities o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society has significance w ell beyond assem bling in fo rm atio n o n an o th er facet o f the early institutional history o f psychoanalysis. In M arch 1922, F reud w ro te to L ou A n d re as-S alo m i: 'T h e m o st interesting item o f news in the psycho-analytic w orld is the foundation o f a local gro u p in C alcutta— W ith one exception th e m em bers are all learned Hindus' (emphasis m ine).3 And a year later, Freud w ro te to Nikolai Osipov, a Russian psychoanalyst w h o h ad em igrated to P rague after the Bolshevik revolution, and w ho was expecting th a t a
Introduction • 3 psychoanalytic association w ould soon be form ed in Czechoslovakia: 'I, to o , am glad th at your isolation will soon end. . . . A n u m b er o f H indu scholars in C alcutta have already anticipated you and have established a local chapter th ere' (emphasis m ine).4 T hus, as Freud repeatedly m entioned, m ost o f th e m em bers o f th e Indian Psychoanalytical Society w ere trained in W estern m edicine a n d /o r psychology, as well as 'H indus'. W hereas Freud and his Jewish and C h ristian p atien ts to o k m o n o th eistic an d p atriarch al view s for g ranted, th e religious references o f these Bengali H indu therapists and those o f their patients potentially included a variety o f gods and goddesses. Moreover, Bengali H indu mythological, philosophical and scientific traditions, family structures, interpersonal relationships, g e n d e r ro les a n d life plans differed fu n d am e n tally fro m th o se characteristic o f Freud's intellectual and social m ilieu in Vienna. A reconstruction o f th e psychoanalytic w o rk o f Indian m em bers o f th e Indian Psychoanalytical Society can therefore be based on self-expressions o f 'Hindus*, and n o t o n attributions from foreign travellers. T h ere is a second im portant aspect o f Freud's characterization o f his followers in India, i.e., th at they w ere H indu scholars, o r learned H indus. In the G erm an original Freud w rote 4gcbildet\ w hich m akes it clear th at he m eant 'leam edness' o r 'scholarship' in term s o f W est ern standards. T he resulting duality in Freud's labelling (i.e., Westem -educated and Hindus) is im portant. British colonialism h ad a tre m endous im pact n o t only on the physical landscape o f India, b u t also on the Indian population. T h ro u g h various colonial institutions, including universities, British ways o f acting and thinking w ere im posed, first upon Bengalis, th en u p o n Indians in o th e r parts o f the country. In fact, colonial institutional structures and colonialism's im print on the 'inner w orld' o f the Bhadralok, the W estern-educated Bengali elite, provided the m eans for the early reception o f psychoa nalysis and the application o f psychoanalysis as a form o f treatm en t in colonial India. It is indicative o f the colonial situation in Calcutta betw een 1920 and 1947 that while they followed avant-garde developments in Europe, and lectured and w rote in English, Bose and oth er Indian m em bers o f die Indian Psychoanalytical Society also distanced themselves from their
4 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India British m asters, for exam ple by expressing pride in th e ir Bengali language and cultural heritage, and supporting political independence.’ Bose also explicitly criticized Freud's missionary zeal and die way he tried to keep the psychoanalytic m ovem ent under his control. In his opinion, Freud organized th e m ovem ent 'like a church*, and an imaginative portrait o f Freud th at he had sent him in 1922 depicted h im as a distinguished British colonial officer.4 Colonial India w as British India, and am ong th e m ost influential m em bers o f th e Indian Psychoanalytical Society w ere also tw o British arm y officers. T heir publications m irro r the strain and grow ing fears o f British subjects at th e dawn o f India's independence. O ne o f them , Lt. Col. O w en Berkeley-Hill, used psychoanalysis in his treatm en t o f his patien ts at th e E uro p ean M ental H ospital n e a r Ranchi. T h e sym ptom s and treatm en t o f these patients reveal aspects o f life in colonial India th at are usually left o u t in texts o n the Raj. BerkeleyH ill's case vignettes o f these patients reveal an o th er side o f this 'jewel in the crown*, in w hich m ental disorders, syphilis, suicides, alcoholism, hom esickness and loneliness overshadowed th e usually portrayed sparkling side. T he European inm ates o f this and o th e r institutions did n o t have a voice that could be heard outside the walls surrounding th e asylum, n o r did they have the choice o f retu rn in g to England, for they w ere in m ost cases n o t privileged enough to be shipped hom e. As different as Beikeley-Hill's and Bose’s patients w ere, they shared th e experience that they w ere the ones in their respective social groups w h o w ere m o st exposed to th e various ideological and cu ltu ral schisms th at cam e w ith colonialism. Berkeley-Hill and Lt. Col. C.D. Daly, an o th er British officer and long-term m em ber o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Sodety, also tried to give a stru ctu re to th e alien w orld aro u n d th e m by applying psychoanalytic concepts to aspects o f life in India th a t appeared uncanny, strange o r threatening to them . A m ong th eir objects o f psychoanalytic interpretation w ere H indu rituals, th e w orship o f th e goddess Kali and Indian anti-colonial attitudes and activities. In these writing? they justified colonial rule and offered advice for sustaining pow er in light o f the growing strength o f the independence movement. By interw eaving psychoanalytic insights into th e colonial m aster narrative, they moved psychoanalysis away from Freud's dream o f an
Introduction • 5 enlightening science. Instead, it became a tool for the legitimization o f colonial rule. D espite Bose's efforts to com m unicate his w o rk to Freud and to b e heard in psychoanalytical circles in the West, it was Berkeley-Hill and D aly w ho represented the Indian Psychoanalytical Society at international psychoanalytical congresses and spoke there o n b ehalf o f th eir Indian colleagues. These British voices thus becam e the official ones, w hereas the Indian ones rem ained peripheral and unheard.
The Structure of the Book
T he colonial situation was experienced differently by colonizer and colonized, and th e structure o f the b o o k reflects these differences. O ne section, consisting o f tw o chapters, reconstructs th e reception and application o f psychoanalytical concepts by th e tw o British m em bers o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society, Berkeley-Hill and Daly, and another section, consisting o f three chapters, focuses o n the psychoanalytical activities o f Indian medical doctors, psychologists and intellectuals. T here is an o th er dichotom y in th e structure. Ju st as Freud's w ritings dealt w ith his psychoanalytical reflections o n his applied therapeutic w o rk as well as o n general cultural issues, these tw o aspects o f psychoanalysis will be treated separately in th e sections o n Indian and British psychoanalysts. I rem ain ed undecided for so m e tim e w h e th e r to b eg in w ith th e activities o f the Indian m em bers o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society, o r those o f the British m em bers o f th at society. Bose initiated the g ro u p in Calcutta; the w o rk o f the Indian psychoanalysts was innovative and n o t derivative from o r dependent on the w ork o f British colonial officers, so w hy n o t start w ith them? Yet the British m em bers functioned as a k ind o f transm ission belt betw een Europe and India, and it was thro u g h th em th at the contacts to Sigm und Freud and E rnest Jones w ere established and strengthened. T he last sentence o f an essay by Bose, T h e Reliability o f Psychoanalytic Findings' (1923), eventually persuaded m e to begin w ith the side o f the colonizer. Bose
6 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
concluded this essay with an obvious critique of psychoanalytic views by his colleagues from the West, for he wrote: 'I would press for an unbiased mind and would urge diem [i.e. psychoanalysts] to weigh the evidence very carefully before asserting anything definitely. It is unfortunate that this warning should be necessary as there are evidences in current literature of personal and race bias masquerading as psychoanalytical interpretations/7This shows that Bose's work is also a reaction against that of his Western colleagues, and thus can be understood better against the backdrop of that work. T he first chapter presents an outline o f Berkeley-Hill's career and o f his psychiatric and psychoanalytic treatm en t o f Anglo-Indian and British subjects, prim arily at the E uropean M ental Hospital, w hich h e headed betw een 1919 and 1934. This hospital was a kind o f resort th a t reproduced essential features o f a club, th e exclusive social institution founded by privileged British subjects w herever they w ere in India. T he com m on denom inator o f b o th the g e n d e m a n s club an d the Ranchi hospital was the effort to blot o u t the fact o f being in a n alien environm ent, am ong alien people. T hanks to Berkeley-Hill's enthusiasm in m odernizing this in stitu tio n and his eagerness to describe his im provem ents, there is docum entation o n life behind th e asylum walls, albeit seen thro u g h his eyes. His psychoanalytic case studies o f patients in Ranchi provide insights into hidden aspects o f colonial life, and a look into Berkeley-Hill's therapeutic w ork reveals previously litde-known aspects o f psychoanalysis as applied u n d er colonial conditions. As head o f th e m o st p ro m in en t psychiatric in stitu tio n in B ritish India, B erkeley-H ill dev elo p ed tre a tm e n t m ethods for m entally disturbed E uropean and Anglo-Indian subjects th a t w ere remarkably liberal com pared w ith those in oth er psychiatric institutions in colonial India. However, this liberal attitude changed w henever he w as confronted w ith political aspects o f life in India; th e n , instead o f enlightening, his application o f psychoanalysis becam e one th at fu rth er justified colonial realities.
The second chapter focuses on the cultural and political writings o f Berkeley-Hill and Daly. Despite the differences in their social background and status, in their approaches and in the topics they analysed, both tended to find in psychoanalysis a new scientific tool for getting a grip on problems of public order that were getting out
Introduction • 7 o f control, and thus to use psychoanalysis to legitim ize colonialism. In line w ith E uropean th o u g h t at the tim e, Berkeley-Hill and Daly conceptualized a m oral hierarchy w ith w hite m en at th e to p and w om en, infants, neurotics and Indian m en at o r near th e bo tto m . T hey freely used th e concepts o f Freud, Jones, Sandor Ferenczi and o th e r contem porary psychoanalysts to elaborate these ideas, w hich p ro vided seem ingly scientific ju stificatio n for British feelings o f superiority and colonial oppression. C hapters 3 and 4 recall and interpret the earliest psychoanalytic activities by Indian m em bers and supporters o f th e Indian Psycho analytical Society. C hapter 3 sketches o u t the institutional background a t C alcutta University and its departm ent o f psychology, th e setting in w hich psychoanalysis flourished in India in the first h alf o f the tw entieth century, and provides background inform ation o n th e life o f G irindrasekhar Bose and th e developm ent o f the Indian Psycho analytical Society. In C hapter 4, the focus is prim arily o n the w o rk o f G irindrasekhar Bose, the founder o f the Indian Psychoanalytical So ciety. Bose did n o t ju st im itate Freud's psychoanalytical concepts. C om bining his reading know ledge o f W estern psychoanalytical de velopm ents, his specific clinical experiences, and his interest in reviv ing H in d u intellectual traditions, Bose created his ow n psychoana lytic technique, th e ‘see saw m eth o d ', w hich is based o n his th eo ry o f opposite wishes. As a result o f his independent approach to psy choanalytic theory and practice, Bose questioned tw o pillars o f Freud ian theory, the Oedipus complex and Freud's interpretation o f its reso lution. T he correspondence betw een Bose and Freud reveals th at F reud struggled w ith Indian views so different from his ow n, espe cially Bose's insistence, for example, o n the different gender identi ties o f Indian and E uropean patients. T he chapter concludes w ith an outline o f the therapeutic w ork o f o th er South Asian psychoanalysts, and w ith a reflection o n psychoanalysis as a therapy in a non-Weste m cultural setting. C h a p te r 5 discusses and in terp rets psychoanalytic studies by Indians dealing w ith literary, religious, sodo-anthropological and p o litica l issues. A m o n g th e m o st in te re stin g findings o f th ese publications are rejections and new interpretations o f the Oedipus complex, and criticisms o f Freud's views o n the role o f religion. These
8 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India w riters, in contrast to their British colleagues, did n o t view H induism as an illusion, as Freud viewed religion in general, b u t instead defended it from a psychoanalytical perspective. O n the o th e r hand, Indian psychoanaly sts ap p lied d e ro g a to ry m o d es o f p sy choanalytical explanation to the 'o th er', ju st as Daly and Berkeley-Hill had done to them . This shows th at Indian psychoanalysts—nearly all W esterneducated, upper-m iddle and upper class Bengali H indu m en—w ere in a relationship o f dependency only w ith their British rulers. W ithin India, they belonged to the dom inant classes, w h o n o t only favoured expelling th e colonialists, b u t also disparaged th eir inferiors in India. Finally, the chapter shows how, in those writings th at reflected u p o n th e end o f colonial rule, som e Indian psychoanalysts foresaw com ing problem s o f th e post-independence era, particularly th e challenge o f coping w ith insecurity and ethnic identity conflict. In sum , a closer look at psychoanalytical activities in colonial India show s an implicit o r explicit political appropriation o f psychoanalytic th e o ry th a t shifted perspectives depending o n w hich side o f th e colonial divide the psychoanalyst was positioned on. Freud's claims o f universality for his findings are thus to b e questioned. Clearly all h u m a n beings have an individual past, are gendered and have dream s to w hich they can associate unconscious wishes. Particular childhood experiences, complexes and the relationship betw een psychoanalyst and patient, however, need to be set in their cultural, social and political contexts. T h e reconstruction o f Freudian psychoanalysis in colonial India thus becom es a ¿¿construction o f this theory as it travels.
Personal, Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives
This book is no t an authoritative study o f the history o f psychoanaly sis in colonial India. Rather, m y objective here is to present inform a tio n th at is difficult to obtain, to integrate this scattered m aterial into an argum ent and to contribute to an ongoing discussion. My p er spective is from the West; to be m ore precise, th e theoretical and
Introduction • 9 m ethodological approach is rooted in a post-1968 socialization in the G erm an-speaking world, w hich implies a certain attachm ent w ith Freud and Karl Marx. My reading o f Indian texts o n colonial issues was influenced by m y studies in psychology and social sciences at D elhi University and repeated travels to India and o th er fo rm er colo nies, such as Algeria. T h e resulting theoretical melange includes rem nants o f W estern M arxist approaches as well as colonial and post-colonial scholarship. Especially Frantz Fanon’s ground-breaking w ritings, in w hich he show ed the im pact o f colonialism o n all aspects o f life, including dream s, influenced m y thinking.* So did Orientalism and Imperialism and Culture by Edw ard Said, and o th er w ork, no w p u t together under th e label 'post-colonial', th a t laid th e th eo retical fo u n d atio n for contem porary scholarship originating in perspectives from th e nonW estern w orld.9T he approach and som e o f the research w o rk o f the Subaltern Studies g ro u p especially inspired m e. Ranajit G uha's rem ark in his preface to the first volum e o f Subaltern Studies has been in the back o f m y m ind while I was reading m y sources: \ . . subordination cann ot be understood except as one o f th e constitutive term s in a binary relationship o f which th e o th er is dom inance, for "subaltern groups are always subject to the activity o f ruling groups, even w hen they rebel and rise u p ."'10 O th er recent scholarship from India, such as S um it Sarkar’s Writing Social History, D eepak K um ar s Science and the Raj, and Partha Chatterjee's edited volum e Texts o f Power. Emerging D isciplines in Colonial Bengal, h elp ed considerably to sh ap e m y arg u m en t.11Ashis N andy's and Sudhir Kakar’s w ork, w hich I have followed from the 1970s, kept m y interest in cross-cultural psychological and psychoanalytical questions alive.12Above all their w o rk o n gender in Indian cultures was a source o f inspiration. Kakar’s pioneering w ork o n childhood and relations betw een d o cto r/h e ale r and patient in India, and N andy's w ork on indigenous elem ents in the thinking o f Indian scientists w ere also im portant to me. A lthough th e b o o k develops an argum ent, I tried to keep as close to th e sources as I could. T he core o f the b o o k is a reconstruction o f the therapeutic w ork and psychoanalytical cultural analyses in colonial India by m em bers o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society. M ost o f th e docum entation was published in early issues o f the International
10 * Psychoanalysis in Colonial India Journal o f Psychoanalysis and th e Indian Journal o f Psychology, and in o th er international psychoanalytical publications. T he m inutes o f the m eetings o f th e Indian Psychoanalytical Society contained fu rth e r references, as did the relevant correspondence in the Archives o f the British Psychoanalytical Society. Historical, political and biographical inform ation w as obtained from secondary literature. My reading o f historical, sociological and psychological w o rk included such disparate areas as th e situation o f th e Indian elite u n d er colonialism, th e life o f British subjects in th e Raj, th e history o f disciplines in colonial India, and transcultural psychoanalysis and th e history o f psychoanalysis. Previously published w o rk o n Bose by T.C. Sinha, C.V R am ana, D evajyoti Das, Sudhir K akar and Ashis N andy provided indispensa ble backg ro u n d m aterial for m y un derstanding o f Bose's texts, es pecially as I am n o t able to read Bengali o r any oth er Indian language.11 Except for Das's b o o k o n Bose and a few articles by Bose th a t w ere w ritten in Bengali and w hich I go t translated, I did n o t include any publications in languages o th e r th an English. N eedless to say, this is a lim itation o f this study. It w ould, for exam ple, also be a w o rth w hile project in itself to trace and go th ro u g h th e tw o big boxes o f case m aterial th a t Ism ael L atif had collected during his tw enty-tw o years o f psychoanalytic practice in India and Pakistan, and b ro u g h t w ith him to L ondon.14
What This Book is Not About
Besides these limitations w ith regard to Indian languages, I m ade oth er conscious decisions about w hat to exclude. I narrow ed m y study to th e w o rk d o n e b y active, lo n g -te rm m e m b e rs o f th e In d ian Psychoanalytical Society and o th er residents o f India w h o published psychoanalytical articles o r books in the colonial period. T hus, for example, the contributions o f Col. W.D. Sutherland and Lt. Col. R.C. M cW atters, tw o British colonial officers w ho w ere stationed in India and interested in psychoanalysis, are excluded. Sutherland, a founding
Introduction • 11 m e m b er o f the British Psychoanalytical Society, died in 1920, before psychoanalysis w as institutionalized in colonial India.19M cW atters, a founding m em ber o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society, left India in 1922, soon after th e society was form ed, and published only tw o short articles relating to India in th e InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis.16 A section o f his correspondence w ith E rnest Jones o n his life in India will b e cited in th e o pening p arag rap h o f th e first chapter. T he psychoanalytical elem ents in th e w o rk o f the tw o fo rm er British missionaries, William Stephens Taylor and Verrier Ehvin, w ho decided to stay in India and chose secular careers, are also left out. T h e m ain reason for this is th at their w o rk was n o t prim arily psychoanalytical Taylor taugfrt at the Forman Christian College in Lahore and published various articles dealing w ith social and psychological issues. Elwin was an anthropologist w ho, am ong a range o f o th er anthropological activities, collected dream s and legends o f Indian tribals.17 T h e contributions o f tw o continental E uropean psychoanalysts w ho em igrated to South Asia, Emilio G. Servadio (b. 1904) and Edit G yôm rôi (1896-1987), are also n o t presented here, because th eir roles in th e Indian Psychoanalytical Society rem ained marginal, and because they did n o t publish any w o rk relating to India during th eir residency there. T he Jewish Italian psychoanalyst Servadio was a m em b er o f the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society betw een 1934 and 1936, because h e w as n o t accepted by the S o d età Psicoanalitica Italiana, th en in fascist Italy. H e em igrated to Bombay in 1938 and retu rn ed to his native Italy in 1946, w here he becam e a prom inent psychoanalyst.1# Because o f her Jewish background and h er earlier affiliation w ith the G e rm a n com m u n ist party, E dit G yüm rôi h ad to flee fro m N azi persecution in 1939 by em igrating to Colom bo. This w as clearly n o t h er choice, bu t h er last chance to save h er life; apparently Jones helped her. Soon after her arrival in Colombo, she m ade arrangem ents to settle in th e United States. W hen this failed, she returned to Ceylon w here she studied Buddhist religion at C olom bo University, because she felt that she could not practise psychoanalysis in Ceylon w ithout knowledge o f th e patients* religious background. In 1956 she m oved to London, w here she practised psychoanalysis until the age o f eighty.19 Besides military officers, missionaries and ém igrés, there w ere also psychoanalytically oriented short-term travellers to colonial India. The
12 ♦ Psychoanalysis in Colonial India m o st p ro m in en t am o n g these w as th e Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung, w ho was for a long tim e interested in aspects o f yoga and Indian philosophical traditions before h e actually set foot on Indian soil. This was in 1938, w hen he received an honorary doctorate degree from Calcutta University. O nce h e experienced im m ediate physical confrontation w ith aspects o f life in India, however, his lengthy and intensive fascination w ith and rom antic projections on to Indian philosophy and religions cam e to an abrupt end.201 did n o t include his publications o n India in this book, since h e did n o t contribute to the developm ent o f psychoanalysis in colonial India. Also left o u t here are psychoanalytical reflections o n sexual symbolism in Indian a n , publications o n yoga and psychoanalysis and o th e r interpretations o f H induism w ith a psychoanalytical perspective by authors w ho lived outside India.21 T h e tim e fram e in question roughly spans th e last fo u r decades o f British rule in India. M ore recen t psychoanalytical publications by Indians, such as Bose's successor T aru n C hand Sinha, and by o th ers w h o have published in the Indian psychoanalytical jo u rn a l Samiksa o r in th e Indian Journal o f Psychology, are n o t included for th e sim ple reason th a t th eir w o rk is situated in th e post-colonial context.22 This also explains w hy I cite th e w orks o f As his N andy and Sudhir K akar w here they illum inate historical situations, and w here they w rite about Bose, b u t do n o t present th e ir w o rk in full detail. T h e sam e holds for th e w o rk o f Indian cultural critics living abroad w hose w o rk also includes psychoanalysis, such as Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Am rit Rai.2* Sim ilarly, th e n u m e ro u s p sy c h o an aly tica l p u b lic a tio n s b y foreigners on post-independence India are n o t discussed.24After 1947, th e prefix British o r Colonial was dropped, and there is n o d o u b t th at w ith independence the political situation in India changed. It remains, however, a serious question w hat rem nants o f the colonial structures are being transm itted into the tw enty-first century, and w h at new structures that reflect new hegem onic interests have begun to replace the colonial ones. It is evident, for example, that som e o f the w ork by W estern psychoanalysts o n aspects o f independent India is still n o t free from paternalistic attitudes. A lthough Freud stated in Totem and Taboo th at conclusions based on individuals should n o t be extended
Introduction • 13 to w hole societies» this w arning was n o t respected by all his followers.25 A fter a brief visit to India in the late 1960s, the psychoanalyst Gustav Bychowsky repeated the often-m ade connection betw een persons belonging to a different culture and psychotics w hen he w ro te in American Imago: 'This ultim ate life-denying attitude m akes one think o f sim ilar trends in o u r alienated schizoid patients. T he schizophrenic ego, caught in the stage o f prim ary narcissism, does n o t acknowledge th e flow o f time: w hat cannot be attained im m ediately can never be attained at all: n o r is it w o rth while to strive for a distant goal. Such "solutions" can be found in the m ain currents o f Indian th o u g h t.'24
This quotation dates from the post-colonial era, which this book does not otherwise discuss; but it sadly shows the continuing relevance of uncovering the implicit and at times explicit ideology contained in psychoanalytical work. Present-day writing and research is not completely liberated from the former colonial impact but, rather, grounded in it. I hope that this empirical study will contribute to a better understanding not only of psychoanalysis as it travels, but also of shadows of the colonial past in present-day India.
