Dr. Nityanand Laxminivas Tiwari (1949–2023)
How to cite this article: Dhawale KM. Dr. Nityanand Laxminivas Tiwari (1949–2023). J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy 2023;6:25-7.
Dr. Nityanand Laxminivas Tiwari (1949-2023)
Dr. Nityanand Laxminivas Tiwari, Mentor of Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute (MLDMHI) and the Heart of the ICR-MLD Trust breathed his last on 14th February, Valentine’s Day, 2023.
Nitya-Anand (perennial bliss) is a state enjoyed by a select few. Bliss usually lasts for moments; all too soon, reality none too gently brings us back to earth!
Was Dr. Tiwari an exception to the above rule? He came across as forever blessed, forever approachable, and forever smiling. Was it something to do with the stars that he was born under? While he did believe in their ability to influence events, he later agreed with his Guru’s conviction that the best day to start something good is the day you actually start!
The constellations at the time of his birth were indeed unique. He was born on a stranded train in the middle of the night amidst heavy rains somewhere in Madhya Bharat (before the states were reorganised). These were certainly not the best of circumstances, but the fact that the baby survived speaks volumes of the role that destiny played in his life.
His father was a thespian and played character roles on the stage and in cinema. Destiny was thus joined by an artist’s inherited sensitivity and consciousness, which Dr. Tiwari displayed abundantly. However, early bereavement forced Dr. Tiwari to start general practice in the slums of Jogeshwari (a Mumbai suburb) immediately after completing his LCEH from the erstwhile Bombay Homoeopathic Medical College at Irla, Vile Parle.
When he was a homoeopathic student, an extraordinarily strong circumstance joined destiny and inheritance in shaping Nityanand’s life. Dr. M. L. Dhawale was his Principal for 2 years; these years were a significant influence on the rest of his life. The couple of occasions when he came in contact with the strict and fearsome Principal were not pleasant at all as he was upbraided for his lackadaisical behaviour and lack of serious application to his studies. Hence, it must have taken him some courage to apply to be a full-time student of the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) Course in the second batch. The course itself was rigorous. It demanded an 8 am to 4 pm attendance with experiential case-based training in documentation and analysis, library referencing, and small group discussions in the afternoon. All his student colleagues were experienced homoeopathic physicians with access to their own homoeopathic clinics where they could practice what they were learning. Dr. Tiwari was an exception as he had to settle in general practice due to family circumstances and did not have access to the homoeopathic application.
It is widely believed that the Guru appears at the right time in the life of a shishya. We can only guess what potential Dr. Dhawale saw in Nityanand at that time. He certainly was passionate to learn Homoeopathy. Why else would a man just settling into marriage and family decide to join a rigorous course run by a known hard task master years after starting general practice? His sensitivity must have become apparent through case taking observations. His ability to constructively interact with his colleagues and quickly master the rules of the learning game was obvious. The Guru made an offer to take responsibility of his shishya and his family provided he closed down his practice and devoted himself to the study and practice of homoeopathy by becoming a member of his clinical establishment.
Having seen the interplay of the stars, inheritance, and circumstances, the fourth dimension of our hero’s life manifested itself. Most of us know this only through fables and myths – it is intense, unswerving, and blind faith. Ordinary people will look askance at the process employed by Dr. Tiwari in giving up his independent practice, a means of livelihood for him and his family, and taking up an offer without guarantees as nothing short of suicidal madness, or at worst, bonded labour. Faith-ridden individuals and families are made of different (and perhaps sterner) stuff! However, his family consented, beginning the next chapter in the life of all – the Guru, the Shishya and the Organisation. He subsequently returned to this aspect of his life on numerous private and public platforms. He would be overwhelmed with vivid memories of his Guru and words refused to emerge only to be replaced by profuse tears. It was this deep attachment that helped him to guide the process whereby the ICR transformed into the MLDMHI
Dr. M. L. Dhawale was a clinician, an educationist, an author and a philosopher. He was not an actor and had not developed an ability to communicate across the range of audiences that needed to be catered to propagate scientific homoeopathy. The addition of Dr. Tiwari filled this gap; Dr. Dhawale astutely perceived his value in optimising the ICR’s educational outreach. Within 2 years of his joining, Dr. Tiwari contributed to the ICR Symposium on Hahnemannian Totality in 1978 and later in the ICR Conference on Education in 1984. Much more significant, however, was his role in the Sensitivity Training of the homoeopathic physician, which Dr. Dhawale had accurately perceived as being one of the main blocks, the other being the lack of effective documentation of the physician’s actions. The Standardised Case Record was able to address the latter. Dr. Nityanand needed to devise ways and means to tackle the former.
