March 10th, 2011
11:49 AM ET

India official: It's not slavery

After her reports on modern-day slavery in India, CNN's Sara Sidner sat down with India's Labor Secretary Prabhat C. Chaturvedi. She showed him her first report, about generations paying off debt through slavery, to let him respond.

According to Sidner, the official was not surprised. He admitted that the problem of bonded labor existed in India but bristled at the word "slavery."

Below is an excerpt (and watch a longer response in the video above):

SIDNER: Did anything in that story surprise you?

CHATURVEDI: We are aware of the problem of bonded labor and also of child labor in this country ... the story that you are doing relates to bonded labor and children working in the brick kilns.

SIDNER: Would you call this modern-day slavery. This bonded labor?

CHATURVEDI: Certainly not. It is not slavery. As I said, it is a problem of poverty.

SIDNER: These people say that they feel enslaved. They have no other option, they are beaten, they are not paid, they are hungry some of them. Doesn’t that sound like slavery to you?

CHATURVEDI: I would never use the word slave.

Read Part 1 of CNN's Sara Sidner's report from India: Generations pay off debts through slavery
And read Part 2: Fear accompanies road to freedom: 'My father is dead. So I am working'
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Topics: Government • In The News

soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. rqki butler

    This guy Chaturvedi is a idiot that story has slavery writen all over it someone needs to check his basement for slaves,What the hell is wrong people.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • Sheldon

      While he's down in the basement, perhaps he can fetch a book on the basic rules of grammar.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
      • DS


        March 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
      • Tripp

        Or at least punctuation.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
      • Fidlah

        If we have to be politically correct, we can no longer call "a Spade, a Spade", then why should they be different: He's not an butthole, he's socially challenged. He's not an illegal immigrant, he's an undocumented worker, . So, he's not a slave, he's a bonded worker. Kiss my lily, white, Butt.

        March 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
      • Roger Blatto

        What is interesting is reading the shocked responses by the American readers on here about the situation in India. Sure this is a form of slavery – but what isn't. Look around your cities. You likely have migrants who are working for less than minimum wage just to afford to eat. A form of slavery. Esc0rts who are slaves to their p!mps. Drug abusers who are slaves to their dealers. Gamblers who are slaves to their debt. The sick poor with no access to health care. Fat people who are slaves to their refrigerators. And of course 50% of society who have mortgages are are slaves to the banks who require a payment each month or you are homeless. Yes, all these people have perceived choices to be free of what enslaves them but the fact is they are still slaves and often times unable to become free of the chains that keep them tied down, regardless of the laws in the US or their best efforts. Slavery exists in any form where a person is kept downtrodden by another, society, an addiction, or whatever other thing keeps them from being truly free.

        March 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
      • Raj

        Maybe you could do the same ?

        March 11, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • wayne

      let him work like this for 5 years and then sit down with him and ask the same question This guy is one of many that need to taught a lesson in humanity

      March 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
      • Kaushal Shah

        u all r bigger idiots !! U have no idea on what he is talking. u need formal education to even comment on it. So STOP.

        March 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
      • amused123

        Spoken like a slave owner. Truth hurts; doesn't it?!
        Kaushal Shah
        u all r bigger idiots !! U have no idea on what he is talking. u need formal education to even comment on it. So STOP.

        March 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
      • Kaushal is an Idiot

        My name says it all.Kaushal Shah, You need help.

        March 10, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
      • Denizen Kate

        @Kaushal, like many, you confuse education with intelligence. How much "formal education" do you need to know that if someone is forced to work for no pay, that person is a slave? A rose by any other name . . .

        March 10, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        'How much "formal education" do you need to know that if someone is forced to work for no pay, that person is a slave?'
        Not sure I totally agree with that definition. A person working to pay off a debt might not fall into the category of slave.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • Arcady

        @Cedar Rapids:
        According to the US Constitution's 13th Amendment forced labor to pay off a debt (indentured servitude) is akin to slavery.

        You may be right in that they are not technically the same words, but the effect is so much alike that history doesn't seem to have cared about the difference.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
      • Yogi

        The people commenting here have never been to india, nor do they understand what it takes to survive in india.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • Kausal Shah is the biggest idiot

        Kausal- you sound like such a whiney baby.

        Waah – you need a formal education waaah- STOP IT- waaaah waaah waah.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
      • NoTard

        Mr. Shah I believe it is you that need an education in both civility and English. Let me be the first to call you: a Tool.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
      • Jim

        So do the children working here get an education? No, then anyone should be able to comment.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
      • Matka Singh

        These are undoubtedly the problems of poverty. I was there. I was working when I was 10 years old, trying to support my family. It was not a choice, it was a necessity. But, you will never understand.