1. As he grew older, Freud stopped identifying w ith generals or conquistadors, and rather began to see himself as a colonizer and founder of culture. Cf. The Complete Utters o f Sigmund Freud to WiUtelm Fliess 1887-1904, translated and edited by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Cambridge/Mass.:The Belknap Press o f Harvard University Press, 1985), p. 398 ff.; Freud to Girindrasekhar Bose, letter dated 13 December 1931, in Tarun Chand Sinha, 'Development of Psychoanalysis in India/ International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 47 (1966), pp. 427-39, here 431. For a photograph of the Vishnu statuette, see The Diary o f Sigmund Freud, 1929-1939. A Record o f the Final Decade, translated, annotated, with an introduction by Michael Molnar, The Freud Museum, London (London: The Hogarth Press, 1992), p. 115; or Berggasse 19, Sigmund Freud's Home and Offices, Vienna 1938. Photographs o f Edmund Engelman (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1976), plates 25,27,35 and
14 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
back cover. Thanks to Marie Bonaparte's contacts and diplomatic skills, this figure, together with his other statuettes, came with him to London, when he emigrated after the Nazi conquest of Austria in 1938. Cf. Elisabeth Roudinescojacques Lacan and Co.:A History o f Psychoanalysis in France, 1925-1985, trans. Jeffrey Mehlmann (London: Free Association Books, 1990). For an overview on the history of psychoanalysis in different countries, see Peter Kutter (Ed.), Psydioanaiysis International (StuttgartBad Cannstatt: frommann-holzboog, Vol. l t 1992, Vol. 2,1995), and the journal Psychoanalysis and History, edited by Andrea Sabbadini and published by Artesian Books Ltd. in London. Freud to Andre as-Salomé, 21 March 1921, in Sigmuml Freud and Lou Andrcas-Salomé Letters, ed. Ernst Pfeiffer, trans. W. 6c E. Robson-Scott (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972), p. 114. Martin A. Miller, Freud and the Bolsheviks: Psychoanalysis in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), p 173. See Chapter 3. For further discussion of the portrait, see Chapter 4. Girindrasekhar Bose, 'The Reliability o f Psychoanalytic Findings/ BririihJournal o f Medical Psychology, 3 (1923), pp. 105-15, here 11J. Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, trans. Charles Lam Markmann (New York: Grove Press, 1967); Studies tn a Dying Colonialism, trans. Haakon Chevalier (New York* Monthly Review Press, 1965); Toward the AJncan Revolution, trans. Haakon Chevalier (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1967); The Wretched o f the Earth, trans. Constance Farrington (New York: Grove Press, 1963). For literature on Fanon see Hussein Abdilahi Bulhan, Frantz Fanon and the Psychology c f Oppression (New York: Plenum Press, 1985); Jock McCulloch, Black Soul, White Artifact: Fanonfs Clinical Psychology and Social Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983). Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon, 1978) and Imperialism and Culture (London: Chatto & Windus, 1993); Padmini Mongia (Ed.), Contemporary Postcolonial Theory (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997). Other important texts are Chandra Talpade Mohanty, 'Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses,' Boundary 2 ,12/13 (1984), 333-58 also in Mongia (Ed.), Contemporary Postcolonial Theory, pp. 172-97); and Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Decolonizing the Mind (London: James Currey Ltd., 1986). Ranajit Guha (Ed.), SubdJtmi Studi« /: Writings on South Asian History and Society (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1982), Preface. SumitSaziurl V^n;SivMlHutaT>(Delhi;OzfordUmversityPre3Sl 1997);
Introduction • IS Deepak Kumar, Scienceand the RaJ (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995); Deepak Kumar (Ed.), Science and Empire; Essays in Indian Context (i 7001947) (New Delhi: Anamika.1991); Partha Chattajee (Ed.), Texts o f Power: Emerging Disciplines in Colonial Bengal (Calcutta: Samya, 1996). 12. Ashis Nandy, "The Non-Paradigmatic Crisis o f Indian Psychology: Reflections on a Recipient Culture of Science/ IndianJournal c f Psychology, 49 (1974), 1-20; "Woman versus Womanliness in India,* Psychoanalytic Review 63 (1976), 301-15; At the Edge c f Psychology: Essays in Politics and Culturr (Delhi: Oxford Unrcrsity Press, 1980); Alternative Sciences: Creativity and Authenticity in Two Indian Scientists (New Delhi: Allied Publishers, 1980); The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recoveryc f Self under Colonialism (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983); 'Reconstructing Childhood: A Critique of the Ideology of Adulthood,* Alternatives, 10 (1984/85), 35975; Ashis Nandy (Ed.). Science, Hegemony and Violence (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1988); The Illegitimacy c f Nationalism: Rabindranth Tagore and Politics o f Srif(New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994), The Savage Freud and Other Essays on Possible and Retrievable Selves (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995); T he Savage Freud: The First NonWestern Psychoanalyst and the Politics of Secret Selves in Colonial India* in Frederique Apfiel Margin and Stephen Marglin, (Eds,) Decolonizing Knowledge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), pp. 340-88; Exiled at Home (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998). Sudhir Kakar, Aggression in Indian Society: An Analysis of Folk-Tales/ IndianJournal o f Psychology, 49 (1974), 119-26; "The Person in Tantra and Psychoanalysis,* SamtJua, 35 (1981), 85-104; 'Fathers and Sons: An Indian Experience’in Stanley H. Cath, Alan R., Gurwitt, andJohn Munder Ross, (Eds.). Father and Child: Developmental and Clinical Perspectives (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1982), pp. 417-23; The Inner World: A Psychoanalytic Study o f Childhood and Society in India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1978); SJwmaw, Mystics and Doctors: A Psychoanalytic Inquiry into India and Its Healing Traditions (New York: Knopf, 1982); 'Psychoanalysis and Non-Western Countries,* International Review o f Psychoanalysis, 12 (1985), 441-8; 'Erotic Phantasy: The Secret Passion of Radha and Krishna,* Contributions to Indian Sociology, 19,1 (January-June 1985), 75-94; ‘Psychoanalysis and Anthropology: A Renewed Alliance/ Contributions to Indian Sociology, 21, 1 (1987) 85-8; Intimate Relations: Exploring Indian Sexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989); Culture and Psyche: Selected Essays (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997). 13. C.V Ramana, 'On die Early Development of Psychoanalysis in India,* Journalcf the American PsychoanalyticAssociation, 12(1964), 110-34;Taran
16 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
Chand Sinha, 'Development of Psychoanalysis in India/ International Journal o f Psychoanalysis, 47 (1966), 427-39; Lumbini Park Silver Jubilee Souvenir (1966), 61-77; Devajyod Das, Girindrasekhar Bose (in Bengali) (Calcutta: Bangiya Sahitya Parisat, 1971). More recent publications are: Sudhir Kakar, 'India' in Peter Kutter (Ed.), Psychoanalysis International,, op. tit., pp. 116-22; and in Elisabeth Roudinesco and Michel Plon, Dictwnwirt de la Psychoanalyse (Paris: Fayard, 1997) pp, 139-40,493-95; Christiane Hartnack, 'Vishnu on Freuds Desk—Psychoanalysis in Colonial India,' Socuii Reseanh, 57 (1990) 921-49; Ashis Nandy, The Savage Freud and Other Essays on Possible and Retrievable Selves, and T h e Savage Freud: The First Non-Western Psychoanalyst and the Politics of Secret Selves in Colonial India*, op. tit. A reference to this material is found in a letter by Ismael Latif to Ernest Jones, dated 13July 1955, Archive of the British Psychoanalytical Society, CLA/F23/02. Sutherland was eager to meet with Freud while in Europe in March 1911. When he announced his visit to Freud, Freud wrote to Jones in a letter dated 26 February 1911: 'I wonder what this most isolated of our adherents may be like.' Cf. R. Andrew Paskauskas (Ed.), The Complete Correspondence o f Sigmund Freud and ErnestJones 190S-J939 (Cambridge Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 93. Cf. R.C. McWatters, 'A Birth o f the Hero Myth from Kashmir,* InternationalJournal of Psychoanalysis, 2 (1921), 416-19. Referring to Otto Rank, McWatters demonstrated that Suyya, who supposedly protected the Kashmir valley by dams and drainage systems, 'fertilised his motherland*. To him, the history of the flood regulation in this valley resembles a birth myth. McWatters* second publication on an Indian topic, A Modern Prometheus', appeared in the InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis, 4 (1923), 326-7. In this he argues that the spinning wheel symbolizes the female genital and the spindle the phallus and concluded that the independence movement led by Gandhi expresses a castration complex. William Stephens Taylor, 'Changing Attitudes in a Conflict of Cultures. Character and Personality,' Indian Journal of Social Work, 1 (1941), 87108; 'Behaviour Disorders and the Breakdown of the Hindu Family System,' IndianJournal of Social Work, 4(1943), 163-70; 'Basic Personality in Orthodox Hindu Culture Patterns,* Journal of Abnormal atui Social Psychology, 43 (1948), 3-12; Verrier Etwin, A Note on the Theory and Symbolism of Dreams among the Baiga,* British Journal o f Medical Psychofoty 16 (1937), 237-54; T he Vagina Dentata Legend,* BritishJournal
Introduction • 17
c f Medical Psychology, 19 (1943), 439-53; on Elwin, sec Ramachandra Guha, Wrrirr£fcvin,Hi57>ihais,andftt^(Chicago: University o f Chicago Press, 1999). Before his emigration, Servadio was interested in yoga and Indian religions; at the 15th International Psychoanalytical Congress in Paris in 1938 he presented the paper 'Psychoanalytic Observations on Yoga*. References on his life and work in India are in Internationale Zeitschriftfiir Psychoanalyse und Imago, 26 (1941), 374, 360; Giovanni Eirera, Emilio Servadio. Dali'ipnosi alia psicoanalisi (Florence, 1990); Amaldo Novelletto, 'Italy,' in Kutter (Ed.), Psychoanalysis International, pp. 195-212, here 196 and 200. Between 1914 and 1923, her name was Edit Rinyi; in Berlin (1923-33), where she was at the same time in psychoanalytic training with Otto Fenichel, as well as an active supporter of the communist movement, she became Edit Glück In 1934, she moved via Prague back to Budapest, and again took on her maiden name, Edit Gyömröi. Due to marriages, from 1936 tol940 she was Edit Üjviri Gyömröi, and from 1941 onward Edit Ludowyk Gyömröi. Cf. Michael Schröter, *Edit Ludowyk Gyömröi (1896-1987): Eine biographische Skizze/ Luzifer-Amor: Zeitschrift zur Geschichte der Psychoanalyse, 16 (1995), 102-14; Christiane LudwigKörner, Wiederentdeckt: Psychoanalytikerinnen in Berlin: A uf den Spuren Vergessener Generationen (Gießen: Psychosozial Verlag, 1998), pp. 11948; Uwe Hendrik Peters, Psychiatric im Exil (Düsseldorf. Kupka Verlag, 1992), 359; and Internationale Zeitschriftfiir Psychoanalyse und Imago, 26 (1941), 374. Her only psychoanalytic publication with a reference to South Asia is an article on the puberty rites of Ceylonese girls in Maria Pfister*Amende (Ed.) Geistige Hygiene, Forschung und Praxis (Basel: Benno Schwabe, 1955), pp. 237-51. This article’s central argument is that the onset of menstruation among Ceylonese girls became a trauma only after, and thus because, colonialism had introduced sexual prudery. It appears that it was indeed a very physical confrontation, i.e. his diarrhoea, that actually purged him of his flirtation with aspects of Indian religions and philosophy. See Carl Gustav Jung, ‘The Dreamlike World o f India,' in Collected Works, VoL 10 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964), pp. 515-24: 'What India Can Teach Us,' Asia 39 (1939), 97-8. For more general information on Jungs journey to India, see Harold Coward, Jung and Eastern Thought (New York: SUNY Press, 1985). P.C. van der Wolk,'Zur Psychoanalyse des Rauchopfers,'/mago, 7(1921), 131-41; 'Das "Tri-theon" der alten Inder/ Imago, 7 (1921), 387-423; 'Der Tanz des Ciwa,' Imago, 9 (1923), 437-52; Frederick S. Hammett, 'The
18 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India Conceptual Psychology of the Ancient Hindus»* The Psychoanalytic Review, 16 (1929), 291-311; Geraldine Coster, Yoga and Western Psychology: A Comparison (London: Oxford University Press, 1934); Martha Mitnitzky-Vago, 'Ethos, Hypokrisie und Libidohaushalt, Versuch einer libido ökonomischen Analyse der indischen Gesellschaft/ Internationale Zeitschriftf l r Psychoanalyse, 25 (1940), 356-96. 22. Tarun Chand Sinha, 'Dreams of the G a m ', SamikM, 2 (1948), 21-52; 'Psychoanalysis and the Family in India', Samiksa, 31 (1977), 96-105; Satish K. Arora, 'Regression, Imitation and Innovation in Transitional Societies*, Samikja, 19 (1965), 170-75; Aran Kumar Ray Chaudhuri, A Psychoanalytic Study of the Mother Goddess (Kali) Concept,* American Imago, 13 (1956), 123-45; Shib Kumar Mitra, 'Indian Personality: A Perspective/ Samiksa, 39 (1985), 31-55. 23. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, 'Psychoanalysis in Left Field and Fieldworking: Examples to Fit theTitle/ in Sonu Shamdasani and Michael Münchow (Eds.), Speculations after Freud: Psychoanalysis, Philosophy, and Culture (London: Roudedge, 1994), pp. 41-75; Amrit Rai, 'Thus Spake the Subaltern: Postcolonial Criticism and the Scene of Desire/ in Christopher Lane (Ed.), The Psychoanalysis of Race (NewYork: Columbia University Press, 1998), pp. 91-118. 24. Morris Carstairs, The Twice Bom: A Study c f a Community o f High-Caste Hindus (London: Hogarth Press, 1957); Medard Boss, A Psychiatrist Discovers India, trans. Henry A. Frey (London: Wolff, 1965); Philip Spratt, Hindu Cultureand Personality: A Psychoanalytic Study (Bombay: Manakzala, 1966), 25-41; Erna Hoch, 'APattern of Neurosis in Indiz,* AmericanJournal o f Psychoanalysis, 20 (1966), 8-25; 'Pir, Faqir and Psychotherapist,* The Human Context, 6 (1974), 668-76; Gustav Bychowsky, A Brief Visit to India: Observations and Psychoanalytic Implications/ American Imago, 25 (1968), 59-76, here 72-3; Erik H. Erikson, Gandhi's TVutfi: The Origins c f Militant Nonviolence (New York: Norton, 1969); Morris Carstairs and R.L. Kapoor, The Great Universeo f Kota (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976); Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, 'Indian Psychotherapy?* Journal c f Indian Philosophy, 7(1979), 327-33; The Oceanic FeeÜng(Dordrecht: Reidel, 1980); Alan Roland, 'Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Personality Development in India/ Samifejfl, 32 (1978), 47-68; 'Toward a Psychoanalytical Psychology of Hierarchical Relationships in Hindu India/ Ethos, 10 (1982), 232-53; 'Psychoanalysis in Civilizational Perspective: The Self in India, Japan and America/ Psychoanalytic Review, 71 (1984), 568-90; Jn Search c f Seif in India and Japan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990); Jerome D. Oremland, A Western Psychoanalyst Visits an Andent Hindu
Introduction • 19 Temple/ TheJournal c f Psychoanalytic Anthropology, 8 (1985), 235-48; and Stanley N. Kurtz, AH the Mothers Are One: Hindu India and the Cultural Reshaping#Psychoanalysis (New Yoric Columbia University Press, 1992). In Civilisation and Its Discontents, published in 1930, Freud warned that if we diagnose civilizations as neurotic, *we should have to be very cautious and not forget that, after all, we are only dealing with analogies and that it is dangerous, not only with men but also with concepts, to tear them from the sphere in which they have originated and been evolved-*Cf. Freud, Civilisation and Its Discontents (1930), Standard Edition, Vol. 21, 57-146, here: 144. Gustav Bychowsky, A Brief Visit to India/ 72-3.
I BRITISH PSYCHOANALYSTS IN COLONIAL INDIA
1 The Uses of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment of British Patients
The 'Punjab Head': Psychological Aspects of British Life in Colonial India in the 1920s
h e in n e r w o rld o f British officials in colonial India m ostly rem ained a secret rarely com m unicated to others. Lt. Col. R.C. M cW atters, one o f the tw o British founding m em bers o f th e Indian Psychoanalytic Society; was an exception. In a letter to E rnest Jones, he disclosed his personal situation as a com bination o f anxiety and physical illness, w ith h u n tin g as a com pensation. H e w ro te o n 7 N ovem ber 1921: 'I seem to ru n into situations___ w hich arouse an anxiety w hich is acute and rath er unaccustom ed___ But I have been m o re concerned w ith physical health this last h o t w eather, for I have had a good deal o f malaria, tw o goes o f dysentery and recovering from dengue, so you can im agine I am counting th e days "til April w h en som e interesting shikar and jungle life com e o u t o f m y last few m onths o f India. Last year I simply could n o t leave the station as I have been in charge o f the jail and we w ere constantly expecting it to be th e centre o f disturbances. This year, happily politics seem to be at a discount, so shikar m ay take a tu r n / 1 For McW atters, as for m any o th er British officials, th e privileges o f a m iddle class aristocracy w ere am ong th e motives for com ing to India and for staying there. O ver th e years, these officials w ere able to create exclusive enclaves on the subcontinent, w here they could
24 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India com pensate for the uncom fortable climate and heavy w orkload. W ith the grow ing British and Anglo-Indian population, the interaction w ith Indians becam e m ore and m ore indirect, and the Indian people w ere reduced to alm ost invisible servants. As Francis H utchins w rote: ‘Churchill—and he was typical o f hundreds and thousands o f others in this respect—spent three years in India w ithout apparently m eeting
any Indian other than menial___Indians for the British who lived in this protected w orld were little m ore than scenery; they had lost all individuality.*2 However, the assertiveness o f Indian political activists m ade them increasingly visible to the British, and the independence m ovem ent, which was nationwide by the 1920s, disturbed Britons* em otional ease. T he introduction o f the Rowlatt Acts in early 1919, which restricted the liberties o f Indians by perm itting im prisonm ent w ithout trial o f persons suspected o f subversion, shattered m any hopes about the British Raj. M ohandas K. Gandhi was one o f the disillusioned. His com m itm ent to action w ithin the legal fram ew ork was shaken, for, as he put it, the governm ent itself had moved outside this framework. After the Row latt Acts w ere passed, Gandhi called for hartals in w estern India, which led to the arrest o f many, including himself. Disregarding m artial law restraints on public assembly, on 13 April 1919, the Punjabi New Year's Day, thousands o f Indians gathered at Jallianwala Bagh, an enclosed square in Amritsar. G eneral Dyer then stationed his troops at its only exit and let them fire into the crowd. More than 300 Indians were killed and 1200 w ounded. This massacre is considered to be the turning point in the history o f British India. From then onward the non-cooperation m ovem ent developed rapidly, leading to Hindu-M uslim alignm ents that challenged the colonial doctrine o f divide and rule. The grow th o f the independence movement, along w ith increasing isolation from life in England and from the Indian people, led to a situation in which it became m ore and more difficult to remain both a colonial official and a liberal. A growing num ber o f officials began to doubt the justification for their stay in India. But they had to keep from showing any signs o f doubt or resentment, as those who did not properly play the colonial gam e o f m utual reinforcement were discredited. One colonial drop-out, George Orwell, who was in the Burmese police, described these mechanisms in The Road to Wigan Pier: All over India
The Uses of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment of British Patients
there are Englishmen who secretly loathe the system of which they are part; and just occasionally, when they are quite certain of being in the right company, their hidden bitterness overflows. I remember a night I spent on the train with a man in the Educational Service.. . . Half an hour's cautious questioning decided each of us that the other was "safe"; and then for hours . . . we damned the British Empire— damned it from the inside, intelligently and intimately. It did us both good. But we had been speaking forbidden things, and in the haggard morning light, when the train crawled into Mandalay, we parted as guiltily as any adulterous couple.*3Orwell decided to leave India; perhaps his interlocutor in the Educational Service did also. The majority, however, tried to silence their own doubts, and pethaps those of others, by legitimizing British domination.4 If members of this privileged section of the Raj felt that 'shikar and jungle life* were not compensation enough for all the hardships, and thus did not play the colonial game any longer, they were stigmatized as having a 'Punjab head/ as it was called colloquially.’ They were then often shipped home to England, the preferred choice, or, if the condition did not improve, transferred to one of the asylums in India that had special wards for Europeans. In whatever direction the journey went, they no longer belonged to the colonial class that mattered. Conversations at ‘scandal point*, the main square in Simla where British subjects in Colonial India exchanged news and gossip, did not include the fate of these people, nor the name of Sigmund Freud or psychoanalysis in the first half of the twentieth century. Concerns and conversations in the pleasant summer evenings there, or at other places where one would sojourn with one's own ilk, rather centred around liaisons, sports, careers and other master narratives of this jewel in the crown*.6
The Treatment of Mentally Disturbed British Subjects in Colonial India
As was the case with other facets of colonial life, the treatment of British ‘lunaticks’, or, as they were later called, the 'mentally disturbed'
26 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
in colonial India depended on their access to privileges and their regional assignment; and o f course, it varied over tim e. In the early and m id-nineteenth century, the m ore fortunate British patients could retreat to a nu m b er o f small private urban asylums. A m ong th em w as the Beardsmore family's ‘pleasure garden in th e outskirts o f Calcutta, a private institution that Beardsmore founded in 1817 in reaction to the appalling conditions o f the public asylum in w hich he had been superintendent.7 Alternatively, patients were shipped hom e to one o f the many private asylums th at flourished in England. In the late nineteenth century, however, the chances for retreating to either k in d o f private asylum had deteriorated. T he Beardsm ores' Calcutta exam ple did n o t have followers and, as the costs o f treatm en t in a cooler climate tu rn ed o u t to be to o high, the Secretary o f State for India objected to sending British ‘lunaticks* to England. As a result, a grow ing num ber o f British subjects were detained in publicly supported asylums. These w ere filthy, congested quarters— abandoned stables, vacated barracks o r unused prisons— th at had been converted to serve this purpose. Such improvisation created tw o serious problems. T h e m o rtality rates w ere extrem ely high, and in m ates o f such institutions continued to be perceived as public nuisances. British patients, w ho had been deprived o f the privileges that their skin colour usually assured th em , and th u s 'strip p e d n ativ e’, w ere also an em barrassm ent for the representatives o f the Raj.® T he exposure o f m em bers o f the ruling race to such humiliation underm ined the claim o f E uropean superiority over Indians and also stood in contrast to th e ir ow n self-image. At the beginning o f the tw entieth century, the Secretary o f State fo r India, John Morley (later Lord Morley), attem pted to m odernize, i.e. medicalize, treatm ent in som e lunatic asylums in British India. In 1906, th e in stitu tio n s in C alcu tta, P oo n a, M adras, L ahore and R angoon w ere designated as central asylums, and a civil surgeon was p u t in charge. This official replaced the form er inspector general o f prisons, w h o had been responsible for 'lunaticks* as well as criminals. T hese five institutions accom m odated British and Eurasian inm ates. T h e o th e r m ental institutions in the colony, w hich w ere entirely fo r Indians, w ere exem pted from these changes, and an inspector general o f prisons remained in charge.9 In 1912, the Legislature o f the
The Uses of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment of British Patients
G overnm ent o f India passed a Lunacy Act. This law laid dow n statutes for admission o f m ental patients to and discharge from asylums. These changes w ere seen as a victory for th e medical profession and w ere well received am ong British alienists in India. As W.S. Jagoe Shaw, superintendent o f th e C entral Asylum in Yeravda, Poona, w rote: 'Gradually, very gradually, a m ore enlightened conception o f the function o f an asylum grew, and m ainly ow ing to the initiative and influence o f the medical profession, the loathsome dungeons to which th e u nfortunate insane o f the 18th C entury w ere consigned, have given place to the up-to-date hospitals which an enlightened civilisation co m m a n d s/10 T h o u g h in th eo ry a British subject, even if he o r she did n o t function according to the colonial n o rm s o f conduct, w as considered p art o f ‘enlightened civilisation' and was supposed to be treated as such, th e reality was an o th er m atter. Descriptions from th e 1920s and later portray actual conditions in the central asylums as n o t m uch different from those in th e so-called 'pre-enlightened' days o f the nineteen th century. In 1922, w hen C.J. Lodge Patch to o k charge o f th e central asylum in Lahore, he described the overcrow ding o f the institution and w rote th a t there w ere six hundred single cells—he called them cages— for m ore than a thousand patients: 'N early all th e m ale patients w ere allowed to go about stark naked w ith o u t even a loincloth; handcuffs and fetters w ere applied o n th e slightest provocation o r w ith o u t provocation by any attendant w h o cared to use m echanical restraint, and universal seclusion was p art o f daily routine. T he patients w ere truly u n d er a reign o f te rr o r/11This sight o f h u m an m isery contrasted w ith the appearance o f his predecessor, th e superintendent o f this asylum, w hom Lodge Patch described as being guarded 'by a platoon o f husky ruffians in disreputable khaki w ho accom panied him o n his rounds, and w ere led by a very large ex-criminal w ith an enorm ous red and gold um brella w hich he held above th e superintendent’s h e a d /12 T h e po o r conditions in these institutions w ere usually attributed to tw o causes. O ne was financial: India, it was said, 'is n o t a rich country, taxation is extraordinarily low, and m oney is needed for oth er p urposes than m ental h o sp itals/13 A nother reason given w as th at Indians show ed little in terest in su p p o rtin g W estern psychiatric
28 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
institutions, because they had their indigenous ways o f coping w ith physical and m ental disorders. Jagoe Shaw blam ed the Indians, calling th em 'th e chief obstruction to progress in psychiatry in India now. In spite o f overcrowding, the absence o f a definitely expressed public opinion continues to delay im provem ent under present conditions o f governm ent, and the noisy section o f the population led by M.K. G andhi prefers the Ayurvedic and o th er indigenous systems to o u r m o d e m m ethods o f tre a tm e n t/14 A newly built central asylum in the rem ote hills o f Bihar was to b ec o m e th e u p -to -d ate m e n tal h o sp ital 'w h ich an e n lig h te n ed civilisation com m ands'. As will be shown, the m echanism s o f control w ere n o t im m ediately directed tow ard Indians, b u t tow ard those British subjects w ho did n o t function properly in the colonial system, and w ho thus did n o t serve the colonial cause. In this outpost o f C alcutta, psychoanalysis was n o t an enlightening technique th a t helped patients to overcome individual and social form s o f repression, as Freud had im agined it to be. Instead it was yet another form o f colonial control. T he construction o f the E uropean M ental Hospital in Kanke near Ranchi w as th e result o f a scandal. E uropean inm ates o f th e central asylum in Calcutta (Bhowanipore) w ere seen dragging scavenger carts through the streets o f the Raj s capital.1’ T he fact th a t 'm em bers o f the w hite race* w ere seen doing physical labour in such a hum iliating condition was reported in the press, and after this the G overnm ent o f Bengal decided to b u ild a new m e n tal asylum fo r m en tally disturbed British and Anglo-Indian subjects from the six n o rth ern provinces (Bengal, Punjab, Bihar and Orissa, United Provinces, Assam and C entral Provinces). Situated in a hilly region about 275 miles n o rth w est o f C alcutta, th e new ly built in stitu tio n w as a t a safe distance, about a day's jo u rn ey by train away from the city; thus the 'how ling o f the lunatics' could n o t be heard, n o r could they be seen. T h ere w as an o th er advantage to this location. T h e clim ate w as som ew hat cooler than in Calcutta, and the institution w as situated on a hill and could therefore be considered salubrious. However, this place w as isolated in the Bihar jungle and n o t a sophisticated hill station th a t offered scenic attractio n s and social life, like Simla, D aijeeling o r O otacam und. Because this place was so rem ote, the
The Uses of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment of British Patients
construction o f the large com pound to o k considerably longer tim e th a n anticip ated and th e E u ro p ean M ental A sylum w as finally inaugurated in 1918.“ O w e n Berkeley-H ill w as ap p o in ted su p e rin te n d e n t in 1919; his predecessor h ad resigned after only a few m onths. T h e new superintendent described his first impressions as follows: 'It did n o t take m e long to see th at I had been asked to take charge, n o t o f an asylum , b u t o f a bear-garden. My h eart s a n k . . . 1 felt so overcom e w ith d isa p p o in tm en t.. . . a sixteen feet high wall had been erected aro u n d an area o f eighteen acres, and the E uropean insane males and fem ales w e r e . . . swept through the huge iron g a te s ,. . . and lost sight o f behind the formidable walls. As the g reat gates clanged to, sighs o f relief m ust have gone u p in m any a Secretariat, especially in th a t o f B engal/17 Berkeley-Hill fu rth er com plained th at th e patients had n o proper clothing: A m ong ninety-tw o m ale patients th ere w ere only tw elve pairs o f shoes. M ost o f the patients slept o n w ooden "takt-posh” w hich w ere densely populated by b u g s /1* Berkeley-Hill w as anything b u t critical o f the colonial mission; this statem ent m ade it clear that the m ain purpose for investing in this institution w as to ensure th e concealm ent o f em barrassing aspects o f the behaviour o f w h ite subjects, and thus to keep up a positive im age o f th e Raj.
