• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Human Bondage: Tracing its Roots in India is an in-depth study of bonded labor with special focus on how the system exists in India. The book provides us with a detailed analysis of the historical, social and cultural context in which bondage has developed.

The author discusses the socio-economic characteristics that accompany bondage: caste, illiteracy, landlessness and land tenure issues, alienation of land, lack of skills, poor employment and wage conditions, indebtedness, migration, and globalization.

Extreme forms of bondage, including child labor, trafficking in women and children, and social forms like devadasis and yoginis have also been covered.

The book explores important factors like the legal framework, policy interventions, solutions and the role of the various stakeholders—media, government, trade unions and NGOs—in tackling this issue.

The book is essentially about human freedom and dignity—the quintessence of human existence—and the forces that rob them, the dispossessed victims, consequences of dispossession, and ways and means of restoration.

Tribal Land Alienation
Tribal land alienation

The preceding chapters on “Caste Hierarchy and Bondage” and “Land Tenurial System and Bondage” discuss the prominent role of caste in occupational segregation and the land tenurial system. It has been observed that the terms of tenancy of a landless person belonging to the landowner's caste (which is an upper caste) would be much more liberal compared to those of a tenant belonging to a lower caste. In case of members of SC, the conditions of tenancy would be extremely severe. The wages of landless persons belonging to SC would be very low and often below starvation level. Any demand for higher wages may invite severe reprisals from the landowning community. These reprisals often extend to murder. The lower echelons ...

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