• 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.

Migration
Migration

Let me begin with a profoundly illuminating interview with a migrant worker called Mohan. I conducted this interview in my capacity as a socio-legal investigating commissioner of the Supreme Court with the workers employed in the stone quarries and stone crushers of Faridabad in January-March, 1984.1

Q. What's your name?

A. Mohan.

Q. What's your father's name?

A. Late Sri Tila Ram.

Q. Where do you come from?

A. Barmer district of Rajasthan.

Q. Which community do you belong to?

A. Bhil.

Q. Where are you employed?

A. Chandra Stone, Faridabad.

Q. How did you land here all the way from Barmer?

A. In Barmer the land is arid, rainfall is very low (1” to 5”) or absent for months together, prospects of agriculture are bleak and alternative employment is non-existent. I have, therefore, traveled all ...

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