Owen Berkeley-Hill (1879-1944)
Berkeley-Hill was b o m in England in 1879. Son o f a w ealthy and fam ous English physician, he was educated at Rugby and ©xfbrd and studied in Gtittingen, Germany, and Nancy, France, before receiving his m edical degree at Oxford University. H e entered th e elite Indian M edical Service (IMS) in 1907 and stayed in India until his death in 1944, w ith an interruption o f four and a half years during W orld W ar I, w h en he jo in ed th e East Africa Corps. W ith characteristic selfdeprecation, he described his m otivation to com e to India as a result o f a quarrel w ith his m other: A t that tim e I was an unpaid anaesthetist a t the L ondon Lock Hospital, learning som ething about anaesthetics
30 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India and som ething about venereal diseases. My hours o f work, at the Lock Hospital w ere n o t very long, n o r was the w ork by any m eans arduous. . . . m y m o th er suddenly burst o u t into a violent denunciation o f m y
idleness and lack of interest in my future___To placate my mother I said I w o u ld try for th e Indian M edical Service, th e en tran ce exam ination to w hich w ould be held in Ju ly .. . . W h en July cam e I passed the exam ination, last bu t one o n the list o f candidates. Little did I then realise th at I had com m itted the stupidest act in m y life /19 Berkeley-Hill's career in die IMS followed a standard pattern. Because the Service acknowledged his special qualifications, his first position was in the Venereal Hospital for British troops in Bangalore. From there he was transferred to several o th er cantonm ents, am o n g th em Secunderabad, Hyderabad, the A ndam an Islands, Burm a and Madras. H e was appointed Officiating Medical Superintendent o f the C entral M ental Asylum in Lahore in 1912. T he next year, he was transferred to the asylum at Yeravda to preside for Jagoe Shaw, the p erm an en t superintendent. H e was head o f the E uropean M ental Asylum from 1919 to 1934. After his retirem ent, he moved into Hillstow, a m ansion th at he had built in Tadsilwai, about twelve kilom etres east o f Ranchi. U ntil the early 1940s, he continued to w o rk as a consulting physician at the Ranchi N ursing H om e in the Station Road. H e died in 1944, leaving behind his wife, K unhimanny Ram oti, a Tiyyan by caste, and tw o sons.20 His m arriage to a H indu w om an m ust have m ade Berkeley-Hill suspect to his class. Interm arriage betw een officers and native w om en was looked dow n upon in British India at th at tim e, for by th en British w om en had settled there. However, lest his behaviour be taken as a sign o f progressive views, I should n o te th at in his autobiography, which, after a description o f his childhood and adolescence, continues w ith his prem arital sex life and ends w ith a detailed description o f the character and looks o f his horses, there is less m ention o f his wife than o f extram arital affairs. Some o f Berkeley-Hill’s articles and his personal letters also reveal th at he actively cam paigned against m onogam y and prudery, and that he attributed som e m ental disorders in the colonies to the seasonal exodus o f E uropean w o m en to the hills, o r to Europe.21 T he author o f his obituary in the journal Marriage Hygiene also m entioned th at m any o f Berkeley-Hill's sayings are still
The Uses of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment o f British Patients
rem em bered: ‘O ne was: A race o f healthy bastards is from every point o f view infinitely preferable to diseased w eaklings b o m in "Holy" w edlock.'22 It is quite ironic th a t this obituary appeared betw een advertisem ents for contraceptive devices. Besides devoting tim e and energy to changing the fo rm er "bear garden' into a kind o f 'pleasure garden*, Berkeley-Hill em barked on a serious study o f his speciality. H e read and reviewed th e latest E uropean and N o rth American psychiatric literature and stayed in to u c h w ith developm ents in the international psychiatric community. Engraved in large letters above the entrances o f the w ards w ere the nam es o f fam ous psychiatrists w ith w hom he obviously identified: Philippe Pinel, John Connelly, Samuel Tuke, Jean M artin Charcot, Sigm und Freud and Ernst Kraepelin, am ong others. Berkeley-Hill also had contact w ith the international psychoanalytical m ovem ent from its beginning. An old friend o f Ernest Jones, a pioneer o f psychoanalysis in th e Anglo-American w orld, he was am o n g the first m em bers o f th e A m erican Psychoanalytical Association, w hich he joined in 1911.23 Before departing for East Africa at th e outbreak o f W orld W ar I, h e published several survey articles o n psychoanalysis in the Indian M edical Gazette, w hich are su m m arized in this chapter. H e also corresponded w ith Sigm und Freud in Vienna. T he latter m entioned h im in his History o f the Psychoanalytic Movement (1914), saying th at an 'English neurologist [sic] in Central India [Berkeley-Hill] inform ed m e, th ro u g h a distinguished colleague w ho was visiting E urope, th at th e analyses o f M oham m edan Indians w hich he h ad carried o u t show ed th at the aetiology o f their neuroses was n o different from w h at we find in o u r European p a tie n ts/" Berkeley-Hill rem ained alert to every opportunity to increase his know ledge o f psychoanalysis. W hile in England during W orld W ar It after h e fell sick in East Africa, he sought help from his friend Jones and attended his lectures. W hen h e learnt through Jones th a t a g ro u p o f Bengali intellectuals led by G irindrasekhar Bose w as m eeting reg u larly in C alcu tta to discuss psychoanalytical p u b licatio n s, Berkeley-H ill g o t in co n tact w ith th em and becam e a founding m e m b er o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society in 1922. From th en on until the end o f his life, he was one o f the m ost active m em bers o f this group. H e participated as Indian delegate at the International
32 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India Congresses o f Psychoanalysis in Berlin (1922) and Oxford (1929), gave lectures at the meeting? o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society; offered th eo retical and practical in stru ctio n in psychoanalysis to Indian candidates from 1931 onwards at the Psychoanalytical Training Institute in Calcutta, and functioned as o ne o f th e Institute's training and control analysts." Berkeley-Hill was also active in professional psychological affairs. In 1922, th e year he jo in ed the Indian Psychoanalytical Society; he becam e m em ber o f the Medico-Psychological Association o f G reat Britain and Ireland. From 1927 to 1938 h e was president o f the In dian Psychological Association and he participated in th e Seventh In ternational Congress o f Psychology at Yale University in 1929. In 1928 h e also initiated the Indian Association for M ental Hygiene, for w hich th e British Association for M ental Hygiene served as a m odel. His participation at international conferences m ade him internationally know n am ong psychiatrists. In 1922, the famous G erm an psychiatrist Em il Kraepelin invited him to contribute to a research project o n the incidence o f neuro-syphilis am ong non-Europeans. Berkeley-Hill th en designed a questionnaire th at he sent to British psychiatrists in India and o th er British colonies.26 After the N ational Council for M ental H ygiene was form ed in England in 1924, Berkeley-Hill was asked to form an affiliated Indian Council. In 1927, in his first address as newly elected president o f the Indian Psychological Association at th e Indian Science Congress, Berkeley-Hill proposed th a t m ore m oney be provided for b e tte r trea tm en t o f patients in m ental hospitals, and suggested the opening o f out-patient clinics and a psychiatric w ard in every hospital in India. N o t m uch later, o n 23 August 1928, the Indian Association for M ental Hygiene was founded, w ith Berkeley-Hill as president. T he association had fifteen m em bers, am ong them one Indian. T he Indian Association fo r M ental H ygiene also su p p o rted th e o u t-p atien t clinic at th e C arm ichael Medical Hospital at Belgachia in N o rth Calcutta, w here G. Bose and tw o oth er Indians, w ho w ere b o th medical doctors and psychoanalysts, w orked.27 In addition to his wide-ranging administrative and representational activities, Berkeley-Hill published over tw o dozen articles in w hich h e presented his psychoanalytical insights, an autobiography entided
The Uses of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment of British Patients
All Too Human: An Unconventional Autobiography (1939), as well as m any articles on general aspects o f m edicine, psychiatry and sexual issues. His n u m erous b o o k reviews appeared in th e Indian Medical Gazette, the Journal fo r Marriage Hygiene and the Indian Journal o f Psychology.2* Since his psychoanalytical publications are o f prim ary interest in this context, they are presented here in som e detail. Berkeley-Hill's early essays containing psychoanalytical views are: ‘The Psychoanalytic M ethod o f Treatm ent o f the Neuroses* (1912), T he Psychology o f the Anus' (1913), A Report o f Tw o Cases Success fully T reated by Psychoanalysis* (1913), A Com parison betw een the M ental Processes in th e Sane and in the Insane* (1914), 'Psychoanaly sis* (1914), and A Short Analysis o f 89 Cases o f Epilepsy in the Punjab Lunatic Asylum' (1914). All were published in The Indian Medical Ga zette, th e journal that was then the m ost appropriate o u d et for a young m em ber o f the IMS. Founded in 1865, and published by the School o f IVopical Medicine, the journal's focus was medicine, surgery, public health and Indian and European medical news, w ith special attention to tropical diseases.29 In these articles, Berkeley-Hill clearly tried to arouse interest in psychoanalysis in India by explaining basic psychoanalytic concepts. In th e introduction to 'T h e Psychoanalytic M ethod o f T reatm ent o f th e Neuroses* (1912), h e expressed his view s w ith an a rro g a n t u n d erto n e th at rem ained a characteristic o f his style: 'H aving w aited in vain for five years in the hope o f reading som e article in th e "Indian M edical G azette" o n th e w o rk o f Professor Sigm und Freud, the present w riter feels th at it is High tim e th at an attem p t w as m ade to attra ct w ider attention in India to the psycho-analytic m ethod. . . . there is little doubt th at the English medical profession is frequently b ack w ard in ad o p tin g c o n tin en tal m ethods.*’0 Expressions and attributes such as 'having w aited in vain', 'high time* o r "backward* indicate his unease about the conditions in India, a country th at he always hated to live in, b u t could n o t d ed d e to leave. As th e tides o f these articles indicate, Berkeley-Hill's early focus in psychoanalysis was on anal fixations. T he publication o n epilepsy is a replication o f Jones* study o f 'M ental Characteristics o f Chronic Epilepsies', in which Berkeley-Hill correlated the incidence o f epilepsy w ith psychological disorders. O ne o f the 'T w o Cases Successfully
34 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India T reated by Psychoanalysis' was the dilem m a o f a hom osexual arm y officer w ho started having difficulties using his right hand for signing papers. In the psychoanalytic treatm ent, Berkeley-Hill found th at th e . u s e o f this h an d w as related to m a stu rb atio n . T h e o th e r case concerned a m an w ho was suffering from recurrent nausea sometim es follow ed by vom iting, w hich Berkeley-Hill attrib u ted to a father com plex w ith the help o f free association and o th er psychoanalytic techniques. M ontague D. Eder reviewed these case studies negatively in th e Internationale Zeitschrift fiir Psychoanalyse. T h e sam e jo u rn al published a sh o rt review by Eder o n 'Anal Eroticism ' and by Jones on 'T h e Psychoanalytic M ethod o f T reatm ent o f the N euroses'.11 Berkeley-Hill considered psychoanalysis particularly suited for the treatm en t o f hysteria and obsessional neurosis in India, and claim ed in 1921 th at cases o f manic depressive insanity and certain cases o f dem entia praecox m ight also benefit from psychoanalysis.32 By 1939, however, he confessed in his autobiography th at he had becom e less enthusiastic ab o u t psychoanalysis: 'I can n o t feel n o w as deeply im pressed w ith it as I was in its early days. Nevertheless, I ow e a very deep debt to this science for the insight it has enabled m e to get o f psycho-pathological problem s o f every description/33
Berkeley-HilTs Innovations in the European Mental Hospital
In his autobiography, Berkeley-Hill w ro te th at w hen he arrived in Ranchi, he was so appalled by the conditions in the E uropean Asylum th a t th e first thing he did was to ask the C hief Secretary o f State and th e Inspector-General o f Civil Hospitals for their support to help him change the institution. W hen he found ou t that he could n o t expect any help from them , h e talked to the ed ito r o f The Statesman in Calcutta, w ho then published a leading article describing th e asylum as 'w o rse th a n a k affirs' k r a a l /34 T h e in te n d e d u p ro a r led to investigations and finally to the introduction o f changes that BerkeleyH ill had advocated. W ith financial support obtained in p art from
The Uses of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment of British Patients
provincial governm ents, each o f w hich paid an am o u n t proportional to th e num ber o f patients sent to the institution, and partly from the C entral G overnm ent o f India, he could em ploy a large n u m b er o f Indians to care for the patients. In 1921, the staff consisted o f 73 Indians, 13 Europeans and one Anglo-Indian, while th e num ber o f patients was about 180. At th at tim e, there w ere 118 Eurasians, 52 British, four jew s (w hom BerkeleyHill, interestingly, lists separately), three non-British Europeans, three Arm enians, three West Indians and three Goanese am ong the patients. It is interesting to see m em bers o f th e latter tw o groups also included in th e E uropean asylum, b u t it could well be th at they w ere paying privately. T he male-female ratio was 106:80. M ost patients w ere in th e age group o f 31 to 50. Berkeley-Hill m entioned th a t all patients cam e from larger tow ns and cities, and th at their average social status w o u ld be low er middle class in England, for example em ployees o f railway o r telegraph departm ents and mechanics.31 Berkeley-Hill claim ed th at he succeeded in getting a free hand fro m the provincial governm ent o f Bihar and Bengal, so th at h e could do in Ranchi w hatever he thought suitable. Since he never published a full account o f the institution, one m ust tu rn to various articles, th e ostensible topics o f w hich go beyond the day-to-day operations at Ranchi, for th e details o f Berkeley-HilTs adm inistration. These sources also provide an outline o f Berkeley-HilTs diagnostic categories and his general treatm ent m ethods, w hich in tu rn form ed the context o f his psychoanalytic work. Schizoid patients w ere n o t Berkeley-HilTs favourites. In 1915, he w ro te to his friend Jones: 'I w ould like to read a good textbook on dem entia praecox—the (to me) m ost baffling o f all m ental diseases. . . / W h e n a D.P. case is sen t to m y asylum I g ro a n becau se I kn o w th a t I shall nrverput m y “soul" into his (or her) case. W hy so?'“ U nfortunately, in Ranchi, Berkeley-Hill was forced to do ju st that, because dem entia praecox was the m ost frequent diagnosis; 86 o f 186 patients (46*24%) described in the 1921 study fell into this category. His o th e r prom inent diagnostic categories w ere dem entia paranoides (32 p a tie n ts), p a ra n o ia (11 p a tie n ts), im b ecility (10 p a tie n ts), m elancholia, constitutional inferiority, dem entia from arteriosclerosis and epilepsy (8 patients each), mania and alcoholic psychosis (4 patients
36 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India each), and organic neurologic conditions (1 patient).37 Syphilis was o n e o f the m ajor concerns am ong the British in India. As BerkeleyH ill show ed in a 1921 article, o f a total o f 186 patients in Ranchi, 73, thus alm ost forty percent, w ere infected w ith syphilis. To explain this high figure, he blam ed the Indians by estim ating th a t about seventyfive percent o f the Indian population was similarly infected. In 'Psychoanalysis and the G eneral Practitioner', published in The Indian Medical Gazette in 1921, Berkeley-Hill considered hysteria and th e obsessional neuroses to be m ost suited for psychoanalysis. H e added o th e r disorders th at w ere also acceptable for treatm ent, such as hom osexuality and sexual perversions, som e form s o f alcoholism an d d ru g addictions, anxiety states and certain cases o f stam m ering. As regards the psychoses, he w rote th at 'considerable im provem ent m ay be attained through psycho-analysis in certain cases o f dem entia praecox, and to a still greater degree in cases o f m anic depressive in san ity /51 Prerequisites for psychoanalytic treatm en t w ere, in his opinion, that the patient should have a desire to get well, sufficient intelligence and m oral strength, that the patient be aged below fifty, an d th at b o th patient and physician devote sufficient tim e for the treatm ent. A lthough Berkeley-Hill w as n o t enthusiastic about th e use o f psychoanalysis in a psychiatric institution, he m entioned th at he had em ployed it in selected cases, and th at he w as content w ith obtaining for the patient a measure o f insight into his case, o r w ith the conversion o f w hat K em pf calls a 'malignant* psychosis into a 'benign' one.39 At th e annual m eeting o f the Royal Medico-Psychological Asso ciation in London in July 1923, Berkeley-Hill stated that the treatm ent in Ranchi also included rest, prolonged bathing, good nutrition, occu pational therapy, am usem ent, paroles and exercises. This is ho w he described these elem ents:40 Rest: Every patient on admission was kept in b ed for at least a w eek and som etim es longer. Sleep charts w ere kept for all restless patients o r for those whose ability to sleep was defective. Prolonged bathing: Patients w ho suffered from excitem ent so acute th at they w ould n o t lie in bed w ere treated w ith hydrotherapy. T hey w ere adm inistered a h o t bath the first thing in th e m orning, w h e re th ey h ad to rem ain th e w hole day in th e charge o f tw o attendants, w ho w ere responsible for the bath w ater being kept at
The Uses of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment of British Patients
the prescribed temperature. The attendants were allowed to talk to the patient only when the patient spoke to them first. At the end of the day, the patient was taken out of the bath and put straight into bed, which was possible because the bath tub had been placed in the patient's room. G o o d nutrition: Every patient was w eighed once a m o n th and the w eight recorded o n a chart. Loss o f w eight was corrected by a special diet. In o rder to m ake th e taking o f meals as agreeable as possible, selected m ale patients w ere perm itted to have th eir ow n mess. F urtherm ore, m ale and female patients could dine to g eth er at sm all tables. O ccupational therapy: O n admission, o r shortly afterwards, every p atien t was given an occupational prescription, w hich was based on an assessm ent o f physical and m ental condition, previous vocation and special aptitudes and interests. For m ale patients, Berkeley-Hill listed shorthand w ritin g clerical, librarian and instructional activities, bookbinding, carpentry, restringing tennis rackets, signboard painting, metalwork, canework, net-m aking plain painting and scrapping paint, extracting and straightening nails, sorting coloured beads, w inding y a m and picking coconut fibres. H ie activities for fem ale patients included needlew ork, lace-making, knitting, crochet, net-m aking, cu ttin g u p vegetables, w inding w ool and y am , and sorting colours. A m usem ent: Indoor and o u td o o r gam es w ere encouraged. T he recreation room s w ere open until 9 p.m. for read in g w riting, playing cards, chess o r dom inoes, and o th e r activities. T h ere w as also a g ram ophone, and in the late 1920s a cinem atograph was installed. A bout four tim es w eekly fourteen patients w ere taken for drives on a m o to r om nibus. Paroles: As m any patients as possible received th e privilege o f g oing in and o u t o f th e hospital w henever they pleased until 9 p.m. H ie y w ere asked to sign a paper prom ising that they w ould n o t abuse th eir privilege. Berkeley-Hill stated th a t w ithin the first three years only one patient w h o was o n parole escaped.
Exercise: Besides outdoor games, such as football, hockey, cricket, croquet, badminton and tennis, Swedish drill (probably some kind of calisthenics) was administered to some male patients, especially to those who were not able to play the more sophisticated games.
38 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India All o f these treatm en ts w ere described by Berkeley-Hill in a professional m eeting outside India, and one w onders ho w m uch o f this description was only program m atic o r wishful thinking and how m u ch was actually p art o f a daily routine. But even if Berkeley-Hill idealized the conditions in Ranchi, it is obvious th a t he tried to tu rn th e "bear garden' into a club o r resort, an extension o f th e elevated style enjoyed by the British elite under the Raj. Many patients w ho had a lower middle class o r lower class background m ight have considered th e atm osphere in th e institution a reproduction o f th e leisured bourgeois culture o f L ondon w hich they h ad never experienced them selves. Even if Berkeley-Hill grossly exaggerated his actual achievements, b oth his attem pt to m ake th e inm ates feel com fortable an d his therapeutic innovations are rem arkable, especially w hen we com pare his procedures w ith those o f o th er psychiatric institutions in British India, as described above. In the essay 'O n H abit-Form adon (1929), Berkeley-Hill gave a fu rth e r account o f his general psychotherapeutic m ethods, as well as his tech n iq u e o f adm inistration. In 1928, h e in tro d u ce d ch arts consisting o f four columns. In the first the bad habit was listed, for exam ple collecting rubbish, disregard for th e proprieties in respect to th e excrem ental functions, copious salivation, o r m asturbation. In th e second colum n appeared his prescription, o r th e m eth o d that seem ed likely to correct this habit. T he form was th en given to the staff in charge o f the patient, w h o w ere ordered to observe th e patient's behaviour. After doing this for one week, they had to fill in co lu m n three: results (if any). T h e c h a rt w as also given to th e occupational therapist, w h o was asked to add fu rth e r rem arks in colum n four. Subsequendy, the chart was inspected by Berkeley-Hill, w h o m ight at this p o in t prescribe disciplinary m easures, such as b arring the patient from attending dances, cinem a shows, o r o th e r positive activities offered in the institution. Berkeley-Hill claim ed that o u t o f a total o f 58 patients treated along these lines, 41 patients had been cured o f their bad habits.41 A n o th e r in n o v a tio n B e rk e ley -H ill in tr o d u c e d in R a n c h i c o n c e rn e d th e care o f ex -p atien ts. E ach p a tie n t w h o le ft th e E uropean M ental H ospital g o t a welfare inquiry le tte r every six m onths. A ccording to his statistics in 1924, b etw een 1 N ovem ber
The Uses of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment of British Patients
1919, and 30 N ovem ber 1922,78 patients w ere discharged. O f these, three had been readm itted and tw o h ad died. O f th e 73 patients w ho w ere thus o u t o f hospital, 29 w ere living w ith friends o r relatives b u t w ere still unable to su p p o rt them selves and 39 w ere su p p o rtin g them selves, o f w hom 25 h ad continued to w o rk in th e ir original profession, and five h ad been lost sight of.42 As m o re th o ro u g h care for ex-patients w as hardly possible w ith o u t a netw o rk o f doctors in all th e provinces, w ho had at least som e basic know ledge and interest in psychiatry. Berkeley-Hill also w orked tow ard a professionalization o f psychiatry in British India. H e saw th e change in th e Indian L unacy Act stating th at lunatic asylum s should h enceforth b e called m en tal hospitals as a prerequisite for his professional plans. In A Plea fo r th e Inception o f a M ental H ygiene M ovem ent in India' (1923), he w rote: ‘This m em o o f th e G overnm ent o f India b ro u g h t im m ense delight, for it m e a n t. . . the in au g u ratio n o f th e first step tow ards th e hospitalisation o f th e Asylum s in India and all th a t sh o u ld follow fro m this, nam ely th e b eg in n in g o f an ex tended in terest in psychiatry in all its b ra n c h e s/43 T h e application o f all these m ethods should be seen in connection w ith Berkeley-HilTs personal way o f interacting w ith th e patients. In his w ritings h e m entioned som e revealing details in this respect. In one instance, a male patient cam e to say th at he was going to kill himself. Berkeley-Hill w rote ou t an order to the stew ard for six yards o f rope, w hich he gave to him w ith a cheery 'H ere you are'. A nother p atien t had w orked him self u p into a state o f furious excitem ent, to m op en his shirt and shouted for a knife, saying he w ould plunge it in to his belly. Berkeley-Hill told him n o t to m ake any m ess o n the floor unless he was prepared to clean it up afterwards, adding th a t if h e w anted to kill himself, he should go to the lake and drow n him self in a decent fashion. A lthough Berkeley-Hill did n o t m ention w h eth er b o th patients preferred dying a natural death thereafter, he probably w o u ld n o t have m entioned th em if his interventions had n o t been successful. Berkeley-Hill also claimed that he gave his patients as m any responsibilities as possible. For example, he handed over a m achine g u n to one patient, a British ex-soldier, w ho was institutionalized after h e h a d shot a com rade. Interestingly enough, the m achine g u n had been issued by the governm ent in order to protect the asylum against
40 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India attacks by Indians. However, it is n o t d e a r w hether the w eapon was loaded while in the patient's hands.44 T he superintendent's residence was only a sh o rt w alk away from th e m ental hospital, and Berkeley-Hill obviously did n o t segregate his professional from his private life. H e also seem s to have enjoyed spending tim e w ith patients. O n one occasion, a fem ale patient w ho was quite fond o f him disappeared from a party given at his residence. M uch later, she was found hiding in his bed. In an o th er episode th at he proudly m entioned in his autobiography, a n ew m ale attendant w ho had ju st started duty happened to see Berkeley-Hill, w hom he had n o t yet m et, and a patient on a see saw, and to o k th em b o th back to one o f the m en's wards. This close interaction w ith patients, as well as his creative approach to treatm ent procedures, w ere possible because o f therapeutic liberties the colonial setting could provide once he had successfully secured his autonom y in m anaging th e asylum. Berkeley-HilTs scattered descriptions about his w o rk in Ranchi leave the impression th at he m ust have been well suited to ru n an institution like this. It is perhaps n o t com pletely a m atter o f style th at he quoted the reflections o f John Connolly, a British psychiatrist, to express his ow n attitude: 'N one b u t those w h o live am ongst the insane can fully know the pleasure which arises from im parting trifling satisfaction to im paired minds; none else can appreciate the rew ard o f seeing reason returning to a m ind long deprived o f it; none else can fully know the value o f infusing com fort, and all the blessings of orderly life, am ongst those w ho w ould either perish w ith o u t care o r each o f w h o m w ould, if o u t o f an asylum , be to rm e n te d o r a to rm en to r/4’ But this rhetoric o f an ageing psychiatrist in his m em oirs also covered Berkeley-HilTs quest for power, m ore specifically, the pleasure he g o t o u t o f fights against bureaucratic adm inistrators and th e m an ag em en t o f a large d ep en d en t staff and th e even m o re dependent inm ates.44 Berkeley-Hill defended his interests and those o f the patients n o t only w ith the help o f the m achine gun th a t w as given to him by the governm ent, b u t in other, m ore subtle ways. H e even w en t so far as to try to quiet the drum s o f an Indian troop th at cam e regularly to a nearby village by arm ing him self w ith a lo n g sharp knife and hiding am ong the trees along the roadside:
The Uses of Psychoanalysis in the Treatment o f British Patients
As soon as a party of drummers passed the point where I was concealed, I would leap out, and uttering blood-curdling yells, pursue them. The result was always the same. Believing themselves pursued by an evil spirit, the drummers would throw down their drums and run for dear life. As soon as they were out of sight, 1fell upon the drums with my knife and cut out large pieces of the hide___In this way I ensured a certain amount of quiet, but by the time a large number of drums had been rendered mute, the drummers forsook their usual route and, reaching the villages by circuitous paths, started their infernal noise as loudly as ever.. . . I sent for the Head Jemadar of the Ward Boys of the hospital, a Mohammedan named Budloo Khan___ I took with m e my trusty drum-cutting knife. . . . In a tone of voice which was intended to be both severe and peremptory, I demanded immediate and complete silence. My demand was met by an increase in the violence of the noise. I sprang forward and attempted a slice with my knife at one of the drum s.. . . In an instant a dozen or more villagers of both sexes rushed after us, led by an old woman o f villainous aspect. In a trice the old harridan had hold o f Budloo's shirt and tore it from his back. In another instant she had her fingers in his beard, from which she tore out a good couple of handfuls. I shouted to Budloo: 'Slap the old bitch in the belly . . Very fortunately, perhaps, for us, there arrived at this moment the headman o f the village, with whom I expostulated for the lack of hospitality that Budloo and I had met with. He soon drove our assailants off and actually apologised for their behaviour.47 i.iki» m o st colonial travel literature and reminiscences, Berkeley-Hill's autobiography contains several such stories, w hich are narrated in the style o f hunter's tales o f heroic fights w ith wild beasts. N ot incidentally, these stories end well, n o t always because o f his superiority over those attacked, but as in this case—less heroically—because o f the intervention o f an Indian police officer w ho h ad to be loyal to the colonial system, n o m a tte r w hat he thought. W h a t has been said should suffice to docum ent Berkeley-Hills impressive achievements. H e tu rn ed the E uropean M ental H ospital in to an institution th at contained essential elem ents o f th e elevated life-style o f th e British in the Raj, including lavish flower-beds and E uropean trees. But why did his patients com e into his care? W h at m u st it have been like for a young British official, for example, to be p osted in India at th e beginning o f this century? O rw ell decided to leave India; perhaps his interlocutor in the Educational Service did
42 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India also. T he majority, however tried to silence their ow n doubts, and perhaps those o f others, by legitimizing British dom ination. BerkeleyHill to o k som e liberties w ithin this system, b u t nevertheless, h e was fully integrated in to the colonial structure, and several instances narrated in his autobiography show th at he looked at certain Indians less as hum an beings than as game. However, the largely unofficial and unacknow ledged process o f silencing doubt by legitim izing British rule to o k a variety o f forms, as the following case study by BerkeleyHill will show.