        Now, I probably am wealthier than most of you guys on this site. India is the "freest" country in the world. I wanted to build a $250,000 home on MY land, I built it. No need to get an approval from anybody. You guys can't even build a home on your own land! Can you? And they ask you to show your almost nude body at the airport or let them touch your junk, you ca'nt even say no. This is slavery.

        This story on CNN is not about slavery. Most of these people can go anywhere they want (nobody will ever find out where) or go tho the police station to complain. Slavery was in the USA, your country, where blacks were tied down in shackles. Remember that! You still do not treat the blacks well. See who is talking about slavery......the masters of the slaves with a shameful history of their own.

        March 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
      • DeDee

        Of course he is not going to use the word slavery. He thinks he is above the rest of the world. The caste system in India is alive and well, even if they try to deny it. These folks have no chance at ever getting out of this "poverty" problem. Yes, he should try it, but not with a 5 year limit – he should be made to think this is all he ever has to look forward to.

        March 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
      • Rajeev

        It's hard to say which hurts more: the slavery or the denial by Indians of its very existence.

        March 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Informed_Person

      Slavery has been an official system in the west, especially, in US. When a slave is owned by his master, they are treated as commodity. Masters can sell slaves. Government protected master's rights. They can separate families. Beat them. Dogs can chase them. Kill them in open. That is what slave indicates (from biblical times to the Lincoln times). Bonded labor ends as soon as the loan/bond is paid off (if a bonded laborer is lucky and gets a gold pot, it is finished). Even this kind of bonded labor is illegal in India since it became independent from British. Comparison between these two is sheer non-sense. It is to say that we had shitty practice but don't feel guilty because others are doing it too.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
      • Brian

        Slavery is a problem of the entire world, not just the west. Whether you look at modern day slavery or historical slavery, it has happened and is currently happening in all parts of the world. India is no better or worse than any other country when it comes to this except for the fact that they refuse to admit it exists in their country.

        March 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • Fernando Cuevas

        just a little detail. We are not in the past century any more. What Sidner is saying is "Would you call this modern-day slavery". So, until we find a new word (to make happy some kind of business men) the issue is that there is a modern-day slavery and let's face it. And if another country has their own "modern-day slavery" it will not make better the situation. We did it wrong in the past so what, let's keep on doing wrong in the future?

        March 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
      • Frank

        The problem is that in India, children are forced to pay off the debt of their parents and grandparents through bonded labor. They are born into servitude, cannot go to school or even play. They have no chance to make a good life for themselves. They are slaves IMO.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
      • Farmer0441

        If it walks like a Duck, and eats like a Duck, and quacks like a Duck and looks like a Duck and flies like a Duck. Guess What.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
      • Understanding History

        Don't get self righteous by trying to say slavery is okay in India because it was widely practiced in the US. That is completely wrong. The Founding Fathers knew it was wrong and many of them, including Jefferson and Madison, tried to insert language into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that would prohibit (or at least criticize) the practice. Was it wrong? Absolutely, but the fact that it has happened before doesn't justify it's continued existence. Don't forget, the US fought its bloodiest war over the issue of slavery. The US had more military casualties in the Civil War than in all other wars combined (including WWII). Northern soldiers fought and died so that other people may be set free. We're the only country that can say that.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • Informed_Person

        The question here is whether to call this practice slavery or not. That word has connotation and a well understood meaning and history in US. Bonded labor is vastly different. Just because somebody wants to sensationalize an illegal criminal practice in India, they should not label it Slavery. Slavery and Bonded Labor were legal only in west or western rule in India. Bastard is a word used to describe a boy born to a woman who had sex with multiple men (time between each sexual encounter is not defined). According to this definition, 50% woman in US broke their marriages and married another, so their children should be called Bastards. When we use words, especially in electronic media, we should be extremely judicious. Slavery was legal in independent US. To get rid of it, so many people had to die in Civil War. Independent Indians made bonded slavery illegal with blink of an eye. Who should be proud of it? If at all, this is a question of enforcing the law and preventing illegal practices, think about how many illegal activities are happening in US. Journalists should not drop down to this low level to keep their jobs.

        March 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
      • Charl

        Its slavery, period. Some people are just too proud to acknowledge it for what it is.

