• 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.

Devadasis and Yoginis
Devadasis and yoginis

Etymologically “devadasi” means a slave of the god whereas “jogin” means “girl saint.” There has been a long-standing practice of the consecration of young girls to gods and goddesses in the temples of India. Such consecration has had religious and social sanction and was practiced extensively in parts of Western India such as Maharashtra and in many parts of South India such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. The practice was also prevalent in the temples of Orissa, notably Sri Jagannath temple at Puri. The practice involves forcing the girls to remain unmarried and yet to enter into relationships with men for some monetary or other material consideration. In these relationships, the girls did not have the rights of ...

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