Psychoanalysis in the Colonial Context: A Case Vignette
In Berkeley-Hill's case, psychoanalysis, often associated w ith enlight enm ent and considered an aid in overcom ing repressive conditions, did n o t contribute to questioning the colonial system. Instead, as th e following case study will show, his defence against any th reat from the Indian side also entered his psychoanalytical work. This case o f paranoid dissociation, described in the January 1922 issue o f The Psycho analytic Review, illustrates b o th his use o f psychoanalytic m ethods and his role as a representative o f the British colonial power, w h o did n o t w an t his patients to show disloyalty to British culture by interacting w ith Indians. W hen the patient, a thirty-year-old British enlisted m an in the Indian army, was adm itted to Ranchi, he show ed classical sym ptom s o f w h at w e w ould now call schizophrenia, such as hallucinations, hearing voices, and weaving trivial m atters into a com plex schem e o f persecution. T he patient was convinced th at Indian pandits w ere after his life, because they w ere jealous o f his knowledge o f astrology. H e also believed th a t som ebody from th e crim inal investigation departm ent w atched him and fought in his fantasies w ith the colonial governm ent: 'th a t is the G overnm ent: this is as far as I am concerned a fight to the finish w ith the G overnm ent w ho are m y greatest e n e m ^ H e regarded a British w om an w ho happened to visit th e asylum
The Uses o f Psychoanalysis in the Treatm ent o f British Patients
as a reincarnation o f an o th er w om an w ith w h o m he h ad h ad a com plicated platonic relationship. T here w ere occasions w hen he identified him self w ith Jesus, o r felt the challenge o f Mars, th e god o f w ar.4* T h e p a tie n t w as b ro u g h t in to th e asy lu m b ec au se h e h a d threaten ed to shoot his superior officer's son and com m it suicide. Berkeley-Hill described his behaviour at the tim e o f adm ission as extrem ely inaccessible. H e alm ost constantly w rote dow n his insights and accused Berkeley-Hill o f having got hold o f his books and papers. O n several occasions he hinted at his intention o f m aking a violent attack on Berkeley-Hill, and once he w rote him a threatening letter prom ising to knock him dow n th e next tim e he saw him . T h e patient had constant hallucinations at first, b u t after six m onths' residence in th e asylum , they alm ost disappeared, and he began to show signs o f adjustm ent. H e w as th en asked to becom e an instructor in Swedish drill for the o th e r patients, a task h e to o k very seriously. BerkeleyHill described this as the crucial tu rn in the treatm en t process. A fter about eight m o n th s' residence, th e patient consented to u ndergo psychoanalysis. Despite continuing com petition betw een h im and the 'spycologist', as he called Berkeley-Hill, Berkeley-Hill claim ed to have uncovered several traum atic events and complexes from his patient's past. In particular the letters th at the patient w ro te to him , som e o f w hich w ere over forty pages long, provided m any insights, especially th o se co n taining personal reflections o n his biography. In the course o f psychoanalysis it cam e out, for example, th at the patient had identified him self w ith his father after his parents' divorce. T hese affects derived from a feeling o f guilt tow ards his father, as he had a t the age o f sixteen p u t o n his elder sister's u nderw ear and m asturbated on his m other's bed, fantasizing intercourse w ith his elder sister and m other. H e left behind stains o f sem en and the im print o f a body on his m other's bed. W h en his father happened to notice this, h e saw in it p ro o f o f his w ifes adultery. T he patient subsequently suffered from rum ours that his father’s sanity was questionable and th at th e father had attem pted to com m it suicide by cutting his th ro at w ith a razor, w hich led to the patient’s com plex about razors and shaving. It appeared that the patient had never had intercourse w ith
44 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India a w om an, and that those w hom he m et w ere substitutes for his m other and sisters.49 T he patient's feelings o f inferiority w ere fu rth er aggravated by professional problem s, w hich he tried to resolve by going to India. But there he discovered th at the craft he had learned in England, bootm aking, was practised only by people o f the lowest caste and w as looked dow n upon. H e therefore decided to join the British army. In th e army, however, it seems th at he cam e into conflicts w ith his hom osexual tendencies w hen sharing a room w ith an o th er officer. T h e onset o f hallucinations and odd behaviour th at finally led to his adm ission to the m ental asylum started after som ebody seem ed to have ransacked his room , and w hen he was slightly w ounded by a bullet. T he patient attributed this attack from behind to pandits, and h e panicked. T he only reassurance th at the patient seem ed to have go t in England had com e from astrology; and in India he had consulted Indian astrologers, w hom he called pandits, frequendy A lthough Berkeley-Hill's psychoanalytic interventions apparently helped the patient adjust to life in a colonial asylum, the analyst expressed his contem pt for astrology openly, and this issue rem ained a sore point betw een the tw o m en. In 1922, Berkeley-Hill w rote: 'th e patient seem s to have got into touch w ith one o f those num erous charlatans w ho profess to be"psychologists", "astrologers", and w hat n o t. This rogue w rote him a le tte r.. . . It appears th at this persevering spider had at last caught his fly.' Berkeley-Hill ended the article thus: 'So far it has n o t been easy to get him to see’th at the views he has gleaned from his reading o f "astrology", as well as those h e has o b tain ed from th e charlatans h e consulted, belo n g to a type o f thinking (if indeed, they belong to anything at all) th at has long passed away into the lim bo o f false know ledge.' T h e patient show ed equally sm all regard for his therapist's ideas, com plaining th at Berkeley-Hill attributed to o m uch to sex and challenging in one o f his letters b oth his sexual theories and his belief in D arw inism .50 Berkeley-Hill's description and analysis o f this case reads in m any respects like a battle for the patient's loyalties betw een tw o m utually exclusive authorities. O n the one hand there was th e p o ten t father fig u re B erkeley-H ill, d irectly linked to th e co lo n ial a rm y and governm ent, and on the other hand there w ere the Indian astrologers.
The Uses o f Psychoanalysis in the Treatm ent o f British Patients
H ie p atien t tried to figjit against both. In his m om ents o f guilt about having dealt w ith the astrologers, they becam e threatening to him , too. Unlike the case o f th e suicidal patient to w h o m Berkeley-Hill felt free to prescribe a rope, o r the m urderer to w h o m h e gave a gun, h e felt in this soldier's case the need to fight against th e patient's inclinations tow ards astrology and o th er aspects o f Indian culture. Unfortunately; w e do n o t know w hat the patient finally decided to do, once the gates in Ranchi opened for him. Did he follow the colonial rules and try to adjust to the British colonial world, o r did he continue to seek help from Indian astrologers and accept being a renegade? A fter this experience in Ranchi, it seem s th a t there w as n o chance for him to com bine these tw o worlds. A lthough Berkeley-Hill was clearly less conventional th an m ost o f his fellow countrym en, he was nevertheless a representative o f th e colonial system, w hich he did no t question b u t rath er defended. T hus, w henever Indians challenged the status quo, h e defended it w ith his w eapons, from the drum -cutting knife to psychoanalytically based derogation. In a way similar to later colonial and post-colonial lite ra ry descrip tio n s and analyses o f th e relatio n sh ip b etw e en colonizer and colonized, Berkeley-Hill had reduced his interaction w ith Indian people to a kind o f m onologue. Despite the impressive changes th at he introduced in Ranchi, including the application o f psychotherapy, his thinking left o u t one essential elem ent— conscious acceptance o f being in a different culture, am ong different people. Because he negated this reality, he was n o t able to reflect on specific conditions th at caused m ental confusion am ong som e o f those w ho did n o t deny the existence o f Indian culture. O ne cannot estim ate ho w m uch the specifics o f the colonial situ ation contributed to the outbreak o f sym ptom s that w ere in BerkeleyH ill s tim e called dem entia praecox, and today schizophrenia. Even if biochemical dispositions and early psychological experiences affected th e patients in Ranchi, their actual sym ptom s w ere obviously shaped, if n o t aggravated, by the social and political problem s o f living in a colony w ith its alienating and threatening conditions. This was even m ore so from the 1920s onwards, w hen m ore and m ore British people cam e to India in the hope o f im proving n o t only their econom ic, b u t also th e ir psychological situation.
46 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India Those British subjects w ho walked along the mall in Simla, focusing on their interactions w ith M o w countrym en and wom en, did n o t come into such conflicts o f cultural hybridity. Others, like Orwell o r Leonard Woolf, w h o w ere to o sensitive to deny the existence o f th e Asian population around them , w ere so appalled that they left th e colonial w orld to rem ain sane. Yet others, like Berkeley-HilTs patient, w ere themselves n o t privileged enough to find a way o u t o f the colonial dilemma they w ere caught in. This patient was no t able to bridge the experienced schism o f the colonial situation in any constructive way and developed delusions th at either representatives o f th e British governm ent o r H indu astrologers w ere pursuing him. Even th e person he expected to help him bridge these tw o divided worlds, BerkeleyHill, turned o u t to pursue him in his fantasies. H e saw in him a spy, i.e. a representative o f the colonial state. For this patient, at least, the psychoanalytic treatm ent o f British patients in India thus tu rn ed o u t to be no t a m ethod o f liberation, but rather yet another form o f repression. T h e psychoanalyst became a spy into the inner world, n o t a healer.
Notes 1. R.C. McWatters to Jones, letter dated 7 November 1921, Archive of the British Psychoanalytical Society, London, CWA/F01 /Ol. 2. Francis Hutchins, The Tiiujumof Permanence—British Imperialismin India (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967), p. 101. 3. George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier (London: V Gollancz, 1937), p. 177. 4. For further discussion on this issue, see Ranajit Guha, 'Not at Home in Empire/ Critical Inquiry 23 (Spring 1997), 482-93. 5. Owen Berkeley-Hill, 'Mental Hygiene o f Europeans in the TYopics/ Transactions o f the F.E.A.T.M. Seventh Congress held in India, December 1927, Vol. 1 (Calcutta: Thacker’s Press & Directories, Ltd, 1929), pp. 389-99. The phrase ‘Punjab head' is mentioned on page 392. 6. On hill stations in the Raj, see Dane Kennedy, The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). 7. L.P. Varma, 'History of Psychiatry in India and Pakistan/ IndianJournal o f Neurology and Psychiatry, 4 (1953), 26-53,138-64; Mitchell G. Weiss,
The Uses o f Psychoanalysis in the Treatm ent o f British Patient»
11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
21. 22. 23.
T h e TYeatment o f Insane Patients in British India/ Indian Journal c f Psychiatry 25 (1983). 312-6; Waldtraut Bmst, Mad Tales from the Raj (London: Roudedge, 1990). WS. Jagoe Shaw, T h e Alienist Department o f India/ The Journal o f Mental Science, 78 (1932), 331-41, here 336. For a list of the mental asylums in British India at that time, see A.W Overbeck-Wright, Lunacy in India (London: Bailliere, Tindall & Coz, 1921), p. 395. W.S. Jagoe Shaw, 'Some Generalizations on the Scope, Construction and Administration o f Central Asylums in India,* The Indian Medical Gazette, 49 (1914), 424-7, here 424. C J. Lodge Patch, A Century of Psychiatry in the Punjab,' TheJournal o f Mental Science, 85 (1939), 386-90. Ibid., p 387. Ibid. Jagoe Shaw, T h e AEenist Department o f India/ p. 337. Varma, 'History of Psychiatry in India and Pakistan/ p. 33. Owen Berkeley-Hill, All Too Human: An Unconventional Autobiography (London: Peter Davies, 1939), p 38. Ibid., pp. 241-2. Ibid., p. 243. Ibid. pp. 78-9. Ernest Jones, 'Owen Berkeley-Hill, 1879-1944/ InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis, 25 (1944/45), 177; Girindrasekhar Bose, 'O wen Berkeley-Hill—In M emoriam/ IndianJournal o f Psychology, 19(1944), 145-6. Owen Berkeley-Hill, ‘Mental Hygiene of Europeans in the TVopics,' p. 390. Editorial, Marriage Hygiene, Series 2, Vol. 1 (1947), 2. Jones to Freud, letter dated 19 November 1910, Archive of the British Psychoanalytical Society, London, CFH/F01 /30. In 1913, Berkeley-Hill helped found the British Psychoanalytical Society; see Jones to Freud, 13 September 1913, Archive of the British Psychoanalytical Society, London, C FH /F02/15. Jones and Berkeley-Hill stayed in close contact and supported each other; see Archive of the British Psychoanalytical Society, London, CBA/F21/02, CBA/F21/01. Sigmund Freud, On the History o f the Psychoanalytic Movement (1914), Standard Edition, Vol. 14 (London: The Hogarth Press, 1957), p. 30. 'History of the Indian Psychoanalytical Society/ International Journal o f Psychoanalysis, 4 (1923), 249-52; 15 (1934), 374-6.
48 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India 26. 'Indian Association for Mental Hygiene: "Report"/ Indian Journal of Psychology, 4 (1929), 52-5; Berkeley-Hili, A Note on the Incidence of Neuro-Syphilis among Coloured Races/ in Collected Papers (Calcutta: The Book Company, 1933), pp. 294-309. 27. Berkeley-Hill, 'Mental Hygiene/ IndianJournal o f Psychology, 2 (1927), 1-14; ’Indian Association for Mental Hygiene: "Report"’. The work of this hospiul is discussed in Chapter 4, 28. Alexander Grinstein, The Index o f Psychoanalytic Writing; (New York: International Universities Press, 1956), pp. 136-7. 29. Berkeley-Hill, 'The Psychoanalytic Method of Treatment o f the Neuroses/ The Indian Medical Gazette, 47 (1912), 220-24; 'The Psychology of the Anus/ The Indian Medical Gazette, 48 (1913), 301-3; A Report of Two Cases Treated Successfully by Psychotherapy/ The Indian Medical Gazette, 48(1913), 97-9; A Comparison between the Mental Processes in the Sane and in the Insane/ The Indian Medical Gazette, 49 (1914), 382-7; A Short Analysis of 89 Cases of Epilepsy in the Punjab Lunatic Asylum/ The Indian Medical Gazette, 49(1914), 136-7. 30. Berkeley-Hill, 'The Psychoanalytic Method o f Treatment o f the Neuroses/ p. 220. 31. Montague David Eder, 'Review of Berkeley-Hill, "Report o f Two Cases Treated Successfully by Psychotherapy,“* Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 1 (1913), 586; 'Review of Berkeley-Hill, 'Anal Eroticism,"' Internationale Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse, 1 (1913), 507; Ernest Jones, ‘Review of "The Psychoanalytic Method of Treatment of the Neuroses,"' Internationale Zeitschriftfur Psychoanalyse, 1 (1913), 186-7. 32. Berkeley-Hill, 'Psychoanalysis and the General Practitioner/ p. 444. 33. AU Too Human, pp. 76-7. 34. Ibid., p. 76. 35. Berkeley-Hill, 'A Wassermann Survey of the Inmates of the Ranchi European Lunatic Asylum/ The Indian Medical Gazette, 36 (1921), 8994, here 91. 36. Berkeley-Hill to Jones, 5 November 1915, Archive o f the British Psychoanalytical Society, CBA/Û1/01; Emphasis in Original. 37. Berkeley-Hill, 'The European Mental Hospital/ TheJournal o f Mental Science, 70 (1924), 68-76. 38. Berkeley-Hill, 'Psychoanalysis and the General Practitioner/ p. 445. 39. Ibid. 40. Berkeley-Hill, 'The European Mental Hospital/ p. 69; AU Too Human, pp. 243-6.
The Uses o f Psychoanalysis in the Treatm ent o f British Patients
41. Berkeley-Hill, 'On Habit Formation/ TheJournal o f Menial Sciences, 75 (1929), 298-9. 42. Berkeley-Hill, Ail Too Human, pp. 265-7. 43. Berkeley-Hill, A Plea for the Inception o f a Mental Hygiene Movement in India/ The Indian Medical Gazette, 58 (1923), 242-4. 44. Berkeley-Hill, AH Too Human, p. 256. 45t Ibid. 46. Ibid., pp. 258-9. 47. Ibid., pp. 262-3. 48. Berkeley-Hill, A Case o f Paranoid Dissociation/ The Psychoanalytic Review, 9 (1922), 1-27, here 22. 49. Ibid., p. 26. 50. Ibid., p. 27.
2 British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture
reud and many other psychoanalysts considered psychoanalysis to be more than a therapy. Beyond healing individuals they also hoped to provide an understanding of complex and threatening cultural phenomena that would be a first step towards the solution o f social problems. The psychoanalytical journals Imago and the InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis focused on such contributions. Owen Berkeley-Hill and another officer in the British army in India, C.D. Daly; were inspired by these efforts and attempted to analyse and interpret some of those elements of Indian culture, religion, sexuality and politics that they apparently found strange, puzzling, uncanny or even frightening. These included psychoanalytical interpretations of Hindu religious rituals and the imagery of Kali, as well as reflections on Muslims and Anglo-Indians. Both men also dealt explicitly and implicitly in these publications with aspects of the growing Indian resistance to British rule. As different as their biographies and the Indian themes they reflected upon were, BerkeleyHill and Daly had in common that while living and working in India they both tried to reflect on what affected them emotionally, by drawing on their latest reading and their personal knowledge of psychoanalysis.
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 51
Berkeley-HilTs Publications on Hindus, Muslims and Anglo-Indians
The previous chapter illustrated some of Berkeley-HilTs attitudes toward Indians, albeit in an implicit form. He also made his views on Indians explicit and substantiated these with the help of psycho analytical concepts.
Hindus as the White Man's Burden Berkeley-Hill's first essay o f this kind, 'T h e Anal-Erotic Factor in the Religion, Philosophy and C haracter o f the Hindus*, was published in th e International Journal o f Psychoanalysis in 1921. In this w ork, he gave a range o f examples o f w hat he considered to be a sublim ation of, o r reaction formations against, anal-erotic impulses am ong Hindus. A ccording to him , reverence for deities such as Agni, Indra and Surya show s anal-erotic fixations, as these deities are associated w ith passing en o rm o u s am ounts o f wind. T he singing chants o f classic H indu liturgies also appeared to him to be related to the sam e flatus complex. H e fu rth e r pointed to classic Vedic texts that indicate a preoccupation w ith control over th e sphincter muscles, and discussed hatha yoga in this respect: 'breath exercises are really efforts to direct flatus into a m o st elaborate quasi-philosophical sy stem /1 Berkeley-Hill further claimed that the essence o f the notion o f atman is th a t in Brahmanism, the flatus complex masquerades as a metaphysi cal spirit. W hat he saw as the excessive ritualism o f Brahm anism is also an indication o f classical pedantic-compulsive, anal-erotic com ponents. To prove this point, he gave detailed descriptions o f repetitive elem ents in Brahm anic rituals, for example eighteen rules for answering the call o f nature, and nine for cleaning the teeth. Berkeley-Hill also discussed th e enorm ous units o f tim e in H indu myths, e.g., thousands o f golden ages, millions o f years w ithin eachyuga, and the extrem ely high n u m bers associated w ith deities, such as ten million royal deities. H e saw in this propensity to juggle w ith large arithm etical quantities an expres sion o f the m oulding capacities characteristic o f early anal activities.2
52 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India In a second p art o f this article, Berkeley-Hill gave his argum ents an explicit political twist. Referring directly to Jones’ w ork o n anal eroti cism, he stated th at the H indu has all die disadvantageous traits o f an anal-erotic personality structure, such as irritability bad. temper, unhappiness, hypochondria, miserliness, m eanness, pettiness, slow mindedness, a tendency to bore, a b en t for tyrannizing and dictating, and obstinacy.3 This explained, to Berkeley-Hill, w hy people from all over the w orld have developed antipathies tow ard Hindus. Further, he w rote, these character traits were ju st the opposite to those o f Europe ans, especially the English, to w hom he ascribed positive characteristics, for example determ ination and persistence, pow er o f organization, com petence, reliability and thoroughness, generosity, individualism, and the general ability to deal w ith concrete objects o f the material world. Berkeley-Hill concluded the essay w ith a justification o f British rule, since, in his view, Hindus do n o t have a psychological disposition for leadership. T hey are, in addition to being obsessive-compulsive, also infantile: 'T h e type o f m entality w hich we en co u n ter am ong H indus is in m any ways typical o f that o f obsessional states, while their general level o f thought partakes o f the variety usually peculiar to children/4 These w ere, o f course, Berkeley-Hills personal reflections and views, bu t they w ere expressed in an international jo u rn al, an d thus directed tow ard a foreign readership. T he intended audience fo r these thoughts and conclusions w ere clearly n o t H indus them selves. But the article becam e know n and talked about in British India, because Berkeley-Hill's Collected Papers, a bo o k o f essays in w hich th e article w as re p rin te d a n d th u s m ade available to In d ian re a d e rs, w as confiscated by th e British authorities in 1933/ E rnest Jo n es and G irindrasekhar Bose b oth recorded th at adm inistrators proscribed the publication o f this article in India, because they w ere afraid th at Berkeley-H ill's in te rp retatio n s could lead to m o re anti-colonial resentm ent am o n g the Hindus.4 But the essay was n o t only published in the International Journal o f Psychoanalysis, w hich was an d still is a leading psychoanalytical journal, and n o t an obscure m agazine, it was also sum m arized b y Smith Ely Jelliffe in the Psychoanalytic Review, and thus spread throughout the Anglo-American world. Jelliffe praised Berkeley-Hill's analysis: All these [negative characteristics] th e author
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 53
shows the Hindu possesses in great measure in a most convincing manner.'7 For Berkeley-Hill, the publication of this article was an initiation into the international group of psychoanalytical writers. In it he showed that he had done his homework as a student of psychoanalysis. It is obvious that he was influenced by Jones' writings on analeroticism, and there is evidence that Jones had written to Freud in support of the publication of Berkeley-Hill's article.* Some of Berkeley-Hill's shorter, early psychoanalytical publications in the Indian Medical Gazette had also centred around this theme, but they were no more than repetitions of what Freud and Jones had said about the subject. It is thus not surprising that he tried to find a way to apply these concepts creatively. Berkeley-Hill's conclusion indicates, however, yet another dimension to this essay. By justifying British rule on the basis of apparently scientific, i.e. psychoanalytical, findings, he had become a political writer. The article, which appeared in 1921, was obviously written during the post-war mass political mobilization against the British with demands for freedom. Thus, the timing of the article is significant; here psychoanalytical concepts were explicitly used as an ideological defence against threats to the political status quo.
