• 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.

Historical Perspective
Historical perspective

The history of human civilization goes beyond being a mere chronicle of dates and events, expeditions and romances. It has different phases of evolution in relation to different nuances of human development. Each phase has its own peculiarities and complexities which together constitute the historical perspective of that phase. The system of slavery or forced/bonded/compulsory labor is one of such nuances deeply affecting human development. It was also largely shaped and influenced by perceptions of individuals who formulated a Code of Conduct or Regulation for observance by the human society during that phase. The system of forced/bonded/compulsory labor has an embedded logic, howsoever obnoxious, perverse, and disagreeable to a modern rationalist thinker. This logic was perceived by the framers of the Code ...

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