Discussions of biomedicine in Asia often emphasise contemporary encounters between medicine and cultural forms over historical considerations of the political weight of new knowledges and ideas. This is particularly so where sciences of the mind and the "psy" fields are concerned. However, important questions about the entanglement of medicine, politics, mind, and society center around Asian histories, showing that critical debates might be pursued for their contemporary repercussions and relevance. In India, health care, and systemic changes, were not a priority for the colonial administration, and Independence was accompanied by widespread chaos and violence. Jain and Sarin describe how the politics of ethnicity and nationalism made it possible to divide the patients in mental hospitals along ethnic lines, and also impair the development of services. The developing chaos was often called madness; but the psychological consequences of this were never interrogated. This has led to conspicuous silence about the natures of selfhood and mental health. Within India itself, thinking and teaching of psychiatry is often devoid of the subjectivity of the patients. Pinto has been exploring the semiology of psychiatric symptoms and interventions. She has researched the work of Dr Satya Nand, who tried to develop a blend of psychoanalysis and traditional ideas about the mind, as applied to individuals in mid-20th century India, and the need to develop a ‘total analysis’. Willford has been studying both medical and psychiatric services, in indigenous communities and at a specialist service for neuro-psychiatry. His work describes the tensions of modernity and cosmopolitanism, in care providers and the users, in the tribal communities of the hill ranges as well as in Bangalore. Medical education, especially in psychiatry, in India, has focussed on empirical and instrumental bio-medicine, and often neglected an organic engagement with subjectivity and socio-psychological issues. Murthy describes how the training of psychiatrists thus needs to be more inclusive and nuanced, to include the medical and psychological issues, as well as attention to human rights. Based on work in India, physicians, anthropologists, and historians share interest in the ways colonial and postcolonial histories might help found new understandings for global psychiatry.