Muslims as Threat to Europeans: ‘Lessons for the Practical Politician* Berkeley-Hill's essay ‘A Short Study of the Life and Character of Mohammed', also published in 1921 in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, was directly aimed at a perceived political threat.9 In this article Berkeley-Hill tried to show that Mohammed was utterly neurotic, and that, in order to resolve his Oedipal problems, he turned them into a religion that supported the inherent drive of its followers to oppose authorities. Commenting on what he considered to be the watchword of Islam, 'Fight in the way of God until opposition be crushed and the religion becometh the Lord's alone/ Berkeley-Hill wrote: 'Thus did the child cry through the motith of the man, seeking vengeance upon the father/ His uncovering of what he considered the virile psychopathology on which the faith of Islam is based led
54 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
him to conclude that, 'due to its appeal to these hidden sources of feeling,. . . Islam is. . . the only force able to hurl Asia upon the iron civilisation of Europe/ Thus, he argued, Mohammeds followers would always be a threat to Europeans. As a practical answer to this threat, he suggested that Europeans should develop a rational and scientific attitude towards Muslims, which would again result in saving those responsible for the maintenance of law and order in countries inhabited by them. The inspiration for these lines of thought came from Karl Abraham's study on another significant religious leader, the Egyptian Amenhotep.10 In analogy to Abraham, Berkeley-Hill claimed that Mohammed, like Amenhotep, had suffered, among other thing?, from an all-pervasive father complex. As a posthumous child, Mohammed hated his grandfather, who in his case replaced his father, and attempted to replace his father and grandfather by himself, which led him into a lifelong war against religious, political and social authorities. Because his grandfather was the patriarch of his tribe, the Coreish, Mohammed had to transcend him by creating a religion that had as its central point a Divine Father. He attributed to his divine creation unlimited power—such power, in fact, as the child supposes his father to possess. Allah thus became the magnified reflection of Mohammed’s own wishes for himself. Besides attributing Mohammed’s religious motives to unresolved Oedipal problems, Berkeley-Hill also claimed to have uncovered a mother and a daughter complex among Muslims. According to him, Mohammed’s incestuous fixation on his mother resulted in an abnormal chastity that lasted until his late twenties. By then he had married a woman of his mother’s age who was, like her, a widow, and he found in his first wife Khadijah a perfect replacement for his mother. At the age of fifty, however, when his aged wife died, he became engaged to a girl of six and married her three years later. As Mohammed had four daughters in succession and no sons from his first marriage, Berkeley-Hill saw in Mohammed’s engagement to a child an example of his daughter complex. Apparently, this article did not create any waves, but rather remained unnoticed in India. One of the reasons might have been that all Indian members of the Indian Psychoanalytical Society in the
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 55 1920s w ere H indus w hose feelings w ere perhaps n o t h u rt by this analysis. T he only responses to die article cam e in professional reviews by Louise Brink in the Psychoanalytic Review and by C.W. Forsyth in d ie Journal o f Mental S c ie n c e Forsyth noted th at th e life history and influences a t w o rk in form ing th e ch aracter o f M oh am m ed are essentially th e sam e as those o f A m enhotep, w hereas Louise Brink b ro u g h t o u t th e fundam ental political issue: ’T he au th o r sketches m o st interestingly the general ideas o f religious faith and fanaticism as seen in the M oham m edan g ro u p psychology conditioned as it is upon the unconscious o f its devotees. H ere are lessons for the practical p o litician /12 T his is obviously w hat Berkeley-Hill h ad intended. W riting w hen th e anti-British Khilafat m ovem ent was rapidly gaining influence in India, Berkeley-Hill reacted to th e anti-W estern wave o f M uslim solidarity in India and elsewhere in Asia by w arning his countrym en o f th e inherent pow er o f Islam. Judging from this essay; he apparently to o k M uslim s m o re seriously th an H indus. H e considered th e ir behaviour and values to be m o re sim ilar to th e British th an those o f th e H indus. But this similarity, and th e ability to identify w ith them , also m ade them m ore dangerous to continued British colonial rule. W ith the help o f psychoanalytic concepts, however, he tried to show th a t th e origin o f their religion lay in an individual neurosis. T h u s he im plied th at th e foundation o f their culture w as n o t as solid as th at o f th e Christian British one. As Islam w ould always threaten British rule, he implicitly offered to advise policy-makers o n ho w to deal w ith th e Muslims, thus trying to tu rn the insights o f psychoanalysis in to general colonial policy
Bcrkdey-Hill’s Views on Sex and Race In 'T h e C olour Q uestion from a Psychoanalytic Standpoint', published in 1924 in th e Pychoanalytic Review, Berkeley-Hill focused his analytic atten tio n on persons, especially m en, w ith a dark com plexion.13 H e claim ed th at the h erd instinct cannot explain fully th e discrim ination against black o r coloured people, especially as it does n o t explain the w idespread dislike o f a dark skin by people w hose skins are dark, n o r does it describe o r explain th e adm iration felt by dark-skinned people
56 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
for a fair skin. Suggesting that there must be more to it, he then gave examples to prove his point that blackness is a colour of ill omen and associated with evil not only among white, but also among coloured and black people. But he also claimed that there is more to this issue. According to common psychoanalytical assumptions of his time, the tendency to hate is closely associated with its opposite, love, and therefore antipathy toward people with a dark complexion can be interpreted as the effect of a hidden erotic appeal: ‘The very subtle but nevertheless extremely powerful attraction. . . has nothing to do with ideas of witchcraft. It is purely sexual attraction. It is a form of sexual perversion/ 14 Berkeley-Hill illustrated this alleged 'sexual perversion* with examples of interracial sexual relationships, especially of the seduction of white women by black men, as in the first chapter of the Thousand and One Nights. In essence, he stated that both men and women, but especially women of a 'racially superior type', are liable to become the subjects of the strongest attraction for individuals belonging to a 'racially more primitive type*. 'This fact gives rise to the hatred bred of sexual jealousy.... This hatted is mostly felt for the negro probably on account of the widespread belief that the negro is endowed with superior attributes for the act of copulation/19 He ended this paper with his concern about the severity of problems arising out of sexual envy. As in the paper on Muslims, Berkeley-Hill reflected upon aspects of virility; here, the masculine identity was that of coloured and black men, which he took seriously. He claimed that his intentions were the same as those of psychoanalysis in general, i.e. to illuminate all the aspects that seemed to him dark, hidden, evil and seductive, and to deal with them by becoming aware of them. However, he was quite open about the fact that this was only a programmatic approach, and that it did not resolve theoretical questions about the nature of envy and the sources of resentment in what is assumed to be the greater sexual potency of other races. The paper was thus primarily an appeal to psychoanalysts to study the question, not a solution. This article stands out as an exception among the writing? in which Berkeley-Hill reflected upon aspects of life in India. It is the only
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 57 in w hich he did n o t apply Jones', Freud's, A braham 's, Moll's o r any other recently published reflection on an issue by a E uropean expert to som ething he found puzzling in India. In this article, rather, he creatively developed his ow n arguments. His daily environm ent, w ith an Indian wife, his five Anglo-Indian children and an African servant, Hassan bin Kujumbi, probably contributed to his interest in these issues. Berkeley-Hill him self was clearly conscious o f the fact th a t his Anglo-Indian children w ere considered second class British, for he m entioned the issue in one b o o k review: ‘T h at d ie Indian halfcaste is th e product for th e m ost part o f prom iscuous sexual unions between European imm igrants and natives o f the country, is a perpetual source o f offence to British prudery and this fact m ay explain w hy less kindness and sym pathy is show n to half-castes in India th a n in the French o r D utch colonies.'16 Berkeley-Hill's social views w ere, however, in line w ith colonial race ideology and left n o doubts ab o u t the established hierarchy o f races. W h a t w as th e reception o f this paper? It is d o cu m en ted th a t Berkeley-Hill read it on 9 June 1923 before the Indian Psychoanalytical Society, b u t no details about a discussion are given.17 Unlike the o th e r studies by Berkeley-Hill, this one does n o t seem to have been o f m uch interest to W estern psychoanalysts; there are n o indications o f any review o f this article in th e psychoanalytical literature. H e m ight have been to o early w ith such a publication; n o t even in the U nited States had racial interm arriages then becom e a topic o f reflection o r concern for psychologists o r psychoanalysts. In this respect, as w ith his institutional innovations at the European M ental Hospital, BerkeleyHill w as well ahead o f his tim e. H e was, however, n o t free from th e com m on racial stereotypes o f a m an in his position a t th a t tim e. Berkeley-Hill's com m ents o n Jews aze also revealing. As m entioned in the previous chapter, he had listed Jews in a separate category in his statistics o f th e p atien ts h e treated in th e E uro p ean M ental Hospital, and he obviously shared th en com m on stereotypes ab o u t Jews. In an article o n hysteria, published in 1933, Berkeley-Hill w ro te th at all over th e w orld n o t only Jewish w om en, b u t a rem arkable percentage o f Jewish m en suffer from hysteria: 'It is a very rem arkable fact th a t hysteria is exceedingly prevalent am o n g Jews. Fishberg rem arks that all the Jewesses in Palestine are hysterical. In W arsaw it
58 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India appears th at Hysteria is very frequent am ong b o th Jews and Jewesses. . . . In London and N ew York City the clinics o f nervous diseases can be seen daily to be overcrowded w ith Jews___ Som e physicians go so far as to testify that Hysteria in the m ale is th e characteristic privilege o f the children o f Israel.’1* Berkeley-Hill's associations regarding Freud’s ethnic and religious background are also notable, since they clearly reveal his prejudices against all non-British appearance and behaviour. H e w ro te in an o b itu a ry in th e Indian Journal o f Psychology a b o u t his p erso n al encounter w ith Freud: 'T here was nothing o f the conventional Jew about him . H e w as plainly and soberly dressed and he spoke w ith o u t gesturing.'19 Based o n this observation, one w onders w hat he had expected Freud to w ear and how he th o u g h t he w ould move. In any case, it is obvious that his stereotypes w ere n o t lim ited to H indus and Muslims. Berkeley-Hill's views o n race and sex shed light o n his, i.e. a w hite m an’s, fears o f sexually m ore p otent m en o f colour and the sexual envy o f the erotic appeal o f dark-skinned m en. It is evident th at for him , persons w ho were n o t the stereotypical white Anglo-Saxon males w ere potentially dangerous because o f their alleged sexual energies o r proneness to hysteria.
Beyond ‘Divide and RmIí*: On Hindu-Muslim Unity T he only paper Berkeley-Hill presented to the Indian Psychoanalytical Society before it w as published abroad was titled 'H indu-M uslim Unity*. H e read this first in C alcutta o n 11 A ugust 1924; it w as published in 1925 in th e International Journal o f Psychoanalysis.2* According to Berkeley-Hill, there could be n o explanation for the stubborn and vehem ent fights betw een Muslims and H indus o th er than their unconscious psychic structures, because there w ere neither racial n o r language barriers betw een these tw o groups; m oreover, India was n o t the only country that Muslims conquered, b u t now here else w ere the tensions so severe as in India. W hat then w as this special elem ent that m ade H indus hate Muslims and vice versa? BerkeleyHill uncovered tw o aspects that h e th o u g h t could provide a useful explanation. First, he found som e analogy in Jones' w ritings about
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 59 th e feelings o f the Irish tow ards the English. Jones m aintained that th e Irish associate the idea o f Ireland in a very intim ate way w ith ideas o f w om an, m other, virgin. 'H ad th e English appreciated the full significance o f this association o f ideas,' he w rote, 'they w ould have perhaps w ooed Ireland w ith an offer o f an honourable alliance instead o f ravishing h er virginity as tho u g h she w ere a harlot.'21 In a sim ilar way, Berkeley-Hill argued that 'the very ancient cult o f m otherw o rs h ip a m o n g H in d u s has re su lte d in th e p ro d u c tio n o f an association o f ideas betw een the 'm o th e r concept and the land in
which they live___(This) would inevitably lead to an expression by the Hindus of the same type of bitter hatred against those who violated their beloved mother-land (namely the Muslim), as this same association of ideas has evoked in the Irish against their English conquerors.'22 Berkeley-Hill th en left this line o f th o u g h t to b o rro w Freud's co nstruct o f the taboo, as elaborated in Totem and Taboo. H e argued th a t th e core o f the problem betw een H indus and Muslims is that th e H indu to tem animal, the cow, is slaughtered by Muslims, after 'M o th er India', the Indian soil, was conquered by them . H e therefore proposed that any reconciliation betw een H indus and Muslims w ould dem and as a cardinal feature som e form o f ritual in w hich cows w ould be killed and eaten, either actually o r symbolically, by H indus and M uslims in conclave.25 Berkeley-Hill's daring proposal to resolve H indu-M uslim tension m ay have been a logical conclusion o f his creative use o f Jones' and Freud's concepts, b u t it was quite rem ote from Indian realities. T he m em oir o f the m eeting o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society at which Berkeley-Hill first read this paper stated that besides the m em bers o f th e association, the m eeting was attended by m any em inent literary m en and politicians, and that the visitors show ed keen interest in the talk. Indeed, this paper m ust have left a deep im pression on som e participants. It is recorded that m em bers o f the society discussed Berkeley-Hill's proposal w ith M ahatm a G andhi in August 1925, i.e. o n ce it had been published, and a year after Berkeley-H ill h ad presented it in Calcutta.24 G andhi's view, however, was th at 'th ere w ere m any m ore factors involved in the problem , all o f w hich could (not) b e tackled from the stand-point o f "the unconscious.'* T he
60 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India problem should be taken u p by individual w orkers w ith reference to different provincial conditions and n o t in an am ateurish m a n n er/25 T he version o f this m eeting th at the Indian Psychoanalytical Society published in the InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis reads as follows: 'O n 26 August 1925, the Calcutta m em bers o f the Society interviewed M ahatm a Gandhi and discussed M ajor Berkeley-Hills suggestions on H indu-M oslem u n ity M ahatm a G andhi show ed keen in terest in Psychoanalysis/“ Abroad, this article was reviewed by O tto Fenichel in Imago. H e found Berkeley-HilTs suggestion ‘p h an tastisch \ i.e. fantastical in the sense o f a w ild association— 'a t least to o ne w h o has n o b etter know ledge o f the Indian situ atio n /27 It is interesting to note th at Berkeley-Hill tried to contribute to H indu-M uslim unity, and n o t tow ards a divide an d ru le policy. Tensions betw een Muslims and H indus w ere a heritage from the tim e th e Muslims conquered and ruled India. T he British h ad at tim es m anipulated the underlying opposition betw een the tw o religious groups in their favour. But in the early 1920s, there was a sudden change: a plea for Hindu-M uslim unity was initiated prim arily by M ahatm a Gandhi, w ho was at th at tim e trying to align the anti-British sentim ents o f Muslims w ith the H indu non-cooperation m ovem ent. However, the political background a few years later, in the m id-1920s, was th a t o f a collapse o f H indu-M uslim political d eten te and an upsurge o f urban com m unal rioting. It could well be th a t BerkeleyHill considered British colonial pow er at th at tim e to be solid enough to cope w ith an alignm ent o f Muslims and Hindus, and th a t it w as in the British interest to strive tow ard a peaceful progress best ensured by harm onious relationships betw een the tw o m ajor religious groups in India. T he argum ent is similar to th at o f his o th e r psychoanalytical articles, w here he m ore o r less explicitly stated th a t reform s, n o t restrictions, will in the long ru n ensure progress u n d er the leadership o f the 'civilized'. This attitude is related to the p attern o f interaction and intervention w ith his patients th at he show ed in his clinical w ork in Ranchi, w hich allowed the inm ates to express their interests and skills, bu t only so long as their actions did n o t challenge the given order. Berkeley-HilTs publications relating to th e political situ atio n prevailing in India show that he did n o t create any new psychoanalytic theory, n o r did he unearth insights th at could be considered lasting
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 61 contributions to psychoanalytical thought. Rather, he basically applied th en cu rren t psychoanalytic concepts to his surroundings. O n 18 O ctober 1934, Jones w rote to Freud, ‘it is a pity th at Berkeley-Hill is n o t b e tte r/ b u t he never objected to th e inclusion o f Berkeley-Hill's texts in the International Journal o f Psychoanalysis, probably because they h ad been friends from college days and because Berkeley-Hill had helped him at a tim e w hen Jones was desperate.24 Nevertheless, one w onders w hy Freud did n o t insist on higher professional standards as he did in other cases. Was it because he sym pathized w ith BerkeleyH ill's views on th e H indus and Muslims, o r was it because h e also appreciated Berkeley-Hill's financial support o f th e psychoanalytic cause, o r both? T h e fact th at the topics Berkeley-Hill dealt w ith w ere considered 'exotic*, a n d th u s in te re stin g to re a d a b o u t fro m a E u ro p e a n perspective, obviously also helped him to publish his texts and have th e m reviewed in the m ost prom inent psychoanalytical publications. In India his w o rk was soon forgotten. N one o f these articles was re p rin te d , fo r exam ple, in Samtfcui, th e jo u r n a l o f th e In d ian Psychoanalytical Society But the jo u rn al did reprint the w o rk o f C.D. Daly, the o th e r British psychoanalyst w h o w ro te about aspects o f religion and politics in colonial India.
C.D. Daly (1884-1950) on Kali and Bande Mataram
D aly w as obviously n o t interested in unveiling the secret o f his first an d m iddle nam e: his psychoanalytic publications are all signed w ith his initials only. As a result, the spelling o f b o th nam es g o t blurred. In an obituary in the InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis, John Rickman w ro te 'C laud D angar Daly’.29 In The Index o f Psychoanalytic Writings, A lexander G rinstein spells Daly s first nam e w ith an e; and does n o t w rite o u t his middle nam e.30Obviously w rong and—in m y opinion— a g o o d candidate for a Freudian slip is the spelling o f Daly's n am e in th e m o st recent and also the m ost com prehensive treatm en t o f his work, Mary Jane Lupton’s m onograph, Menstruatum and Psychoanalysis,
62 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India and in her tw o articles on him in American Imago. T here Daly's m iddle nam e turns into 'D agm ar' and he is thus Claude D agm ar Daly.31Since this is a com m on G erm an female name» Lupton has changed Daly's gender and tu rn ed him into a w om an, which is plausible given his interest in m enstruation. As Rickman and Daly had know n each o th er at least since 1930, w hen they w ent together o n vacation to Lake Balaton, I tru st th at Daly's middle nam e is indeed *Dangar\ and th at his first nam e is Claud(e).M Daly was b o m in N ew Zealand in 1884. His father w as a farmer, and his grandfather was G eneral Sir H enry D erm o t Daly o f th e Bombay army, w ho com m anded Guides Cavalry in 1857. W h en he was five years old, his parents separated. T hereafter h e attended the gram m ar school in N ew port, England, b u t his form al education was a com paratively short one. It ended at the age o f fifteen, w hen he volunteered for the South African w ar by exaggerating his age. After his return to England, betw een 1902 and 1905, he learned nursery gardening. At tw enty-one, he w as com m issioned in th e Suffolk Regiment and was then transferred to the Indian A rm y After fighting in France during World War I, Daly returned to India and stayed until 1936, when he retired from the British A rm y as Lt. Col in the Transport and Supply Corps. He then moved to Vienna to continue his training w ith Freud and took some patients himself. In 1938, he left Vienna for Paris and then w ent in 1939 to London, w here he was an air raid w arden during the battle o f Britain. He died in England in 1950.” D aly cam e to le a rn a b o u t p sy ch o an aly sis a fte r a n e rv o u s breakdow n in 1916 in France, w here he was stationed during W orld W ar I. H e had a few months* analysis w ith Jones in London. T here is an interesting detail in the Freud-Jones correspondence th at indicates that Daly was ‘throw n into' psychoanalysis by the colonial authorities to find o u t w hether this new m ethod w ould w ork on an otherw ise hopeless case. In January 1917, Jones w rote to Freud th at the 'India Office has ju st subm itted to m e officially as a test o f th e value o f psychoanalysis the case o f a valuable officer w hom they consider incurable; I have been treating him for 5*/2 m onths and I am hopeful o f the result which if successful w ould be im p o rta n t/” L ater th at year, Daly m arried, returned to the army, and eventually w en t back to India. His wife, G ertrude H ogan, died in 1934, and their only son
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 63 died in 1920 at th e age o f three, before Daly h ad ever seen him . Rickm an m entioned th at Daly had never seen his son because o f his m ilitary assignm ents.” This, however, does no t m ake sense, since at th e sam e tim e, Daly m et w ith Jones and Freud in Europe. In the year o f his only child's death, Daly's m o th er and g ran d m o th er also died.* In 1947, he m arried Eleonore G räfin Vetter von d er Lilie, an Austrian countess. For m ost m ilitary m en, a retu rn to professional functioning and the founding o f a family would have been the end o f their preoccupation w ith psychoanalysis, especially, as in th e case o f Daly, w h ere th e m ilitary em ployer had ordered it. N ot so for Daly, w ho was eager to continue w ith his analysis. It is n o t clear why Daly did n o t resum e psychoanalysis w ith Jones w hen h e cam e back to E urope in 1920, b u t ra th e r w en t to Freud. Jones' letter to Freud m akes it so u n d as if he w as n o t interested in keeping Daly as a patient, and thus h ad arranged th a t Freud take over this case. O n 25 January 1920, he w ro te to Freud: ‘T he patient, Captain Daly, ca. 30, in the regular Indian Army, is m aking all arrangem ents to go next w eek, provided h e gets perm ission from th e India office, and will w rite to you. I analysed him for a few m onths four years ago. It is chiefly a question o f foolish character traits, conceit an d inferiority, slightly hysterical, rath er an ass b u t easy to m anage. I told h im you w ould charge him tw o guineas. H e has a year's leave fro m th e Army, and will find it cheaper to live in Vienna th an in London.'*7 T he tone o f the letter m akes it sound as if th e financial side w as a plausible justification for Jones to get rid o f this patient. In reply to Jones's letter, Freud w rote o n 8 February 1920: 'You are providing well for m y medical incom e. Capt. Daly has n o t yet arrived. . . . As you describe him I am ready to earn m oney by his treatm en t b u t I spare m y interest for that oth er clever m an, w hom you announce com ing first w eek o f April.*” T hro u g h o u t 1920, thus during his year's leave from th e army, Daly w as in analysis w ith Freud. Less th an tw o m onths after the analysis h ad begun, Freud rem arked in a letter to Jones dated 13 May 1920 th a t D aly 'is a bore and an ass as you said. H e is dissatisfied w ith m y p e rso n .'” Nevertheless, the analysis tu rn ed o u t well o n th e w hole. A fter Daly left Vienna to retu rn to India, Freud w rote to Jones o n 28 January 1921; 'C pt., now Major, Daly has ju st taken leave from m e.
64 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India H is analysis, tedious in its details, was n o t so bad after all. H e g o t dow n to the deepest layer o f his deposits and grasped his passive attitude to his father, th at is the w ish to be castrated. His m ind is still set on practising analysis him self after having served his te rm in India. H e m ay becom e qualified in the course o f som e years for practical educational w ork, although h e surely is n o t clever/40 In reply, Jones w rote that he saw Daly during his passage through London and found h im 'quite obviously improved, m ore balanced and grow n u p / But h e added: 'I am n o t to o enthusiastic about his becom ing an an aly st/41 Daly, however, was determ ined to becom e a psychoanalyst. In o rd er to achieve this, h e n o t only sacrificed his chances o f fu rth e r p ro m o tio n in his m ilitary career, b u t also devoted every m inute o f his free tim e to this cause. In the obituary, Rickman described the unusual, if n o t desperate, struggle o f this British arm y officer w ith his compulsive need for self-analysis as follows: 'In th e early hours o f daw n, every day w ith o u t fail, year in year out, a young Captain in th e Indian Army, w hether o n frontier duty in Baluchistan o r o n survey o r in barracks, could be found w riting o u t his dream s and, how ever distasteful it m ight be, forcing him self to w rite dow n his associations to the dream elem ents___ For years on end h e contended w ith his resistance to self-revelation for three o r even four hours o u t o f the twenty-four. .. Daly sent the results o f these strivings to Jones and Freud. O n 2 July 1923, Jones w rote to Freud: 'I often w onder ho w y o u reply to Daly's screeds, for I suppose he w rites to you at th e sam e length as to m e /43 It is no t clear w hether b oth Jones and Freud, after their experiences w ith Daly, w ere n o longer willing to continue analysis w ith him , o r w h eth er Daly had decided for him self to move o n to an o th er analyst. O n 29 May 1925, Sandor Ferenczi w rote to Jones th at his fo rm er patient M ajor Daly was now w ith him , and th a t he continued to struggle w ith his still n o t com pletely resolved castration history.44 O n 5 June 1925, Jones w rote b a d e 'Daly has som e valuable qualities, in ten se energy being perhaps th e highest. H e is very deficient, however, in m atters o f tact and m akes him self rath er unpopular and n o t adaptable to his sodal surroundings. His scientific w ritings are o f considerable value, b u t are m arred by com plete inability to w rite gram m atical English, which I dare say may be largely ‘komplexbedingt. '45
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 65 Daly indeed showed intense energy and persistence, for as soon as he had retired, he moved to Vienna, trained w ith Freud and took som e patients himself. T he persistence w ith which he had pursued this aim is remarkable, especially when we consider his professional and personal background. It is also astounding that, despite his poor w riting skills, Daly was able to get a fair num ber o f his articles printed in the m ost prestigious psychoanalytical journals at that tim e. Five o f his articles appeared in the InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis, tw o each in the BritishJournal o f Medical Psychology and in Imago, and others in a range o f th en im por tan t publications such as the Psychoanalytic Quarterly, The Yearbook o f Psychoanalysis, the Internationale Zeitschrift fu r Psychoanalyse and the Zeitschrift fur Psychoanalytische Pddagogik. As noted before, several o f his articles w ere later reprinted in the Indian psychoanalytical journal Samiksa.*6 A lthough his correspondence w ith Freud and som e o f his m anuscripts w ere b urnt in the Palace H otel in 1944, during a bom bing raid in London, several earlier writings had by then already been pub lished, and he was obviously able to reconstruct som e o f w hat had been lost. W hen he died in 1950, he had com pleted manuscripts o f tw o books: Female Sexuality in Human Evolution and Psychic Reactions to
Genital Olfactory Tropism.47 In his publications, Daly focused on the implications o f female sexuality, primarily m enstruation, on the psycho-sexual developm ent o f m en. H e claimed that the confrontation w ith m enstrual blood is th e source o f 'cultural forces' in m en and that the dread o f the sight and the smell o f the m o th ers m enstrual blood makes the boy overcome his O edipal desires. In Daly's opinion, th e m enstruation com plex precedes castration fear; it is, in fact, its source. In the course o f his w o rk as an in d ep en d en t th eo rist, Daly elab o rated his view s o n m enstruation in great detail and included a range o f psychoanalytical, literary, art historical, political, m ythological and anthropological literature in support o f his arguments.49According to Rickman, Daly's view o f his ow n w ork 'was certainly n o t slight, he saw the possibility o f a new era opening for m ankind and a change in the pattern o f culture . . . i f th e re w ere a n ew a ttitu d e to fem ale g en ital tro p is m .'4* Consequently, Daly complained about the lack o f interest in his findings, rationalizing it by pointing o u t that resistance from his psychoanalytical
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colleagues was to o great to acknowledge his contributions, and th at it w ould require a trem endous effort on their p art to overcom e this resistance. D uring his lifetime, Daly's publications w ere n o t m uch noticed and clearly did n o t create controversy. M.E. Franklin briefly reviewed, 'Pre-hum an Psychic Evolution' and Fenichel reviewed 'T h e Role o f M enstruation in H um an Phylogenesis and Ontogenesis*.” Ferenczi gave him som e encouragem ent. H e w rote to his fo rm er patient on 31 August 1928: 'Your personal case shows—at least to m e— quite dearly the great im portance o f the problem o f m enstruation for Psy choanalysis. It m ust play a big role during the process o f transform a tio n o f anal sadistic tendencies into genital ones___ I am sure your w o rk will sooner o r later find the appreciation it certainly deserves.'51 In his presidential address at the Xlth International Psychoanalytical C ongress in Oxford in 1929, w here Daly spoke o n 'T h e genesis o f psychic evolution', Ferenczi explicitly m entioned the im portance o f D aly's w ork on the m enstruation complex.” As Lupton has convincingly show n in h er b o o k M enstruation and Psychoanalysis, after the end o f his friendship w ith Fliess, o r perhaps because o f it, Freud had shunned the topic o f m enstruation. In fact, th ere is only a passing reference to Daly's w o rk in a footnote in Ctvili&ztum and Its Discontents. Daly, however, com plained th at these lines 'do n o t convey m y personal view n o r am I in agreem ent w ith th em ; they w ere his ow n reflections o n reading m y tw o p apers afterw ards published in Imago.’ 53 O th er than this reinterpretation o f Daly's findings, it appears that Freud com m ented o n Daly's w o rk only in a private letter to Daly, w hich Daly cited w ith o u t giving a date. In this, Freud w rote: 'b y directing o u r attention to an area that h ad been neglected so for, I believe, you have enriched o u r knowledge essentially/54 Daly's views also did n o t challenge any contem porary w om an psychoanalyst o th er th an Karen Homey. She referred to Daly's views o n Kali in 'T he D read o f W om an', and his w ork 'D er M enstruationskom plex' in 'T h e Denial o f the Vagina', b u t w ith o u t com m enting o n his w ork.55 Considering the difficulty o f w om en psychoanalysts in developing female-focused theories to replace o r com plem ent Freud's m ale perspectives, as well as Daly's personality and style o f w riting,
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 67 this is no t surprising. Daly m ight have been pleased to learn th at his w ork was rediscovered, sixty years later, in th e afterm ath o f the post-1968 w om en's m ovem ent by Lupton, co-author o f The Curse: A Cultural History o f M enstruation.56 T here is a certain irony to recent fem inists’ interest in Daly's work, because it is so misogynistic. But D aly was a pioneer in overcom ing Freud's exclusively m ale perspec tives. Female sexuality and m o th er goddesses w ere them es that no o th e r psychoanalyst, n o t even a w om an, examined in such detail. Since th e focus o f this book is o n India, I will n o t review Daly's w o rk on th e m enstruation complex. Instead, I will present and discuss his pub lications related to India, i.e. 'Hindu-M ythologie und Kastrationskomp lex ' (H in d u m y th o lo g y and th e castratio n com plex) and 'T h e Psychology o f Revolutionary Tendencies’, w ith w hich L upton does n o t deal. On Kali and the Hindus* Castration Complex D aly's long essay on H indu m ythology and the castration com plex w as translated into G erm an and published in 1927 in a special issue o n 'B elief and Ritual* (Glaube und Brauch) in Imago, 57As th e tim ing o f th e publication indicates, Daly w rote the article during o r shortly after his analysis w ith Ferenczi. This was also his first m ajor article. In it he com bined several o f his interests, such as incest, castration w ishes and fears, and anal eroticism , w ith his ow n reflections on m enstruation. Since he related these aspects o f hu m an sexuality to Indian religion, m ythology and social behaviour, reading this article is so m e th in g like lo o k in g a t a su rrealistic film ; it is a densely constructed, continuous confrontation w ith aspects o f H indu culture th a t appear strange to a European.