        March 31, 2011 at 3:06 am |
      • YouKnow

        Actually Understanding History, the American Civil War was not fought to end/keep slavery. It was fought because the North wanted to instill a stronger federal government to tax the profits from slavery and the South wanted more states rights to protect their slave profits from taxation. Another factor also was that the south produced the raw materials, while the north manufactured those raw materials into product. There essentially was a pricing war occurring where the southern plantation owners tried to sell their materials to the north for the highest price possible and south would turn around and sell their finished products to the south for the highest price possible. Seven southern states seceded from the Union to create the Confederacy unconstitutionally and soon after the war started. After the war started, Lincoln then tried to punish the south economically by freeing all the slaves.

        April 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
      • YouKnow

        Little Google trick if you want a defintion. In the search box, type, define with colons, and type the word you want to look up, like this: define: slavery

        Informed Person, google slavery, the definition states: (1) the state of being under the control of another person (2) work done under harsh conditions for little or no pay. Better yet, read the books of those who were slaved in modern-day India and they'll call it slavery as well.

        Let's google bonded labor: (1) a practice in which employers give high-interest loans to workers whose entire families then labor at low wages to pay off the debt; the practice is illegal in the United States (2) Debt bondage (or bonded labor) is an arrangement whereby a person is forced to pay off a loan with direct labor in place of currency, over an agreed or obscure period of time (3) A form of indenture in which a loan is repaid by work, the worker being unable to leave until the debt is repaid.

        So according to the definitions of bonded labor, the practice of slavery is performed inside of the bonded labor, thus making the practice illegal because of the slavery confined in the practice. Trillions upon trillions of blinking eyes have been slaves in your country and continue to be.

        Ok, so now lets google the term bastard: (1) insulting terms of address for people who are stupid or irritating or ridiculous (2) the illegitimate offspring of unmarried parents (3) is a person whose parents, at the time of his birth, are not married to each other.

        Informed Person, no where does it state children born from a 2nd marriage are called bastards. You need to take a 2nd look at your sources. Also I sense some sexism when you state 50% of women broke their marriages, but you did not refer to the 50% of men that broke their marriages.

        April 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • nepawoods

      "that story has slavery writen all over it" ... Story? Not much of a story.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
      • David

        Right to carry a fire arm will solve a lot of problems in India. Thats when one human being will stop taking advantage of another. Its a shame to read this at this age and time.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
      • Kyle

        Right David guns solve everything! i mean if you ask mrs. giffords im sure she would agree with that statement 100%... idiot!

        March 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
      • CBFTW

        Outliers like that will always exist. The vast majority of firearms owners have never, and will never fire that weapon in anger at another human being.
        The point is that if he didn't have a gun he would have found another tool for the job.

        March 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
      • YouKnow

        Shoot... Nepawoods is absolutely correct! Most third world countries instill gun laws so that no one can carry guns, except the elitists. There would be a lot less mass murders, genocides and slavery around the world, if these poor people were allowed to carry guns. Then we wouldn't have military hired by the wealthy corporations and politicians harassing and mass murdering the general population after they revolutionize and fight back oppression and inhuman treatment.

        April 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Mike Lama

      Your parents hadn't taught you how to behave with etiquette. Learn the full story and then comment.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply
      • LDQ

        Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property and are forced to work.[1] Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation. In some historical situations it has been legal for owners to kill slaves.[2]

        Debt bondage (or bonded labor) is a form of contemporary slavery in which a person pledges themselves against a loan, but in such a way that it cannot be repaid.[1] In debt bondage, the services required to repay the debt may be undefined, and the services' duration may be undefined.[1] Debt bondage can be passed on from generation to generation.[1]

        Now you decide . . . .

        March 17, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
      • YouKnow

        Your first definition uses the word "can" be held. Well they also "can" be forced by lack of economic opportunity and governement schemes. A rich man's way of avoiding the word slavery is to pay a dollar a day and call it a salaried job. I suggest you Google the real definition by simply typing...define: slavery...and you get this: (1) the state of being under the control of another person (2) work done under harsh conditions for little or no pay. Scheme is to offer a candidate a job. Once the hired help is there, the master then makes up an outrageous amount in "debt" that the worker must pay back in labor before he can be released. So, at the end of the week, year, decade, the worker leaves with nothing but a broken body. But it's obvious from the tone in your comment, you could care less about the poor people in your country.

