• 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 Trade Unions of Workers and Employer's Organizations
Role of trade unions of workers and employer's organizations

Every worker primarily as a human being, as the free citizen of a free country, and also, as a worker is entitled to an irreducible barest minimum to sustain himself, to work and live with dignity and decency, equality and freedom. That minimum has a long list but it can still be quantified to include:

  • minimum age of entry to the world of work;
  • hours of work (not to exceed nine hours a day and 48 hours a week and to include spread over);
  • a living wage to take care of basic biological needs, children's education, health care including specialized treatment for treatable diseases, leisure and recreation, etc.;
  • pollution free environment (both ...
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