From the very beginning Daly left no doubt about his value judgements on Hindus. The first lines of his essay assert that A brief study of the ceremonials and rites of the Hindus and of related peoples suffices to show that they suffer from collective compulsions which are in many respects the same as we are accustomed to observe among European obsessive neurotics/51 Daly then cited Berkeley-HilTs interpretations of the Hindu's alleged fixation on anal eroticism, but added that compulsive behaviour such as that of the Hindus can come
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about only in relationship with suppressed sexual impulses, especially a serious castration trauma. He considered Hindus' castration fear to be so immense that parallels could be found only in isolated and pathological cases in Europe. Having connected the Hindu's regression to anal stages of human development with incest wishes, Daly pointed out that the latter only strengthen castration fears, for in his opinion the mother is both the source and the symbol of castration. Hindus thus suffer from an abnormal, unconscious disgust and hatred for women. Daly supported this idea by presenting the often-cited instances o f female infanticide, sati, and johur. Images of Kali caught Daly's special attention, and he gave her the central place in this article. Daly pointed out that Kali is worshipped as the all-embracing mother, but that she is also considered to be the goddess of death, destruction, fear, night and chaos, as well as the goddess of cholera and of anti- and asocial groups, such as thieves and prostitutes, the symbol of cemeteries, the destroyer of time—in short, the source of all evil. The iconographic representation from which he derived his conclusions and which is reprinted in the journal depicts Kali as dancing wildly on the corpse of her husband Shiva, with the head of a giant whom she has just killed in her hand. Everything is dripping with blood. Hacked-off limbs decorate her body. She wears a long necklace of human heads, a belt consisting of human arms with hands, and earrings in the shape of human beings. Because Kali is completely covered in such pictures with phallic symbols, Daly saw in the decoration a symbolization of the gruesome appropriation of this desired object, thus representing the penis envy of all women. That explained, in his opinion, the Hindu fear of this overwhelmingly powerful and castrating goddess, whose rage and temper need to be calmed with bloody sacrifices. Daly claimed that aspects of the uncanny and dreadful, such as menstruation and death, are represented in pictures of Kali to an overwhelming extent. He interpreted this as an expression of repressed infantile complexes and stated: 'The Hindu race succumbed to a regression on the basis of their abnormal reaction to the castration complex, which appears later than the menstruation complex. This made of it a race that is dominated by possessions and compulsive ideas similar in nature to those we have found among neurotics/5’
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 69 In analogy w ith the do m in an t view in E urope at th a t tim e, th at th e developm ent o f the individual is stru ctu red according to the development o f mankind, to which Freud also adhered, Daly considered th e H in d u ’s retreat before and subjection to this castrating and killing super-m other to be not only an infantile neurotic trait, b u t also evidence for stagnation and fixation at an early stage o f hu m an developm ent. In summ ary, h e argued that H indus becam e psychologically stuck in a dark age, while Europeans had proceeded to a psychologically advanced stage.60 As one m ight ex p e a, H indus did n o t receive this article enthusi astically. T he m em oir o f the tw o m eetings o f th e Indian Psychoana lytical Society at w hich Girindrasekhar Bose, th e Society's president, read th e original English version o f this publication, stated th at the participants preferred to delay discussion until the next m eeting; bu t th a t discussion seem s never to have occurred.61 Daly also m entioned th a t he had discussed a draft o f this article w ith Freud. According to Daly, Freud 'found this confirm ation o f psychoanalytic th eo ry very interesting and suggested th at I should em phasize the th eo ry still m o re .'42 However, this constructive critique by Freud hardly led to an im provem ent in the quality o f the article. T hough som e theory is tagged on to it, the essay rem ains a conglom eration o f densely pre sented images and associations, w ild ideas, and racist attributions. Daly freely converted prevalent psychoanalytical concepts th at ex plained psychopathological defects o f individuals into explanations for all those aspects o f Indian culture that appear strange to Europeans to substantiate his belief in the E uropean culture's superiority over H induism .
A Psychoanalytic Study o f Indian Revolutionary Activities D aly 's artic le 'T h e P sychology o f R ev o lu tio n ary T en d e n cie s' com bined his psychoanalytical w ith his m ilitary passions.43 In his obituary o f Daly, Rickman points o u t that he was also a full-fledged m ilitary m an, w h o at the age o f fifteen volunteered for the South African War, w here—prom pted by the th o u g h t o f his grandfather, th e general—he g o t into fighting, and w ho also 'served in various Indian ca m p aig n s/64 D aly s article w as published in 1930 in the
70 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis; the year o f publication indicates th a t he m ust have w ritten it w hen the active and organized anti-British m ovem ent had consolidated. A t the end o f th e 1920s th e Indian National Congress had openly proclaimed its struggle for independence. In addition to this organized movement» scattered terrorist actions had continued, especially in Bengal and the Punjab. Besides the survival and the com parative success o f these anti colonial activities» the m ost disturbing p art o f it all for colonial officials was th at they could n o t really m ake sense o f their ideological basis.*5 From the late nineteenth century onwards, these officials w ere confronted w ith the im portance o f nostalgic references to M other India and eloquent pleas for an anti-materialist» spiritual base for revolutionary activities, which were expressed in num erous speeches, songs, novels, the BandeMataram and other publications. Most puzzling fo r British officials was th at a large proportion o f th e revolutionaries belonged to the Bhadralok, the group o f highly educated W esternized Bengalis, from w hich the British G overnm ent had selected its recruits fo r fu rth er training in England. It m ust have been quite unsettling th a t these so-called terrorists w ith their spiritually based political ideas w ere closest to the British, as far as their contacts w ith th e W est and th e ir social and educational background w ere concerned. Anger against these disloyal dependants increased w hen, after W orld W ar I, an even m ore powerful and popular m ovem ent rose in Bengal u n d er C hitta Ranjan Das* charismatic leadership and all over India u n d er G andhi.“ T he difficulty o f understanding and dealing w ith these phenom ena was reflected in British officials* attem pts to find easy explanations o f w hat the m ovem ent was all about, and in m aking scapegoats o f th e m ovem ent’s leaders, especially Gandhi. There were, o f course, also concrete counterm easures, such as incarceration in jails o r detention camps. However, these tu rn ed o u t to be rath er ineffective, for w ithin this confinement recruitm ent flourished» and the imprisoned national ists gained in reputation by having been victimized Some experienced British officials sensed that this was no solution at all, and th at a first step would be to understand the motives o f the Indian revolutionaries in order to prevent th em from mobilizing the Indian masses against th e British.
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 71 T h e Earl o f Ronaldshay (Lawrence J.L.D. Zetland) was such a politician. He had been a Conservative m em ber o f Parliam ent in 1917, w h en he becam e G overnor o f Bengal, replacing a Liberal. It has been said th a t he was appointed in order to inject som e 'backbone* into th e provincial adm inistration. Ronaldshay had indeed com e w ith the clear intention that he w ould get rid o f the revolutionary tendencies o f th e Bengali intelligentsia. N ot surprisingly, his arrival in Calcutta w as g re e te d w ith protests from Indian new spapers and political associations.67In a book o f over 250 pages o n this movem ent, The Heart o f Aryavarta, A Study o f the Psychology o f Indian Unrest, Ronaldshay came to th e conclusion that it was pointless to reason w ith th e terrorists, because a psychological gulf separated them from Englishmen. Despite th e sim ilarity in their conclusions, this w o rk differs from th e then co m m o n police and intelligence reports o n terrorist activities, in that Lord Ronaldshay showed quite an interest in Bengali culture and society. This was a perspective that he considered necessary in order to effectively control, if n o t destroy, revolutionary activities. Besides intelligence reports, he had read, for example, num erous speeches by Bengali revolutionary leaders translated into English for him , and he was eager to m eet them personally" T h e inform ation on Indian revolutionaries that Daly referred to in "Hie Psychology o f Revolutionary Tendencies’ was draw n mainly from Ronaldshay's book. But Daly claimed to dig deeper into the personality structure o f the Bengali revolutionaries. In the first part o f his article, he presented something like a gallery o f Indian revolutionaries including Gandhi, Bipin Chandra Pal, Aurobindo Ghosh, Barindra Kumar Ghosh, and C hitta Ranjan Das, symbolically disarm ing each o f th em by psychoanalytical stigmatization. In th e second p art o f th e essay, h e developed a th eo ry o f the revolutionaries' psyche w ith reference to m yths. Daly com m ented th a t th e use o f suffering and renunciation as w eapons is predom inant in the Hindu, bu t that similar tactics were employed by the Irish people and also by the English suffragettes. T he use o f such tactics was to him 'in its essence, an infantile tra it/69At a tim e w hen the obstreperous rebellions o f w om en in the form o f the suffragette m ovem ent w ere w idely ridiculed, yet continually gaining ground, and the Irish had b eco m e a serious challenge to British interests, it was n o t surprising
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that Daly should draw an analogy between Gandhi's political strategies and the strategies of those others. Daly also claimed that the murders of high officials were symptoms of the displacement of the revolutionaries' unconscious hatred of their fathers. However, besides proclaiming the Hindus' regression to childlike behaviour and Oedipal aggressions, Daly intended to uncover still deeper structures of the revolutionaries1unconscious. Speaking of the revolutionary cell around the Bengali paper Bande Mataram, published in the first years of the twentieth century by Aurobindo Ghosh, Bipin Chandra Pal and others, Daly claimed that deeply hidden incestuous desires were expressed in this fervour for Mother India. In his view, a common pattern of Oedipal fantasies—the little boy fights the brutal father in order to liberate the wounded mother—is obvious in appeals with which Bengali revolutionaries tried to mobilize fellowcountrymen. In support he quoted Barindra Kumar Ghosh, 'who demanded of India: “men, hundreds of thousands of them, who are ready to wipe out with their blood the stain of her (Mother India's) age-long subjection."'70 The fact that Indian revolutionaries and political leaders such as C.R. Das had portrayed pre-colonial India as a golden land of peace and plenty; and contemporary India as a 'sick and stricken land, lying pale and wan under the deadening shadow of the West', was for Daly another proof that notions of a land of happiness and prosperity were but dreamlike images, displaced fantasies of the Oedipal phase of development. In his view, the 'land of plenty' had become a psychological equivalent for the mother's breasts: 'As we follow these ravings of Mr. Das, his childhood would seem to rise before us. We picture his early conflicts and sufferings which may have instigated them___ These unresolved conflicts with the father are later displaced on to the government which comes between the revolutionary and the goal of his primitive uiges, just as the father did in childhood.. .. in these wild statements we may observe the unconscious speaking—his happiness at his mother's breast, "the cow of plenty is no more."'71 In the second part of this essay, Daly used the image of an Italian painting to make the point that the Bengali revolutionaries had unconsciously substituted 'the British Government with a machine which grinds the life out of Mother India.'72 He also differentiated
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 73
between the different movements challenging British rule. While comparing the Bengali with European revolutionary traditions, especially that of the Irish, and noting the importance attributedln the laner to the Virgin Mother, Daly noted some common features, such as unconscious fixations upon the mother and hostility and fear in regard to the father. But he added that, with die Hindu revolutionaries, ‘we have an even more subtle and complex problem than that of Western revolutionaries . . . the Indian revolutionary identifies himself with Kali, the mother who successfully rebels against and humiliates die father, and condones her criminal tendencies/” Daly pointed out that, whereas with regard to Ireland, one might understand a favourable identification with a lovely virgin, in India die identification was with the dreadful Kali, which seemed perverse to him. He therefore considered the Hindus' behaviour to be beyond even the broadest margins of normality, and summarized his analysis o f revolutionary tendencies with the following words: 'we have a psychology which differs considerably from the European, its equivalent with us being found only in pathological cases. They are a race who fail in their rebellion against the Either, and as a result of this failure adopt a feminine role with feminine character traits. There results, so to speak, a split in the male personality, the aggressive component undergoing repression, which accounts for the childlike and feminine character traits of the Hindu as a whole, and the fact that they thrive only under very firm and kindly administration, but if allowed latitude in their rebellious tendencies are quick to take advantage of it/74 Prom Daly's perspective, the sources of the Hindus' problems were so deeply anchored that in order to resolve them, the Hindu people would have to make an effort to overcome their infantile and feminine tendency, and to grow up into a strong and healthy people, free from their present fear of life and of death. The role of the British Government should be that of wise parents, who make themselves a bridge over which their children may be guided into adult life and gradually become fit to face independently the realities and responsibilities of existence. But growing up is a slow process. It cannot be unduly hastened, and psychoanalysis has taught us that inhibited children, who have suffered severe traumatic experiences, need
74 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India especially careful handling, while the overcom ing o f age-long social fixations is a m atter o f generations, n o t years. For this un d ertak in g Daly offered his service: 'It is only by a deep study o f th e psychology and needs o f the Indian peoples, and the application o f the knowledge obtained by psychological research, that the British G overnm ent can hope to continue to rule them to their best advantage in the present, and perhaps guide them to final liberation from their psychological fixations in the future.75 A closer look at Daly's methodological approach shows that, unlike Ronaldshay, he had obviously n o t m et any Indian political activist in person. As a result, his article is an astoundingly naive piece o f political writing. H e neither cared for the differences betw een th e political activists he dealt w ith n o r did he notice th a t som e o f them , like Aurobindo G hosh and Bipin C handra Pal, had undergone personal changes in the course o f their political work. Daly attributed bombing? and m urders to Gandhi, w ithout realizing th at these w ere contrary to G andhi's political views. To Daly's lack o f knowledge o n a political level m ust be added that his knowledge o f Indian religion, philosophy and culture was also filtered through British publications. H ence, he pasted his interpretation o f psychoanalytical concepts o n to aspects o f a stereotypical, abstract view o f Indian life. H e also flattered military authorities by parroting their contem pt for Hindu Indians and providing som ething like a scientific basis for the belief in their inferiority, which could be used as a legitimization for colonial intervention. Daly fu rth er aggrandized British officials by pointing o u t their vast responsibilities as educators o f the 'childlike' Indians, and offered to m ake him self useful by providing policy solutions based o n psychoanalytical insights, thus helping th e British to overcom e their fears about the seemingly uncontrollable political situation. H e thus tried to please all authorities. O n the basis o f these deficits in Daly's writings, one could argue th at it is n o t w orthw hile to take n o te o f them . Yet, they w ere printed in the m ost reputable psychoanalytical journal, the InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis, and, as will be show n in C hapter 4, his w o rk did indeed leave som e traces in the writings o f Indian psychoanalysts.74 M ost influential was th at p art o f his w o rk th at related to aspects o f the fem ale th a t have been m ost m ysterious to m en, in E urope as well
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 75 as in India, and which he confronted. It is thus n o t surprising th at in 1947, in the first volume o f the Indian psychoanalytical journal Samiksa, three o f his earlier articles that dealt w ith the first loved object, the m other, in her real and symbolic form, were reprinted. It m ay however, b e com forting th at the tw o articles presented here are n o t am ong th em .77
Berkeley-Hill and Daly in Retrospect: India and Its Discontents
T h e differences betw een Daly and Berkeley-Hill are obvious. Daly, intellectually an autodidact and socially m arginalized, happened to b eco m e interested in psychoanalysis because his analyses w ith Jones, Freud and Ferenczi and again w ith Freud apparently helped him to cope w ith his personal problems. W hile in India, he had n o experiences w ith patients bu t drew his conclusions from his self-analysis. As a result, he created his ow n psychoanalytic theory, which n o t only m irrored his attem pts to structure the complex reality with which he was confronted, b u t w as, moreover, a projection o f his personal problem s o n to the w orld around him. D aly w as a lonely m an, for h e w as n e ith e r accep ted by th e international psychoanalytical com m unity n o r integrated into the w orld o f the British arm y officers, and least at hom e in India. H e m u st have hated the posts to w hich he was transferred, w ithout access to psychoanalytic supervision, discussion o r literature. H e w rote, for exam ple, 'N um bers in D ream s' in Peshawar, ’H indu M ythology and C astration Com plex' in Q uetta in Baluchistan, 'T h e M enstruation C o m p le x in L iteratu re* in N a in ita l a n d 'T h e P sy ch o lo g y o f R evolutionary Tendencies* in Poona. Rickm an m en tio n ed in the o b itu ary that for m ore than a dozen years the loss o f his only child, w h o m he had never seen, 'lay heavy upon him.*7* W ith his views on th e Indian people, one can further imagine a certain distance betw een h im and his Indian colleagues in the Indian Psychoanalytical Society, as w ell as other Indians. As Rickman pointed out, even later in his
76 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
life, in London, Daly remained an outsider: 'Daly had but little clinical experience and though he could extract pieces of later work for use in his own theoretical constructions he did not grasp the general drift of newer formulations, thus he felt rather cut off from the free exchange of ideas in the gathering of his colleagues and could not easily adapt himself... Berkeley-Hill, on the o th er hand, was highly educated, an u p p er class renegade w ho liked to challenge his puritan colleagues w ith his seemingly liberated views and actions. H e appears to have been attracted by psychoanalysis for its inclusion o f sexual m atters and its appeal as a pioneering discipline. H e applied and propagated psychoanalytical therapies in the arm y and m ental hospitals in British India, an d he gained considerable experience in th e course o f his practical w o rk as a psychiatrist. His was in m any respects an avant-garde approach for the 1920s and early 1930s, far beyond India. His strengths w ere th o se o f a practitioner and a skilled writer. H e did not develop any n ew psy choanalytical theory, n o r did his thinking delve into th e depths th at Daly tried to reach. Despite these differences, Berkeley-Hill's and Daly's w ritings o n Indians had in com m on th at they w ere derogatory in style an d con ten t an d M e d to note any achievem ent o r positive aspect o f Indian culture. Instead, they com pared th e behaviour o f Indians w ith o th e r dependent people, w ith w om en, infants and the Irish, and tim e and again w ith European neurotics. T hey tried to explain g ro u p behav iour by attributing it to psychopathological defects o f individuals, a procedure quite com m on in the international psychoanalytical dis cussion o f their tim e, Both m en identified them selves fuUy w ith Brit ish colonialism. For them , Indians w ere a th reat and had th u s to be fought, and resistance had to be sm ashed n o t only on a m ilitary b u t also on a cultural level. Unlike O rw ell, w ho left Burm a in o rd er n o t to cope w ith the dual identity o f a colonial bureaucrat by day an d a questioning and critical hum an being by night, Daly and BerkeleyHill w orked to abolish these scruples and contribute to a properly functioning colonial world.
Contem porary psychoanalytical thought offered Daly and Berkeley-Hill models to legitimize their degradation of, and thus their separation from Indians. If one were not a healthy adult British male,
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 77 one was in trouble, for all other hum an being? were looked dow n upon. T here were gradations in this contempt. British w om en, Anglo-Indians, Irish, Muslims, children, and sick and old people could still be accepted to som e extent, as there w ere som e co m m o n denom inators betw een th em and d ie British ideal. But w om en w h o did n o t obey Victorian m ores, m entally disturbed British subjects, H indus and people o f colour w ere n o t only perceived as entirely different and thus inferior, b u t also considered to be dangerous. T hey w ere in th e majority, and th e re w as th e p o ten tial o f hysteria, violence, revolution, sexual seduction an d o th e r supposedly irratio n al acts, w hich w ould be difficult to control. Therefore, it was the w hite m an's responsibility to keep them u n d er surveillance, if n o t behind iron gates. In this context, psychoanalytical investigations offered structures o f explanation, the first step tow ard a m astery o f th e perceived threat.
1. Owen Berkeley-Hill, T he Anal-Erotic Factor in the Religion, Philosophy and Character o f the Hindus/ InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis, 2 (1921), 306-38. 2. Ibid., pp. 311,315. 3. ErnestJones, Anal-Erotic Character Traits/ in Papers on Psycho-Analysis, 4th ed. (Baltimore: William Wood, 1938), 531-55. 4. Berkeley-Hill, 'The Anal-Erotic Factor/ pp. 311,315. 5. Berkeley-Hill, Collected Papers (Calcutta: The Book Company, 1933). 6. GirindrasekharBose, 'Owen Berkeley-Hill. InM em oriam /p 146; Ernest Jones, Sigmund Freud: Life and Wwk, Vol. 3 (London: The Hogarth Press, 1957), p 205; letters by Jones to Preud, 18 October 1934, CFA/02/14, and 29 November 1934, CFA/02/18, Archive o f the British Psychoanalytical Society, London. 7. Smith ElyJelliffe, 'Review of "The Anal-Erotic Factor" by Berkeley-Hill/ The Psychoanalytic Review^ 11 (1924), 89-^1, here 91; Berkeley-Hill, T he Anal-Erotic Factor/ p. 338. 8. Jones to Freud, 4 January 1921, Archive o f the British Psychoanalytical Society, London, CFH/F03/05.
78 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India 9, 10.
12. 13. 14. 15. 16.
17. 18. 19. 20.
21. 22. 23. 24.
25. 26. 27.
Berkeley-Hill, A Short Study of the Ufe and Character of Mohammed,' InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis, 2 (1921), 31-53. Karl Abraham, Amenhotep IV , Psychologische Beiträge zum Verständnis seiner Persönlichkeit und des monotheistischen AtonKultes,' Imago, 1 (1912), 334-60. C. W. Forsyth, 'Epitome of Current Literature. A Short Study of the Life and Character of Mohammed,' The Journal o f Mental Science, 69 (1923), 114-15, here 115; Louise Brink, 'Review of "A Short Study of the Life and Character o f Mohammed"/ The Psychoanalytic Review, 10 (1923), 226-8. Louise Brink, 'Review of 'A Short Study"/ p. 228. Berkeley-Hill, 'T he "C olor Q uestion" from a Psychoanalytic Standpoint.’ The Psychoanalytic Review, 11 (1924), 246-53. Ibid., pp. 247, 250. Ibid., p. 252. Berkeley-Hill, 'Review of Cedric Dover, "Half Caste"/ Marriage Hygiene, 4 (1937), 333; 'The Erotic Rights o f W om en/Marriage Hygiene, 4 (1937), 33. 'Indian Psychoanalytical Society. Report. Second Quarter, 1923/ InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis, 5 (1924), 121. Berkeley-Hill, ‘Some Modern Conceptions of Hysteria/ in Collected Papers, p. 18. Berkeley-Hill, ‘Sigmund Freud—A Personal Memory/ Indian Journal of Psychology, 16 (1941), 95-6. Berkeley-Hill, ‘Hindu-M uslim U nity/ International Journal o f Psychoanalysis, 6 (1925), 282-7; 'The Indian Psychoanalytical Society. Annual Report, 1924/ InternationalJournal o f Psychology, 6 (1925), 241. Ernest Jones, Essays in Applied Psychoanalysis (London: The International Psychoanalytic Press, 1923), p. 198. Berkeley-Hill, 'Hindu-Muslim Unity/ p. 284. Ibid. Mahatma Gandhi, 'Hindu-Muslim Unity/ in Collected Works, Vol. 20 (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Trust, 1968), 89-90; ‘Interview to Indian Psychoanalytical Society/ Collected Works, Vol. 28,109-110. Gandhi, 'Interview to Indian Psychoanalytical Society/ p. 110. 'Indian Psychoanalytical Society. Annual Report, 1925/ International Journal o f Psychoanalysis, 7 (1926), 292. Otto Fenichel, 'Review of Owen Berkeley-Hill, “Hindu-Muslim Unity"/ Imago, 12 (1926), 526.
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 79 28. Jones to Freud, letter dated 18 October 1934, CFA/02/14 and 29 November 1934, CFA/02/18, Archive o f the British Psychoanalytical Society, London. 29. John Rickman, 'Claud Dangar [sic!] Daly, Lt.-Col. (Ret.), 1884-1950/ InternationalJournal of Psychoanalysis, 31 (1950), 290-91. 30. Alexander Grinstein, The Index o f Psychoanalytic Writings (New York: International Universities Press, 1965), p. 359. 31. Mary Jane Lupton, 'Claude D agm ar [sic!] Daly: Notes on the Menstruation Complex/ American Imago, 46,1 (1989), 1-20; Mary Jane Lupton and Julia Reinhard Lupton, Annotated Bibliography o f Claude Dagmar Daly/ American Imago, 47,1 (1990), 81-91; Mary Jane Lupton, Afenjtrudtion and Psychoanalysis (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1993), p. 117. Though Lupton claims that Rickman misspelled Daly's first names in the obituary 'as if to highlight Daly's obscurity*, she does not explain why she believes that 'D ' stands for 'Dagmar'. 32. Rickman refers to their bathing in Lake Balaton in the obituary: Rickman, 'Claud Dangar Daly', p. 291. 33. Ibid., pp. 290-91. 34. Jones to Freud, letter dated 15 January 1917» Archive o f the British Psychoanalytical Society, CFH/F02/57. 35. Rickman, 'Claud Dangar Daly/ p. 290. 36. On 12 February 1920, Freud wrote to Jones that shortly before Captain Daly's arrival, he had received a telegram for him that mentioned that his mother and grandmother had died the same day, and that he should return to England as soon as possible. Daly nevertheless continued to stay in Vienna to start his analysis with Freud. R. Andrew Paskauskas (Ed.), The Complete Correspondence o f Sigmund Freud and Ernest Jones, 1908-1939, (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press o f H arvard University, 1993) p. 370. 37. Paskauskas (Ed.), The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and ErnestJones, 1908-1939, p. 364 38. Ibid., p. 368. The other 'clever' man was Rickman. 39. Ibid., p. 380. 40. Ibid., p. 405. 41. Jones to Freud, letter dated 1 April 1921, Archive o f the British Psychoanalytical Society, CFH/F03/05. 42. Rickman, 'Claud Dangar Daly/ p. 290. 43. Jones to Freud, letter dated 2 July 1923, in: Paskauskas (Ed.), The
80 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
Complete Correspondence o f Sigmund Freud and ErnestJones, p. 524. He means Daly’s prolonged tirades. The transcripts o f Daly's dreams, which he painstakingly recorded» as well as some o f his drawings are now in the Archive o f the British Psychoanalytical Society in London. 'Von Deinen früheren Patienten ist jetzt Major Daly und Dr. Cole bei mir. Ersterer laboriert nach wie vor an seiner immer noch nicht voll erledigten Castrationsgeschichte/ Ferenczi to Jones, 29 May 1925, Archive of the British Psychoanalytical Society; CFC/F02/12. Jones to Ferenczi, 5 June 1925, Archive of the British Psychoanalytical Society, CFC/F02/12. 'Komptexbedingt' means caused by his complex. Rickman also remarked critically on Daly's style o f speaking. In his opinion, he 'could not easily adapt himself to other than lengthy exposition.' Rickman, 'Claud Dangar Daly/ p. 290. C.D. Daly ‘Numbers in Dreams/ InternationalJournal of Psychoanalysis, 2 (1921) 68-70; 'A Simple Lapsus Linguae, InternationalJournal o f Psycho analysis, 3 (1922) 46; 'Hindu-Mythologie und Kastrationskomplex/ Imago, 13(1927), 145-98; 'Der Menstruationskomplex/ Imago, 14(1928), 11-75; ‘The Psychology of Revolutionary Tendencies/ International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 11 (1930) 193-210; (with R. Senior White), 'Psy chic Reaction to Olfactory Stimuli,* BritishJournal of Medical Psychology, 10 (1930), 70-87; 'Zu meinen Arbeiten über die weiblichen Tabu-Vor schriften/ Zeitschrift fiir Psychoanalytische Pädagogik, 5 (1931), 225-%; ‘Pre-human Psychic Evolution/ BritiihJournal o f Medical Psychology, 12 (1932), 273-86; 'The Menstruation Complex in Literature/ Psychoan alytic Quarterly 4 (1935), 307-40; 'Der Kern des Ödipuskomplexes,' Inter nationale Zeitschrift ß r Psychoanalyse, 21, 23 (1935), 165-81; 389-418; 'The Role of Menstruation in Human Phylogenesis and Ontogenesis/ International Journal o f Psychoanalysis, 24 (1943), 151-70; ‘The Mother Complex in Literature/ Sflmikifl, 1 (1947), 157-90; Ä Hindu Treatise on Kali/ Samiibsâ, 1 (1947), 191-6; 'The Psychology of Man's Attitude towards Woman/ Samtfesa, 1 (1947), 231-40; 'The Mother Complex in Literature. Indicating the Role of die Menstruation Complex as a Source of Dramatic Inspiration in the Works o f a Number o f Renowned Authors/ Yearbook of Psychoanalysis, 4 (1948), 172-210; 'The Psycho-Biological Origins of Circumcision/ InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis, 31 (1950), 217-36. Rickman, 'Claud Dangar Daly/ These book manuscripts are also in the Archive of the British Psychoanalytical Society in London.
