• 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.

Concept and Definition
Concept and definition

The historical setting introduced in Chapter 2 reaffirms that indentured labor, slavery, or bonded labor caused irreparable damage and destruction of human life. They are all denials of the four cardinal principles—dignity, decency, equality, and freedom—that are defined as inalienable to humanity. If history offers a salutary lesson, it is that human life should be promoted, protected, and preserved. No one has the moral right and authority to nullify the dignity, beauty, and worth of human life. There is no moral warrant for such acts.

Every concept has a setting. The correct understanding of this setting facilitates internalization of the concept. Any honest attempt to define a concept with clarity and precision would make some sense for an average reader in ...

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