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Dr Sharma completely misses the point of ‘historicism’ (as noted by A.R. Basu himself) and provides an ‘account/appraisal’ of Indian history that has little relevance to the issue. Or may be, in an ironical sense, this brings forth the importance of Foucault's methodology in understanding/managing our past. Even as a simple historical story telling, the article contains some gross inaccuracies and sweeping generalizations that need critical reflection.
Both Paul Hoff and Sharma tend to equate Foucault with antipsychiatry. This reflects a rather poor reading of Foucault and antipsychiatry both. Given that Laing latched on to Foucault's work, Szasz was rather non-committal. Both of them attacked the then psychiatry from an Existential point but Szasz's was a Judeo-Christian moralistic over interpretation of Sartre while Laing was notorious for continuously shifting his theoretical positions and practices. On the other hand Cooper was a member of South African Communist Party and his criticisms were made from that angle. Foucault himself had little to say about antipsychiatry (or psychiatry for that matter) and his study of madness and unreason was an example to demonstrate a larger project of unraveling historical development of ‘ideas and practices’.
In Basu's writing ‘Indian Psychiatry’ and ‘psychiatry in India’ are used interchangeably and without any specificity. Does he consider the two to be equivalent? I think that will be rather naïve and anti-Foucauldian in itself. Basu is also, rightly, concerned about the construction of lack resulting from the power play that goes behind the development of episteme in a Foucauldian sense but does not distinguish it from the power play that generates in colonial exchange that precludes dialogue and fosters silence. He is also rather vague in pointing out how to address this lack and listen to it in a turn around of Foucauldian method. That is a bit disappointing. In trying to be too Foucauldian, Basu also ignores Derrida's criticisms of Foucault's reading of Cartesian reason–unreason.