British Psychoanalytical Texts on Indian Politics and Culture • 81 48. For a detailed description of Daly's theory on menstruation, see Lupton, 1989,1990 and 1993. 49. Rickman, 'Claud Dangar Daly', p. 290. 50. M.E. Franklin, 'Review o f "Pre-human Psychic Evolution," by C.D. Daly/ International Journal o f Psychoanalysis, 14 (1933), 414. O tto Fenichel, 'Review o f "The Role o f M enstruation in H um an Phylogenesis and Ontogenesis," by C.D. Daly,' Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 15 (1946), 129-30. 51. Rickman, 'Claud Dangar Daly/ p. 290. 52. Daly, 'H ie Psycho-Biological Origins o f Circumcision/ p. 222. 53. Freud's footnote in CmlÛAtùm and Its Discontents reads as follows: *. . . the diminution o f the olfactory stimuli by means o f which the menstrual process produced an effect on the male psyche. Their role was taken over by visual excitations, which, in contrast to the inter mittent olfactory stimuli were able to maintain a permanent effect. The taboo on menstruation is derived from this 'organic repression/ as a defence against a phase o f development that has been sur mounted. All other motives are probably o f a secondary nature. (Cf. C.D. Daly, 1927.) This process is repeated on another level when the gods of a superseded period o f civilisation turn into demons. The diminution o f the olfactory stimuli seems itself to be a consequence o f man's raising himself from the ground, o f his assumption o f an upright gait. . . . ' Standard Edition 24, 92. For Daly's comment on this reference, see ‘The Role o f Menstruation in Human Phylogenesis and Ontogenesis/ p. 156. 54. Letter by Freud, quoted in Daly, 'Z u meinen Arbeiten ilber die weiblichen Tabuvorschriften/ p. 227. Translation: C. Hartnack. 55. Karen Homey, Feminine Psychology, Ed. Harold Kelman (New York: Norton, 1973), pp.134,159. 56. Janice Delaney, MaryJane Lupton and Emily Toth, The Curse: A Cultural History o f Menstruation (Urbana: University o f Illinois Press, 1988). 57. Daly, 'Hindu-Mythologie und Kastrationskomplex/ Imago 13 (1927), 145-98. 58. Ibid., p. 145. Translation: C. Hartnack. 59. Ibid., p. 196. Translation: C. Hartnack. 60. This was quite common at that time. In his work, Totem and Taboo, Freud similarly related phylogénie to ontogenic developments, thereby drawing on the writings o f the prominent biologist Ernst Haeckel.
82 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India 61. 'Indian Psychoanalytical Society, Annual Report, 1928/ International Journal o f Psychoanalysis, 10(1929), 540. 62. Daly, 'Hindu-Mythologic und Kastrationskomplex/ p. 177. Translation: C. Hartnack. 63. Daly, ‘The Psychology o f Revolutionary Tendencies/ International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 11 (1930), 193-210. 64. Rickman, ‘Claud Dangar Daly, *p. 290. 65. TanikaSarkar, Bengal 1928-1934. The Politics o f Protest (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987); Rajat Kanta Ray, Social Conflict and Political Unrest in Bengal, 1875-1927 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1985); Pranab Chandra Chaudhury, C.R. Das and His Times (Mysore: Geetha Book House, 1979), p. 31; Paul Greenough, 'The Death o f an Uncrowned King: C .R Das and Political Crisis in Bengal/ Comparative Studies in Society and History, 28 (1986), 414-41); Bidyut Chakrabarty, Su&futs Chandra Bose and Middle Class Radicalism: A Study o f Indian Nationalism 1928-1940 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990); Leonard A. Gordon, Brothers against the Raj: A Biography o f Indian Nationalists Sarat and Subhas Chandra Bose (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991). 66. G overnm ent o f India, Home D epartm ent, Intelligence Bureau, Terrorismin India. 1917-1936 (Simla: Government o f India Press, 1937); P.C. Bamford, Histories of the Non-Co-operation and Khilafat Movements (Delhi: Government o f India Press, 1925); P.N. Chopra (Ed.), India's Major Non-Violent Movements 1919-1934, British Secret Reports on Indian People’s Peaceful Strugglefor Political Liberation (New Delhi: Vision Books, 1979); Valentine Chirol, Indian Unrest (London: Macmillan, 1910). 67. John H. Broomfield, Elite Conflict in a Plural Society: Twentieth-Century Bengal (Berkeley: University o f California Press, 1968), p. 94. 68. Lawrence J.L.D. Zetland, Earl of Ronaldshay, The Heart o f Aryavarta, A Study of the Psychology o f Indian Unrest (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1925), p. 95. 69. Daly, 'The Psychology of Revolutionary Tendencies/ p. 195. 70. Ibid., p. 197. 71. Ibid., p. 198. 72. Ibid., p. 205. 73. Ibid., p. 206. 74. Ibid., p. 211. 75. Ibid., p. 197. 76. ‘Indian Psychoanalytical Society. Annual Report, 1935/ International Journal o f Psychoanalysis, 17 (1936), 392.
British Psychoanalytical Texes on Indian Politics and Culture • 83 77. Daly, 'Psychology o f Man's Attitudes towards Woman’; A Hindu Treatise on Kali'; T he Mother Complex in Literature/ Samiksa, 1 (1947), 157-90. 78. Rickman, 'Claud Dangar Daly/ p. 290. 79. Ibid.
II THE WORK OF INDIAN PSYCHOANALYSTS
3 Psychoanalysis in Bengal
lthough the colonial impact on India lasted for generations, it is evident that the various layers of pre-British Indian cultures are older and thus more deeply rooted.1In many respects these remained the basis of desires, passions, feelings, disorders or actions, and were thus distinctly different from the world o f Freud and his patients. Rabindranath Tagore's sister, Srimati Svama Kumari Devi (Mrs. Ghosal), a pioneer in the early Indian women's movement and a popular Bengali writer, characterized the complex identity of a section of the Westernized Bengali elites in the preface to her novel, An Unfinished Song, as follows: 'This is the story of life among the Reformed Party of Bengal, the members of which have to some extend adopted western customs. It shows the change that touch with Europe has brought upon the people of India, but in their inner nature the Hindus are still quite different from western races. Hie ideals and traits of character that it has taken thousands of years to form are not affected by mere external change.'2 Nevertheless, the purpose of this and the following chapters is to show that colonialism also had an impact on die inner world, especially o f those Indian people who were closest to the colonizer. The 'external change* mentioned here was not limited to the construction of railways, plantations or legislative buildings, but included educational and other systems. What mattered over the years was the way the respective pre-colonial and colonial structures merged, coexisted and developed a dynamic interaction with each other, or imposed upon
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and suppressed the other in the feeling, thinking and behaviour of individuals. Hie teaching and practice of psychoanalysis was not directly part of the colonial canon, yet, it too was intrinsically interwoven with Calcutta University, an institution that was initially designed to serve colonial purposes but gradually took on Indian nationalistic objectives. Since the comparatively early institutionalization of psychoanalysis cannot be separated from the institutional framework in which it developed, and from its linkages with these objectives, I will in this chapter sketch out the founding of the Department of Psychology at Calcutta University, before reconstructing the biographical background of Bose's pioneering work and the formation of the Indian Psycho analytical Society.
The Institutionalization of Psychology and Psychoanalysis in Calcutta
The work of Girindrasekhar Bose, the founder of the Indian Psycho* analytical Society, substantially fulfilled a dream that Sir Asutosh Mukherjee had formulated at the beginning of the century: to forge an Indian elite, well trained by native institutions in topics that were relevant to the Indian people and not only to colonial administration.3 Mukherjee envisioned Indians studying and doing research in a wide range o f sciences, as well as in Indian languages, Indian history and Indian philosophy. He also wanted instruction in Bengali, rather than English. This 'Indianization of higher learning and the emphasis on science were part of a growing nationalism, in which pride in the cultural heritage was combined with the modernization of Indianowned factories and enterprises. The introduction of Western education in the first half o f the nineteenth century had enabled the British authorities to strengthen their colonial administration in India.4 As a result, the colonial administration could use the services of many educated Indians whenever needed. This integration of English-speaking Indians into
Psychoanalysis in Bengal • 89 the colonial system w ent hand in hand w ith a d ep red atio n o f Persian and Sanskrit scholarship and its exclusion from newly established colonial institutions o f higher learning, especially w hen the universities w ere founded after 1858. Thus, M ukheijee complained, ‘T he literature o f Brahm anism was considered to be a mass o f intellectual and m oral rubbish. T he past o f India, her mythology, her religions, h er laws, her ancient languages, her literature, h er antiquities found no place in the Calcutta University sy stem /5 M ukheijee set o u t to transform C alcutta University into a place w here this heritage and th e m o d em sciences could be integrated at an internationally com petitive level, b u t it was clear th at this w ould n o t be an easy task. It required fierce negotiations w ith th e British adm inistration, especially w ith those w h o w ere afraid th at highly educated Indians w ould dem and m ore privileges than British officials w ould be willing to grant, and w ould finally tu rn against their colonial m asters. T he phobic images th at som e British colonials projected o n to W estern -ed u cated Indians first ap p e ared m o re th a n tw o generations earlier, w hen critics o f L ord M acaulay expressed th e w arning that th e 'G overnm ent w ere nourishing vipers in their bosom , and if they should one day be stung b y them , they m u st n o t be su rp rise d /4 Such view s survived in to th e tw en tieth cen tu ry and becam e prom inen t again in tim es o f political tension. T h at th e vicechancellor o f th e m ost im portant academ ic institution in India had to be trusted to carry o u t th e policy o f th e governm ent was evident. L ord C urzon h ad w ritten to M ukhezjee’s predecessor, Sir Francis Maclean, in 1900, th at "The lis t. . . o f bo o k s prescribed in th e course o f reading at th e Calcutta University is n o t from o u r p o in t o f view all th a t is desirable. It will be sufficient to m en tio n B urke's French Revolution . . . b u t th e m atter o f it m ight be harm ful even to som e young English readers and it is certainly dangerous food for Indian stu d e n ts/7 M ukheijee was vice-chancellor o f C alcutta University betw een 1906 and 1914, and th en again from 1921 to 1924. T he Bengal Tiger, as he was labelled by the British adm inistrators, was declared persona n o n g rata an d lost his position as vice-chancellor in 1914, after he trie d to appoint Indian scholars educated at Oxford and Cam bridge w h o w ere supposed to have connections to radical nationalists. A
90 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
secretary to the Government of India in the Department of Education, R.H. Craddock, argued against their appointment, as he anticipated that they would 'sow the seed of future anarchy while we are trying hard to tool out the grown plant/ Another complaint against Mukheijee was that he pushed too hard for the appointment of Indians; 'the way in which European professors are thrown into the background is characteristic/1 B ut even w hen o u t o f office, M ukheijee continued to w o rk for the cause o f Calcutta University fro m behind the scenes. A tireless and highly successful fundraiser, w ith excellent contacts to influential Indians, he continued to motivate w ealthy families to m ake donations to C alcutta University as the higher education centre for a future Indian elite. From th e nineteenth century onwards, m ore th an half the expenses o f Calcutta University w ere assum ed by Indians, so the British adm inistration needed som eone like M ukheijee to k eep the in stitu tio n going. It is th erefo re n o t su rp risin g th a t M u k h erjee officially re-entered university affairs in 1917, becom ing president o f the Post-G raduate Council in A rts and in Science. H is successful institutionalization o f several post-graduate departm ents, including the D epartm ent o f Psychology, w as followed by outcries against th e 'm egalom ania' in th e Calcutta University Post-graduate D epartm ent, and proposals from th e British side to stop its financial su p p o rt. Nevertheless, M ukheijee stabilized his position, and from 1921 until his sudden death in 1924 he again shaped th e structure o f C alcutta University as its vice-chancellor.9 By 1918, Calcutta University, w ith about 27,000 students, w as th e largest such institution in th e w orld; according to P artha C h atteijee, the p rop o rtio n o f literate people tak in g full-time university courses was th e sam e as in the United Kingdom.10Moreover, by the late 1920s, M ukherjee’s so-called white elephant, post-graduate education, h ad show n first results. T he departm ents o f physics, chemistry, b o tan y and applied m ath em atics flourished and achieved in te rn a tio n a l recognition. T he professor o f physics, C.V. Ram an, fo r exam ple, received the N obel Prize in Physics in 1928 for his investigations o n the scattering o f light from solids an d liquids. Teaching and research w ere also institutionalized in several classical and m o d e rn Asian languages, as well as in Indian history and archaeology. T h e only
Psychoanalysis in Bengal • 91
dream of Mukherjee s that was not realized in the 1920s was instruction in Bengali.11 M ukheijee's struggles for post-graduate education and research m ade possible the comparatively early institutionalization o f psychol ogy, w hich led directly to teaching and research in psychoanalysis in C alcutta and, a few years later, at som e o th e r Indian universities.12 Unlike oth er Asian, African o r Latin A m erican countries, th e depart m ents o f psychology at Indian universities were not founded by mis sionaries o r E uropean expatriates b u t, as a result o f M ukherjee’s administrative skills, by Indian academics. T he pioneer o f experimental psychology in India was N arendra N ath Sengupta. B om in 1889 in Faridpur, n o w in Bangladesh, th e son o f a lawyer, he sim ultaneously attended a governm ent English middle school and a tol, w here he ob tained a Sanskrit education. Between 1907 and 1910, Sengupta was a student at Bengal National College, where he studied Indian history and attended classes in a wide range o f topics, including Indian languages and logic. T h e Bengal N ational College w as know n to be a highly politicized institution, and Sengupta was supposed to have taken p art in anti-British activities during th e popular struggle against the parti tio n o f Bengal by the British authorities in 1905. Initially; Sengupta's teacher in English literature was A urobindo G hosh, b u t G hosh was arrested for his anti-British activities soon after Sengupta joined the college. In August 1910, Sengupta was one o f several students selected to be sent to renow ned foreign universities, so that they w ould be able to teach Indian students science and o th er topics considered relevant for Indian national interests after their retu rn . Sengupta was th e only o ne assigned to study philosophy and experim ental psychology, w hich h e did at H arvard University.15 After his retu rn to Calcutta in 1915, Asutosh M ukherjee persuaded Sengupta to establish a D epartm ent o f Psychology w ithin the College o f Science at C alcutta University, focusing especially on experim ental psychology. It is n o t know n why M ukheijee considered experim ental psychology w o rth institutionalizing. H e obviously associated it w ith science, and h e m ay have expected psychology to be useful for India's process o f indigenous m odernization. T h is m ay explain w hy he located experim ental psychology n o t in th e arts complex, b u t in the College o f Science. As early as 1905, M ukherjee had already included
92 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India
experim ental psychology as an independent subject in the list o f post graduate courses and had asked th e philosophy professor Brojendra N ath Seal to find o u t about courses at foreign universities an d draw u p a syllabus.14 Classes in psychology becam e a bonus for applicants to the Indian Administrative Service. In addition to such practical reasons, th e fasci nation o f the topic itself m ust have been great, as the newly estab lished dep artm en t im m ediately attracted several highly m otivated Bengalis. A m ong S engupta's early stu d en ts w ere M .N. B anerji, G irindrasckhar Bose, Haripada Maiti, Gopcswar Pal, Mohan G&nguli, and Subhas Chandra Bose. In the first years, several students from other parts of India also came to Calcutta to study experimental psychology. Soon after this d ep artm en t had acquired som e rep u tatio n , o th e r Indian universities, such as those in Dacca, Patna, Lucknow, M ysore, Delhi and Lahore, followed its exam ple and opened departm ents o f psychology in the 1920s and 1930s.15 In 1925, Sengupta becam e th e first president o f the newly oiganized Indian Psychological Associa tion, and in 1926 th e first issue o f th e Indian Journal o f Psychology appeared. Besides founding their ow n association and journal, psycholo gists sent representatives to both th e Indian Science Congress an d th e Indian Philosophical Congress. As in o th er countries, these affinities reflected th e hybrid status o f this n ew Held as a m ixture o f science and philosophy.14 D esp ite th is in stitu tio n a l co n so lid atio n , early e x p e rim e n ta l research in psychology at Calcutta University was n o t as spectacular as, fo r exam ple, th a t in physics o r botany. P erhaps b ec au se o f Sengupta's m odest and introverted m anner, he was n o t able to attra ct substantial funding. H ie tension betw een loyalty to H indu intellectual traditions and th e need to relate to W estern science fu rth er inhibited S en g u p ta ’s ability to develop c o o rd in a ted research. In h is first presidential address to the Section o f Psychology at th e Indian Science C ongress, in 1925, he p ro u d ly exclaim ed th a t th e a p titu d e fo r psychological analysis, the tendency to seek psychological causes o f h u m an events, to observe m ental peculiarities and characters, an d to endeavour for the developm ent o f m ental capacities, seem ingrained in th e Indian m ind. But this view contrasted w ith th e u tilitarian perspective expressed in the sam e speech: 'T h e changing econom ic
Psychoanalysis in Bengal • 93 situation, w hich is forcing m en to adopt n ew m eans o f livelihood, urgently calls for psychological selection in th e interest o f vocational guidance and for the prevention o f the w aste o f hum an m aterials.. . . T h e scientific Enlightenm ent w hich has so obviously daw ned u p o n us, w ould be incom plete if th e psychologist lag? b e h in d /17 In contrast to psychologists, th e h ard scientists found it m ore difficult to see themselves as continuing H indu intellectual traditions. Yet such links could be m ade. For exam ple, Ashis N andy stated that th e ren o w n ed Bengali physicist an d p la n t physiologist Jagadish Chandra Bose, "indianized' his w oik by giving the laboratories attributes o f a H indu tem ple: The Bose Institute was an ornate temple-like structure housing an advanced research centre 'to search for the ultimate unity which permeates in the universal order and cuts across the animal, plant and inanimate lives/ . . . Called the Bose Temple o f Science in Bengali, the Institute had a special platform or vedi for its founder to meditate regularly. The success o f J.C. Bose's research on the nervous responses of plants to harmful stimuli was considered proof of die superiority o f Indian holistic thinking over imported Western ideas, which were thought to unnecessarily and falsely segment all aspects of life. Subhas Chandra Bose praised J.C. Bose's research as having provided direct empirical proof o f the unity which the ancient sages o f India had found in the varieties of life . . . it has generated a passion for a new awakening in the history of this country.1* T h e D epartm ent o f Psychology, however, had n o 'Vedi' and did n o t project an air o f H indu religiosity, b u t ra th e r an im age o f G erm an scientific austerity It was decorated w ith pictures o f Gustav T h eo d o r Fechner, Rudolf H erm ann Lotze, W ilhelm W undt and Sigmund Freud. Still, a similar tension betw een the continuity o r revival o f indigenous intellectual traditions and an am bition to be p art o f th e W estern scientific com m unity was the core o f the academ ic situation in w hich psychoanalysis m ade its w ay in British India. T his w as a general cultural phenom enon in Bengal at the beginning o f the tw entieth century, for n o t only in science but also in th e arts attem pts w ere m ade to indigenize colonial im ports.1’ T he career o f G irindrasekhar Bose, like th at o f Sengupta o r J.C. Bose, was th at o f a W esternized academic w h o nevertheless tried to identify w ith Bengali H indu intellectual traditions.
