• 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.

Role of Voluntary Organizations
Role of voluntary organizations

In Neerja Chaudhury vs. State of Madhya Pradesh arising out of Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 1263 of 1982 (AIR 1984 Supreme Court 1099), the apex court had drawn a clear line of distinction between the roles performed by the representatives of the people (Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs), Members of Legislative Council (MLCs), and Members of the Parliament (MPs), etc.), bureaucrats at various levels, local self governing bodies vis-à-vis Voluntary Organizations (VOs) and had given cogent and valid reasons in according overriding preference for the latter. To quote from the judgment dated May 8, 1984 of the apex Court:

It is difficult to believe that the existence of the bonded labour system can be discovered and the evil of ...

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