The artist in Dr. Tiwari would come alive often, in regular training sessions as well as in the Symposia. His ability to establish instant rapport across multiple levels of participants, his capacity to perceive the heart of the block in the resident, in the guide, or the participants, and his ready wit, combined with an astonishing mastery of the play of words were sufficient to create all the drama required for an enriching edutainment. The healing that took place in all was an experience to be long cherished. The rich material of the training sessions afforded adequate material for the case-based portion of ‘Life and Living’, perhaps the most original creation of Dr. Dhawale. No wonder Dr. Tiwari was appointed as Assistant Director (Training) of the ICR; training continued to remain the main focus of his further professional life and work. On numerous occasions, he emphasised the central role of the training of the observer and the processes the ICR had devised to further this end. He was never tired of quoting Dr. Dhawale’s opening chapter, ‘The ‘Case’ in Homoeopathic Practice: Problem Definition and Resolution: Philosophical Foundations’ of the ICR Operational Manual. His MD (Hom) dissertation on ‘Concept of Unprejudiced Observer: Its importance in Homoeopathic Practice’ culminated in the extraordinary book, ‘The Art of Unprejudiced Observation-Principles and Practice’ which demonstrated various hitherto unexplored facets of training of the Observer. We are fortunate that the revised chapter of ‘The ‘Case’ in Homoeopathic practice’ in the forthcoming edition of the Operational Manual carries his imprint. As a Professor and Head of the Department of Organon and Homoeopathic Philosophy, he shaped the teaching of the subject on the lines Dr. Dhawale always desired.
The unexpected demise of his Guru in 1987 would have devastated a devoted shishya. But here, we see a transformed Dr. Tiwari in the garb of a Trustee of Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Trust (MLDT) donning a new mantle: that of a Resource mobiliser. His choice of establishing the first MLDT clinic in Palghar at a time when homoeopathy was virtually unknown in these parts spoke of a vision as well as a commitment to his Guru who desired that scientific homoeopathy be taken to parts of the country where there was a crying need. He encouraged the spread of the clinical work in remote parts of the Palghar taluka, thus establishing the presence and need of MLDT all over the region. It then was a matter of time before his gradual and sustained pressure on the local authorities resulted in the recommendation of the grant of government land at a concessional rate to the MLDT. This has virtually no parallel in the annals of the State government. His ability to connect to people, form individual deep bonds with each and every soul, and harness their energies into the singular task of building and running a hospital are now legendary. His strategy (natural, not a planned, well-thought out one!) was to sweetly persuade the resource that it was indeed he, himself, who was initiating the activity and it was but natural for him to own it and thereby support it. His soft power contribution in the creation of the Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Hospital at Palghar and of the Smt Janki Bacchu Dubey Homoeopathic Community Health Centre and Hospital at Bhopoli is hardwired in the history of the growth of the MLDT. He regarded Shri Kishorebhai Sanghvi, his co-Director of the MLDMHI, which established the Smt Malini Kishore Sanghvi Homoeopathic Medical Complex in Karjan, as a messiah, whose arrival was foretold by his Guru. He never tired of alerting the faculty at Karjan about the gratitude that they owed Shri Kishorebhai and felt fulfilled by the work the Institute produced by way of reaching the unreached.
His abilities as a homoeopathic clinician and as a healer were respected in the top echelons of sociocultural organisations, many of whom were his lifelong and faithful patients. He never used these connections for personal aggrandisement. However, he never hesitated to call on the top levels for the work of the MLDT. He was able to persuade Shri Narendra Modiji, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, to inaugurate the Smt Malini Kishore Sanghvi Homoeopathic College, Karjan. In a memorable speech, Shri Modiji did not only eulogise Dr. Tiwari’s contribution to homoeopathy but also spoke warmly of the role that homoeopathy could play in promoting National Health, especially of children. It was not a coincidence that shortly after Shri Modiji became the Prime Minister, the PMO issued an advisory to the Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) to consider using biochemic medicines for promoting healthy dentition in children, thereby bringing about a difference in their health. This was taken up by the CCRH as a community-based research project, which yielded encouraging results. When the Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) was dissolved, it was not a surprise that the Hon. Prime Minister nominated Dr. Tiwari as a Member of the Board of Governors and he functioned as a Chairman of the Education Sub-committee of the CCH until health issues forced him to step down. The journey from the slums of Jogeshwari to the highest position in Homoeopathy at the national level was a remarkable one. It was certainly not an easy one. Being able to measure up to the stiff demands placed by Dr. Dhawale was itself a challenge that many gave up. Dr. Tiwari not only persisted, he sustained and also grew remarkably as a clinician, trainer and educationist. Finally, as a Trustee, he was a flag bearer of the values that Dr. Dhawale saw as essential attributes of every homoeopathic physician.
All these brilliantly impressive achievements did not mean that Dr. Tiwari had only one facet in his life. While he considered all members of the organisation a part of his family, his wife Mrs. Malti and their children (and later, grandchildren) have constituted a significant core of his life. He was a family man and the steadying influence of his wife and her unflinching support through all his personal and career-related decisions gave him the strength to go forth on this path fearlessly.
Post his retirement, Dr. Tiwari continued to mentor his beloved organisation, extolling the teachers and students to constantly upgrade themselves, refine their sensitivities and follow the methods laid down by Dr. Dhawale to the hilt. He rejoiced whenever any teacher or student of the organisation was recognised for contributing to the growth of the science of homoeopathy. He never failed to keep in regular touch with all – juniors, seniors and colleagues, teachers and staff, past students and alumni – enquiring into their progress and the well-being of their families. Numerous lives were touched by his words and gestures. He remonstrated sharply when he perceived reluctance in anyone to take on the responsibility that he entrusted, but was quick to assuage any hurt feelings that may have resulted on that accord. The plan of conducting the Symposium at Palghar after a hiatus of 3 years excited him and he made all plans to participate. Only a couple of days before his final illness, he talked extensively to one of the guides on how to organise his presentation. Till the end, he lived, talked and breathed ICR and MLDT. Devoted completely as he was to his Guru, we are sure that this gentle and sweet soul has found his final rest in Him.