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Girindrasekhar Bose (1887-1953): The Doyen of Psychoanalysis in British India G irin d rasek h ar Bose b elonged to th e u rb an , W estern -ed u cated Bengali elite, the B hadralok20 For m ost o f his life, G irindrasekhar s father C handrasekhar had earned his living by m aking his clerical skills available to an English landlord in W est Bengal. Before his retirem ent, he was dewan o f the estate o f M aharaja Lakkhiswar Singh in D arbahangar, Bihar, ab o u t th re e h u n d red m iles n o rth w e st o f Calcutta. Girindrasekhar Bose was probably b o m there on 30 January 1887.21 In 1892 his father retired and moved to Calcutta. T his relatively new experience o f urban life is an interesting aspect o f G irindrasekhar Bose's upbringing. Ashis Nandy brings o u t revealing details about the social conditions o f the Bose family, in particular its striving tow ard learning and a certain am biguity in identification w ith their caste: 'C handrasekhar conform ed to th e Bengali urban elite's ideal o f a gendem an; he was know n for his m anagerial efficiency, financial probity, and Vedantic scholarship.. . . the Boses w ere established as a rather successful Kayastha family.. . . the family, despite its orthodoxy, moved in th e social w orld o f reform ist Brahm os . . . . T h at did n o t im prove m atters m uch; the Brahm os now began to m ake fun o f th e orthodox ways o f the Boses, especially their faith in gurus, purohitas, kuladevatas, istadevis, e tc /22 As fo r th e p sy ch o lo g ical asp ects o f G irin d ra se k h a r B o se's biographical background, it is notew orthy th at he was the youngest o f his parents' nine children (five daughters and four sons), an d is supposed to have been loved by everybody, especially by his m o th e r Laximoni. According to Nandy, she breastfed him until th e age o f five.23This was, however, quite com m on, especially am ong the youngest o f a relatively large n um ber o f children. G irindrasekhar had a slight b irth defect (one leg was a bit longer than th e other), and w h en he was o n e year old, he is supposed to have had an attack o f blood dysentery th at led to frail health and additional care; he w as, for example, brought to school in a palanquin. His m other was his father's third wife and over tw enty years younger than her husband. His father had m arried h er rath er late in life after the first and second wives h ad
Psychoanalysis in Bengal • 95 died early, leaving him childless. A ccording to T arun C hand Sinha, a family friend and later Bose's student, she w ould seldom leave the house except for im p o rtan t religious duties, such as bathing in the Ganges. In his description o f th e Bose family, N andy points o u t th at Laximoni 'w as also a poetess w h o had a lively intellectual curiosity* and that she w as ’superbly well read, especially in th e p u ran as/ W hen G irindrasekhar was seventeen years old, his m arriage to Indum ati, th en a girl o f ten, was arranged. T hey h ad tw o daughters, D urgabati, b o m in 1908, and Kamalabati, b o m in 1912. Like his b ro th e rs, G irindrasekhar o b ta in ed th e b est W estern education available in India at th at tim e. H e first studied chem istry and science a t Presidency College, from w hich he graduated in 1905, a n d then continued his studies at d ie M edical College in Calcutta, w here he obtained his M.O. degree in 1910. Even th o u g h th e Bose b ro th ers w o u ld in tim e hold im p o rtan t positions in industry and academ ic life, th ey rem ained ro o te d in th e ir c u ltu ra l an d caste background. Girindrasekhar's brother Rajsekhar, w ho had also studied chem istry at Presidency College, becam e m anager-in-chief o f the Bengal Chem ical and Pharm aceutical W orks, w hich was th en one o f th e largest businesses ow ned and ru n entirely by Indians. H e traded in ad d s d uring th e day and w ro te Bengali satires at night, publishing u n d er the pseudonym Parashuram . A nother brother, Sasisekhar, also becam e a w riter and published in b o th Bengali and English. In 1905, w hen Girindrasekhar had ju st g raduated from Presidency C ollege, his fa th e r b o u g h t a m ansion in n o rth C alcu tta, w h ere G irindrasekhar lived for the rest o f his life. T he p roperty still belongs to the Bose family, and since about 1917,14 Parsibagan Lane has been d ie m eeting place for intellectuals interested in pychoanalysis. O nce the Indian Psychoanalytical S o aety was founded in 1922, th e m em bers convened there, and it continues to be th e institutional address for th e Calcutta bran ch o f th e Indian Psychoanalytical Sodety. But these w ere n o t the only gatherings at this location. G irindrasekhar Bose also m et th ere regularly w ith a g ro u p o f Bengali w riters, w h o read and discussed their latest w ork in progress. This U tkendra Samid, o r Eccentric Club, was a source o f inspiration for th e developm ent o f Bose's psychoanalytical concepts, for it w as in these m eetings th at im p o rted psychoanalytical ideas w ere related to prevailing concepts
96 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India and conditions in Bengali H indu culture. T hrough these gatherings Bose's w ritings in o th er fields w ere encouraged as well. His m o st im p o rtan t non-psychological w ritings in Bengali are Lai Kalo (Red Ant) (1930), a collection o f children's stories, and a historical essay tided 'Raji Raja' (1942), w hich was published in Ananda Bazar Patrika, a widely read Bengali daily.24Girindrasekhar Bose also published several poem s, an d in 1945/1946 he was president o f th e Bangiya Sahitya Parisad, the Bengali Literary Society.25 As is also tru e o f his writings in English, several o f Bose's publica tions in Bengali are translations an d interpretations o f traditional Sanskrit texts, for example Puranapravesa (1935) and the posthum ously published essay Pauranih, (1956), b o th o f which are draw n fro m th e Puranas. Besides these book-length articles o r books, sh o rter co n tri butions relating to H indu know ledge appeared in diverse Bengali journals. In these writings Bose developed his theories about H in d u psychological thinking.24 But in som e o f his Bengali publications, Bose w as also a kind o f m issionary o f W estern th o u g h t. Swapna (1928), a book on Freud's concepts o f dreams, and Manobidyar Paribhasa (1953), a com pendium o f psychological concepts w ith translations and explanations, are th e m ost im p o rtan t in this respect. H e also published num erous articles in Bengali journals th at w ere related to his psychological and psychoanalytical w ork, w ith titles such as: 'W hy D o We G et Angry?' 'M ental Disease', 'H ealth o f th e M ind', 'T he Psychology o f Causality', 'E ducation', 'G ra m m ar o f Psychol ogy', 'U nknow n Wish, Fear', 'Child Psychology', 'H u m an M ind', and 'M ental H ealth and Pregnancy'. Bose published these articles m ainly in jo u rn als th at w ere associated w ith H indu nationalistic attitudes, such as Proboshi, Bharatbarsha, SJiiJtffuxJe and Bansari. His ow n approach to his w riting in Bengali reflected a certain am o u n t o f individual and national pride, as well as an explicitly anti-colonial stance. H e is rep o rted to have said: ‘If m y w orks are o f any w o rth , . . . they will be tran slated by th e foreigners in th e ir o w n languages. N o Englishm an will w rite his w orks in Bengali for th e benefit o f the Bengalees!'27 T h e re is co n flictin g in fo rm a tio n a b o u t th e p o litica l v ie w s and perhaps even political affiliations o f the m em bers o f th e Bose family. Som e claim that the family was close to G andhi. However,
Psychoanalysis in Bengal • 97 G irindrasekhar s nephew, Bijayketu Bose, w hen asked by Ashis N andy pointed o u t th a t his u n d e was n o t a loyal G andhian. A ccording to N andy Charuchandra Bhattacharya and th e G andhian Bhupen Desai, w h o m he also interviewed, confirm this view. Desai believes th at Bose, though he adm ired Gandhi, rejected his negative attitudes to sexuality an d to the caste system.21 A psychoanalyst's ow n personality is always a m a tte r o f interest to others. It is therefore regrettable that there exists no comprehensive description o f Bose as a person, b u t only scattered inform ation. T he Berlin sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, w h o m et him during a to u r around the w orld in 1929, was surprised how well he controlled his em otions. Hirschfeld reported th at they w ere interrupted in th e m idst o f their conversation by som ebody w h o rushed into the ro o m an d w hispered som ething into Bose's ear, w h ereu p o n he apologized that h e had to leave his guest for a m om ent. W h e n he cam e back after a short while, they continued th e conversation as before. H irschfeld learned only a few days later th at Bose's m o th er had died while he w as visiting. T here are several indications th at he tended to behave in highly rigid ways. In fact, according to Nandy, Bose is said to have bluntly told a trainee: ‘I am obsessive-compulsive/2*In his description o f Bose's life-style, Sinha confirm ed this: 'die m eticulous records, the orderly m inutes, the spotlessly white, im m aculately starched Bengali dress th at w as virtually his uniform . . . and th e fanatic devotion to punctuality* w ere characteristic. 'H is orderliness influenced his taste in music: he liked dhrpada w ith its austere, orderly, rigid fra m e /30 Nandy, w ho interview ed people w ho k new him , learned th at Bose w ashed the g o at to be eaten at his daughter’s w edding w ith antiseptic lotion, that h e rehearsed going to the train station tw ice before th e actual trip, and th at he calculated all the possible expenses, including that o f the w ear and tear o f car tyres, before going on holiday in Bihar. H e also w e n t to bed at exacdy 8 p.m., no m a tte r w h eth er he m issed a w edding reception o r any o th er im p o rtan t event.31 C onnected w ith these obviously quite obsessive traits was Bose’s astounding frugality. A ccording t o Sinha, th is obsession 'w e n t w ith m u ch w a ste fu l expenditure to ensure order and cleanliness. For his small family h e had a retinue o f twelve to fourteen domestic servants and his w ardrobe included, o n e student claims, at least eighty d h o tis/32
98 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India It is n o t clear how Girindrasekhar Bose first cam e to know ab o u t psychoanalysis. There are anecdotes indicating th at he was a g re a t fan o f m agic from his childhood. H e is supposed to have conjured under the stage nam e o f Togi Girindrasekhar* and, according to family lore, he is supposed to have juggled his way into being adm itted in th e Medical College, w here he had at first n o t been accepted because o f m ediocre grades. It is said th at w h en the principal o f the college saw him dem onstrate som e o f his m agical tricks, he decided to interview Bose personally, w hich secured his admission.13 Since h e w as also interested in m esm erism and hypnosis, it could have been th a t Bose encountered psychoanalysis in English publications o f th e Society for Psychical Research.54Yet an o th er possibility is th a t he discovered the relevant articles in the 1905 and 1906 issues o f The Psychological Bulletin o r in The Journal o f Abnormal Psychology, w hich he later cited frequently; The latter journal gave considerable coverage to psychoanalysis from its first issue in 1906. In the introduction to his dissertation Bose w rote th a t he had been keen on practising hypnosis "to therapeutic ends' w hile yet a student, before h e cam e across psychoanalysis in 1909.” W hen graduate training in psychology was introduced at Calcutta University, Bose im m ediately registered as a student. In 1917, he obtained a Master's degree in psychology and, as m entioned earlier, he was awarded the first doctorate in psychology at an Indian university, in 1921. Bose n o t only acquired a reputation as the founder and m o st creative representative o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society; an d as a Bengali writer, he also played a role in the development o f academ ic psychology in British India, as administrator, researcher and teacher. F rom 1917 onw ards, Bose w as p a rt-tim e le c tu re r in a b n o rm a l psychology at Calcutta University, and from 1928 to 1938 he was h ead o f the D epartm ent o f Psychology, a position that was assigned to him after Sengupta left for Lucknow. As this position was only part-tim e, his colleague, Suhrit C handra M itra, w ho had recendy com e back from his studies at th e prestigious U niversity o f Leipzig in Germany, openly com plained a b o u t th e situation: 'T h e absence o f a w hole-tim e Professor, besides b ein g
instrumental in introducing certain irregularities in die administrative side o f th e departm ent, is also responsible to a certain extent fo r th e
Psychoanalysis in Bengal • 99 lack o f the authoritative and representative character o f its public a c tiv itie s /3* M itra's com plaints leave th e im pression th a t, as in Sengupta s case, Boses major interest was n o t die growth o f experimental psychology. Mitra, on the other hand, being well trained in experimental psychology himself, had o th er plans th a t he m ust have found difficult to realize as long as Bose was head o f th e departm ent. T he tensions betw een these tw o m en w ere resolved w hen in 1938 Bose becam e full professor o f psychology, and M itra becam e chairm an o f th e departm ent. In fact, however, Bose was quite active in this field. From 1926 onwards, Bose was also on the editorial board o f the IndianJournal o f Psychology, and in 1933 and 1938, he was president o f th e psychology section o f th e Indian Science Congress.37 In connection w ith his w o rk in the psychological laboratory, Bose developed som e apparatus fo r psychological research. O ne fam ous invention was a so-called sand m otor, w hich he claim ed could be used for driving kym ographs, exposure apparatus, ergographs and o th e r instrum ents. T he basic principle w as th at the steady flow o f sand pulling a roll o f syllables w ould overcom e the noise created by a clockw ork m echanism o r an inconsistency created by m anual pulls.3* Bose's m o st innovative psychological research was on perception. In this field, he designed som e classical experim ents w ith control groups. In th e first volum e o f th e Indian Journal o f Psychology, h e published a sum m ary o f m ore than a dozen experim ents on illusions, in w hich h e tried to prove th at attitudes have a strong im pact o n perception. T he following excerpt describes th e sim plest k in d o f experim ent Bose designed to illustrate his point; 'Line up a n u m b e r o f persons and place a prize at som e distance. Give clear instructions th at any o ne w ho reaches th e prize first w o u ld get it, b u t he is to ru n only w hen h e hears th e signal "one, tw o, three" and n o t any o th e r signal. N ow say "ready—one, tw o, free", you will find th e w hole lo t ru n n in g ___ N ow repeat the experim ent w ith an o th er set o f persons and instead o f saying "one, two, three" say "one, tw o, seven"v you will find a certain num ber running for th e prize, and th e g reater th e value o f th e prize th e g reater th e desire to get it th e g reater is th e chance o f com petitors hearing "seven" as "three" / Charles Spearm an, one o f the m o st influential psychologists o f th at tim e, qu o ted o n e o f
100 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India Bose's experim ents o n perception at length, in his b o o k Psychology Down the Ages. But this seems to be all the recognition Bose g o t as an experim ental psychologist.39 As head o f th e D epartm ent o f Psychology, Bose negotiated w ith S yam aprasad M ukherjee, A su to sh 's so n an d successor as vicechancellor o f Calcutta University, an d C.S. Myers, th e principal o f the N ational Institute o f Industrial Psychology in England, to establish an Indian Institute o f Applied Psychology under the auspices o f th e university.40 In 1933, Bose subm itted a schem e for the establishm ent o f such an institution to the university authorities. By th at tim e M .N. Banerji, w h o was the secretary o f the Indian Psychoanalytical Society fro m 1922 u n til his d eath in 1946, and o th e rs h ad b e g u n so m e prelim inary industrial psychological investigations in th e factories o f the Bengal Chemical and Pharm aceutical W orks Ltd., Calcutta, an d the Tata Iron and Steel Com pany in Jam shedpur. In addition to b ein g pioneering studies in industrial psychology in India, th eir w o rk is interesting from a political perspective as well, as these tw o factories w ere ow ned by Indians. T he tim ing is also interesting, as it was in th e late 1920s th a t workers* strike^ erupted in all branches o f industry, and in 1928,18,000 w orkers at th e Tata Iron and Steel Com pany decided to follow th e example o f the British-owned industries and w en t o n strike, causing the loss o f over half a m illion workdays. In C alcutta, 200,000 w orkers w alked o u t o f the mills in 1929 in a w age dispute. It thus appears that Indian industrialists looked to psychologists for help in controlling factory labour.41 M ore successful than these scattered early attem pts in creating som e dem and for applied psychological w ork, however, w ere M itra's advances tow ards the establishm ent o f an Institute o f Applied Psy chology. In 1935, he form ulated proposals for collecting data o n th e intelligence o f Bengali schoolchildren. As a result o f this, th e U niver sity o f C alcutta sanctioned the post o f a research scholar to standard ize a g ro u p intelligence test for Bengali children in 1936. Bose u n d e r took a fu rth er step towards the establishment o f an All-India Institute o f Applied Psychology in D ecem ber 1937, w hen a constitution for th e proposed institution was sent to different universities, railway h ea d quarters and commercial firms asking for opinions and cooperation. As the results w ere n o t encouraging, the idea o f an India-wide institution
Psychoanalysis in Bengal • 101 w as dropped, and the D epartm ent o f Psychology at Calcutta Univer sity established its ow n section o f applied psychology in Septem ber 1938. D ue to M itra's grow ing influence in th e departm ent, it was decid ed th a t th e vocational guidance o f Bengali school-leaving children should be o f prim ary concern, an d a special b attery o f tests w as designed. For this, Bose developed a pendl-sharpening test to assess artisan s skills, and a clinical questionnaire. As p art o f a tw o and a half h o u r tem peram ent assessm ent procedure, a w ord associa tio n task w as included th at he interpreted from a psychoanalytical perspective.42 O n the w hole, it appears th at Bose w as n o t enthusiastic ab o u t the application o f these W estern experim ental psychological techniques in the Bengali context. Although he designed th e sand m o to r and som e aptitude tests, it is rather obvious th a t his heart was som ew here else in regard to psychological research. Bose left n o d o u b t about his view that th e m ost im portant psychological m ethod was introspec tion, a m eth o d n o t based on th e construction and m easurem ent o f g ro u p results and thus to be com bined w ith repeatable, objective and also statistical conclusions, b u t an apparently subjective m ethod. In fact, he claim ed in 1938, in a presentation on the progress o f psy chology in India during the past twenty-five years, th at psychological tru th can only be discovered through introspection. H e com bined this preference w ith an often-repeated statem ent th at was in line w ith th en com m on anti-colonial, nationalistic attitudes o f th e W esterneducated Bengali elite: 'India’s ancient learned m en h ad a genius for introspective m editation and the Indian psychologist has th a t herit age. In this respect he enjoys an advantage over his colleagues in the w e s t/4* N ot surprisingly, th e m ost interesting aspect o f Bose's w o rk on perception is his description o f his o w n introspection ab o u t th e functions o f different senses: 'So for as th e perceptions o f to u ch are concerned in the different portions o f the body I am able to overcom e b o th the objective and the subjective reference and to realize the state o f "pure consciousness”. T he success has com e only after m o n th s o f practice and even now it is n o t always assured. . . . I have also been successful in th e case o f k in a esth e tic , g u sta to ry an d o lfacto ry perceptions. T h e auditory perceptions resisted all m y efforts for m ore
102 ♦ Psychoanalysis in Colonial India than a year and the success here is only partial as yet; it com es and goes. T h e greatest difficulty has b een experienced in the case o f vision. . . . *** T hese experim ents reflect th e im pact o f Indian traditions, especially yoga, on Bose’s psychological experim entation. T he state o f pure consciousness resembles th e stage o f sam adhi in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, about w hich Bose w ro te in a series o f articles, published posthum ously. In a gesture th at w as in line w ith his ow n thinking, b u t ra th e r unusual for experim ental psychological publications in general, Bose concluded his article on perception w ith a quotation from th e Kathaupanisad: Ordained by the Eternal's grace The sense-doors only outward face; Hence outer view: the inner soul Lies beyond our vision's goal. The tranquil and discerning wise In quest of bliss a course devise: With averted eye within them hold A vigil, and the soul unfold!41 In his 1938 speech on th e tw enty-fifth anniversary o f th e D ep a rt m ent o f Psychology at Calcutta University, Bose also proposed th at m ore w o rk should be done in th e field o f traditional Indian psychol ogy. T h e mystical experiences o f saints and yogis should fo rm th e subject m atter o f psychological research, he argued, and India is th e b est place for this study. H e added th at th e Board o f H ig h er Studies in Psychology, University o f Calcutta, had recently proposed to include the study o f yoga in the syllabus. It was n o t w ith o u t selfinterest th at he pointed in this direction. W ork on traditional Indian insights into th e ‘inner w orld' belonged to Bose's prim ary interests besides psychoanalysis.4* To gain a better understanding o f H indu m ethods o f introspection, Bose soug h t th e help o f a pandit w h o guided him in his studies and exercises. His first public presentation o f his views o n aspects o f p h ilo so p h ic a l an d p sy ch o lo g ical k n o w led g e c o n ta in e d in th e Upanishads was in 1930, w hen he addressed the Indian Philosophical Congress as president o f th e psychology section w ith a long speech o n the 'Psychological O utlook in H indu Philosophy'. This was later
Psychoanalysis in Bengal • 103 printed in th e Indian Journal o f Psychology and in The M odem Review» a literary m agazine th at was popular am o n g th e W estern-educated Bengali elite.47In this well-researched and well-formulated presentation, Bose sum m arized and discussed psychological issues contained in the Upanishads. A m ong th e topics he dealt w ith w ere concepts o f tim e, th e ego and creation, the indriyas (the five sense doors)» through which th e external w orld is apprehended, th e n o tio n o f unity o f body and m ind, and th e three gunas (m ental energies), th e specific interm ixture o f w hich continually shapes all actions. Bose strongly defended the psychological know ledge contained in the H indu sastras and pointed o u t th a t m uch o f w hat seem s to be m eaningless in these texts is con tain ed in obscure passages, th e significance o f w hich has yet to be uncovered. A m ong th e scientific p ro b lem s d ep icte d in th e U panishads, Bose m e n tio n e d several psychological questions, such as: W hich are the sense organs th at go to sleep and w hich are th e ones th at keep awake? H ow do dream s arise? W hich is th e agent in the body th a t feels pleasure? W h at is the source o f th e vital energy o f th e body? O n e o f th e m ost interesting passages o f Bose's speech was his elaboration o n tim e. T im e, in his view, is a dim ension that em braces all experience, the central category, n o t o f the physical, b u t o f the inner, m en tal w orld: 'If w e go deep in to introspection w e find th at th e experience o f tim e, unlike th a t o f visual space, does n o t com e through the interm ediary o f any special sense organ. T im e is direcdy apprehended by the m ind. . . . th e experience o f tim e is a w ider experience w hich includes all o th er experiences/4* M any o f Bose's psychological and psychoanalytical publications c o n ta in s c a tte re d referen ces to classical In d ian w ritin g s. T h e concluding lines o f his article on perception, w here he q u o ted from th e Upanishads, are an example o f this. In 'T h e D uration o f C oitus', he praised Batsayana, the author o f the Kam a Sutra, for his knowledge o f sexual m atters, and w rote after a sum m ary o f his m ain observations th a t although Batsayana w ro te his great w o rk about 2000 years ago his views are w orthy o f serious attention even from the m ost advanced m o d e m sexologist. Bose m en tio n ed in this article th a t th e b est solution for orgastic incompatibility 'has been given by Batsayana. H e has given us tips w hich are invaluable and I have incorporated
104 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India th em .’*9 In his paper on delinquency, Bose referred at th e en d to the H in d u notion o f dharm a, w hich he defined according t o the Bhagavadgita as th at code o f life th a t is in consonance w ith one's ow n n atu re and also w ith th e dem ands o f th e society in w hich one lives.50 Bose also continued to publish on psychological aspects o f H indu philosophy His m ost im p o rtan t publication in this respect, in addition to the Bengali writings m entioned above, is th e series o f essays o n Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, w ritten in English, w h ich was published posthum ously (1957).51 Besides the references to ancient Indian texts, Bose included orally transm itted folk knowledge and practices in his publications. In his essay 'D ream ', he gave this exam ple o f traditional Bengali view s o n dream s: ‘In Bengal there is a p opular shrine (tarakeswar) o f th e G od Siva. People from all parts o f India suffering from chronic diseases resort to this place for the cure o f their troubles. . . . T he afflicted person or his agent observes a fast. H e lies prostrate before th e im age and offers his prayers dll th e god is satisfied and appears before him in a d ream ___ In successful cases th e devotee gets a com m and in a dream to go through prescribed penances; m ore often he is ord ered to take certain d ru g s /12 Bose acknow ledged th at fraud and trickery could n o t be excluded from the activities at this shrine, b u t he claim ed th at a scientific explanation was possible as well: 'O w ing to continued fasting, praying and night-keeping, the devotee gets into a state o f physical and m ental exhaustion after a few days; this coupled w ith th e intense desire to get a rem edy by propitiating th e god m akes it possible for hallucinatory dream s to appear. . . . T he sam e w ish fulfilm ent m echanism th at is responsible for oth er dream s is also in o peration here. T he cure th at results is a faith cure due to au to su g g estio n /” Bose was n o t the only Indian psychologist o r psychoanalyst w ho w orked on the insights into hum an behaviour and experience described in classical Sanskrit texts. Many o f his contemporaries shared his interest in reviving traditional knowledge. They also considered W esternoriented academic institutions such as th e D epartm ent o f Psychology to be a logical place in which to continue the tradition o f the ancient Indian centre o f learning. In 1932, for example, N.S.N. Sastry published a substantial survey article entided ‘G row th o f Psychology in India* in
Psychoanalysts in Bengal • 105 the Indian Journal o f Psychology in which h e pointed to psychological knowledge contained in the Vedas, die Upanishads, Samkhya's concepts, Jainism, Buddhism, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, and the Nyaya and Vaisesika philosophical systems, before describing th e recent developm ent o f psychology and psychoanalysis in India.54 O th er essays published in th e same jo u rn al o r in American publications discussed aspects o f traditional Indian knowledge.35 There w ere also a few Muslims w ho published on aspects o f their religious and cultural background in the Indian Journal o f Psychology M. Aslam, for example, published an essay o n ‘Religious Experiences o f M uham m ad'.* Like th e s e psychologists, Bose a tte m p te d to revive In d ian knowledge while functioning in a professional w orld th at was basically structured according to W estern systems o f knowledge. This third, fourth, or fifth generation o f W esternized Bengalis took certain British structures, especially education, for gran ted , b u t was also eager to find identity in its ow n cultural heritage. T he best know n o f these Bengalis was Rabindranath Tagore, w ho published 'm o d e m ' novels, poem s, plays an d short stories in w hich h e portrayed cou n try folk and w om en, w h o m he considered to be relatively untouched by the colonial im pact, w ith a m ixture o f adoration and pity, and also H indu philosophical w orks such as Sadhana, w hich show s U panishadic influences. Because o f th e ir privileged cu ltu ral b ack g ro u n d and econom ic roles, th e Tagores, Boses an d o th e r W estern-educated families in Bengal w ere in a position to rem ain loyal to th e traditions specific to th e ir caste, o r to start rediscovering them , w hile at the sam e tim e m astering the requirem ents o f integration into th e colonial w orld.57 Partha C hatteijee describes this dynam ic as follows: th e dom ain o f civil society could split, o n e p art being inhabited by th e colonisers and the o th er by th e colonised, w ith th e rights o f the latter regarded by the colonial state as inferior to those o f the form er. T he nationalist response to this w ould b e to declare th e dom ain o f intellect and culture—the "spiritual dom ain"—its sovereign territo ry from w hich th e colonial pow er was excluded.'51A closer look at Bose's psychoanalytic w ork in C hapter 4 will show how he overcam e this separation into public and private, W estern an d Hindu Bengali, m odem and traditional, and how he creatively com bined W estern and Bengali H indu concepts.
106 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India Bose m et w ith his patients at three different locations, b u t n o t in their hom es; it was they w ho had co travel to see him . 59 In 1910, he started his ow n private practice in his residence; in 1933, he opened the Psychological Clinic o f the Carm ichael Medical College, Belgachia; and in 1940, he began the Lum bini Park M ental Hospital, w hile at the sam e tim e he continued to w o rk at the o th er tw o institutions. From Bose's writings it is n o t always clear w here he m et a patient. It is, however, m ost likely that m ost psychoanalytic therapies to o k place at 14 Parsibagan Lane. T here arc som e interesting structural similarities betw een Bose and Freud w ith regard to their practices. Each had his h o m e and private practice in th e sam e building. Like the Berggasse in Vienna, Parsibagan Lane is n o t located in b u t n ear th e h eart o f th e dty. T he A lsergrund district in Vienna, w here Freud lived and w orked, is close to the university, but not inside the 'Ring* as it is called in Vienna, w here all the buildings and offices o f im perial im portance w ere located. Likewise, the Bose residence is also close to Calcutta University, b u t n o t to th e Maidan, and the form er 'saheb para*. Parsibagan, like the p art o f Vienna in w hich Freud lived, was a typical u p p er m iddle class residential area. In b o th cases the houses w ere new and im posing. Yet they w ere far from being the kind o f urban palaces that the w ealthy elite in Calcutta o r Vienna could afford.60 A fter Bose received his M.Sc. degree in experim ental psychology in 1917 and becam e lecturer in clinical psychology at th e d ep artm en t, he m ad e courses in psychoanalysis com pulsory for all stu d en ts o f psychology Calcutta University th u s becam e one o f th e first in stitu tions in the world in which psychoanalysis was taught to psychology students as p art o f the curriculum . Bose n o t only m otivated students to b eco m e interested in psychoanalysis, he also opened his h o u se to all th o se interested in reading and discussing psychoanalytical issues. T hanks to Sir A sutosh M ukheijee, Bose becam e th e first m em b er o f the dep artm en t to have studied and earned his d octorate degree there. However, Bose's dissertation, The Concept o f Repression, for which he received his D.Sc. from Calcutta University in 1921, rem ained the only one w ritten in psychology at an Indian university in the 1920s. It was a com bination o f aspects o f W estern psychoanalysis a n d his
Psychoanalysis in Bengal • 107 individual reflections, including a draft o f his original contribution to psychoanalytic theory; the theory o f opposite wishes, and a chapter o n sm e ll/1 T here is an apocryphal tale ab o u t Bose’s m otivation for w riting his dissertation. According to T.C. Sinha, it was the result o f a bet. W hen Bose told his friends th at he did n o t believe in academic titles such as doctorates, they said his criticism arose from n o t being able to w rite a dissertation. Bose is supposed to have b et th at he w ould w rite a dissertation w ithin a w eek, w h ereu p o n he sat dow n and dictated The Concept o f Repression to a stenographer.“ T here is likely to be som e tru th to this story, as there is no inner consistency betw een th e first p art o f the thesis on the concept o f repression and the second p a rt on smell; his later publications also show th at his style o f w riting im proved thereafter. An anonym ous review er in the Indian M edical G azette—apparendy O w en Berkeley-Hill— rem arked on Bose's thesis: ‘o ne cannot help deploring the very defective style in w hich the b o o k is w ritten , so th at in som e places th e au th o r's view s are alm ost unintelligible. . . . In his discussion o f th e theory o f repression, th e au th o r s obscurity o f expression reaches its highest level w ith th e result th a t it is next to impossible for th e ordinary person to understand w h at exactly does represent the author's opinion on this very im portant concept o f psychology.. . .'w Despite this rebuff in an Indian jo u rn al, Bose nevertheless had enough self-confidence to consider this first psychoanalytical publication by an Indian w o rth sending to Freud, Jones and W illiam A. W hite. H is intuition w as right. A lthough the reviews by Jones and W hite, an d Freud s reply contained som e m ore o r less subde criticisms, the th ree were flattered by having their opinions solicited in an o th er p art o f the world. For Bose, their recognition becam e th e tu rn in g point in establishing his career as the first Indian psychoanalyst. In a pedantic way, Freud replied th at he was glad to testify to the correctness o f its principal views and its good sense. A little later, w hen asked by Bose to w rite an endorsem ent for this book, Freud extended his appreciation an d w rote in a less form al tone: 'It was a g reat and pleasant surprise th a t the first b o o k on a psychoanalytic subject w hich cam e to us from th a t p a rt o f th e w o rld sh o u ld display so g o o d a k n o w led g e o f psychoanalysis, so deep an insight into its difficulties and so m uch o f deep-going original th o u g h t.. . . ' 44Jones' reaction, in a review in the
108 • Psychoanalysis in Colonial India InternationalJournal o f Psychoanalysis, was n o t less enthusiastic: 'This m ust b e the first w ork on psycho-analysis w ritten by an Indian, and w e n o te w ith interest th at it reveals a considerable know ledge o f the subject___ h e gives evidence o f considerable personal experience as well as careful th o u g h t/61 W hite concluded his praise o f this little b ook fro m faraway Calcutta in a som ew hat less eloquent way: 'T h ere are som e interesting references to practices w hich are found in India and th e final chapter on th e psychology o f smell is full o f interesting suggestions/“ Freud's and Jones' interest in Bose's w o rk helped him to spread his views on psychoanalysis in British India. T he fact th at Bose had received so m uch attention from these European authorities circulated in the m ajo r Bengali periodicals, an d Freud's first letter to Bose was quoted in full. For example, u n d er th e headline ‘A n Indian Psycho analyst', th e M odem Review introduced Bose's w ork in th e following words: ‘W e are glad to quote the following from the Calcutta Review: “T he im portance o f the w ork carried o u t by Dr. G irindrasekhar Bose, University Lecturer in the D epartm ent o f Experim ental Psychology, has received w ell-m erited recognition from beyond th e lim its o f India. T h e illustrious scientist Professor Dr. Freud o f Vienna w rites as fo llo w s:. . ."'