        April 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Mark

      I would never call it slavery, maybe one of the following:

      bondage, bullwork, captivity, chains constraint, drudge, drudgery, enslavement, enthrallment, feudalism, grind, helotry, indenture, labor, menial labor, moil, peonage, restraint, serfdom, serfhood, servitude, subjection, subjugation, thrall, thralldom, toil, vassalage

      But not slavery.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Reply
      • Denizen Kate

        A rose by any other name . . . still stinks, right?

        March 10, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
      • MP

        MARK-your comment says it all. Perfect.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
      • Joe

        It's the same thing as inheritance: "your daddy did good things before he died, therefore society owes you a living." Senseless.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Nick M

      RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has announced that preliminary findings show Mr Prabhat C. Chaturvedi as a highly qualified potential Republican Candidate for the 2012 Presidential race. Mr Chaturvedi has stated he will not announce a Presidential run until further campaign study results have been examined.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
      • Nick V


        March 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Chris

      Agreeed, India has a caste system which is the equivalence to slavery. Every middle class home in Inda has servants or "slaves" that they pay pennies a day to do their house cleaning. This is why middle class Indians that work here act so arrogant to middle class Americans, they see everyone as beneath them. Be careful before hiring them.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Reply
      • Frank

        They sure are smelly for being 'superior' to us, lol.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
      • Burdened w/ Intelligence

        Another ignorant fool bites the intellectual dust. The caste system (discrimination based upon which is illegal in India) has nothing to do with the hiring of domestic help or "servants". It is a pure capitalist market system. Low wage earners from villages come into the city where they find work as domestic help among other blue-collar jobs that raise their standard of living and allow them to earn enough to send portion of that wage back to their villages. Attempts to pay below market wage to domestic help typically results in a labor movement out of such households. Its simply another source of outsourcing. Domestic labor is outsourced to people for whom that job is an upliftment of living standards. No different from hiring a Nanny or baby-sitter.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
      • rn

        Spoken like a truely ignorant person. Ever read anything apart from yiny newspaper snippets on the topic? Where do you get your info. from? Before you consider yourself an expert in making such widely off-topic and ignorant comments, perhaps you should go read a book on the subject/ country? OH are one those..YOU get ALL your info. from wikipedia... don't ya??

        March 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
      • dafka

        No. Actually that happens because 'middle class America' doesn't really exist. You take your Bible-thumpers with their narrow mindsets on one hand, the gun-toting, vermin-hunting, inbreeding rednecks on the other, and anyone can feel superior. The point is, who are you hanging out with?

        March 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
      • Jake Sully

        Mr. Chris do you even know what the conversion rate of USD to INR is? Before making such retarded statements understand that the people paying "pennies" earn "dimes" themselves. You cannot just convert INR to USD and say they are underpaid.

        By that logic Software Engineers (I hope you know what those are) in India are slaves too because their USD salary would be less than $10,000 while a comparable position in US would pay close to $100,000.

        When taken in context of wages earned by the middle class people, the domestic workers are getting pay similar to minimum wage salary in the USD. Its no different than comparing a $100,000 salary to a Walmart worker's salary in the United States.

        March 10, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
      • YouKnow

        On paper, the caste system is illegal. In practice, the caste system still lives on. There are four principle castes. The lowest castes of course is poor, the top three range from lower-middle-class to respected priests. What's not talked about is the shunned 5th class, the untouchables. Over half the population of India is comprised on the 4th and 5th castes. About 450 million reside in castes 1 to 3. Those in the 4th castes are treated inhumanely, and those in the 5th don't have a shot in Hindu hell, literally. They are seen as impure and not even treated as well as animals. Don't compare being a nanny in the U.S. to the 2 lowests castes in India. Forget apples to oranges, it's like comparing Watermelons to peanuts.

        April 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Joe

      We do the exact same things in the west – reword things so they hide the truth. For example, abortion doesn't focus on terminating a healthy baby (often late term). It ignores the pain response, fingers, organs, toes, brain etc. We don't even call it pro-abortion. It's Pro-choice. Maybe that's what slave owners in the old USA used to call it too. Pro-Choice slavery. I chose to have slaves, while ignoring the humans being hurt, and using the excuse that it's convenient. Like say abortion. Inhuman treatment of humans. We can justify anything, just like the German's of WW11.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
      • Kyle

        your comparing apples to oranges... pro choice is a correct term because it is the choice of the parents to have that baby or not! just like it is if you wear a condom or take the morning after pill.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        'We don't even call it pro-abortion. It's Pro-choice'
        and you dont call it anti-abortion, you call it pro-life.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
      • ringo

        Forced Pregnancy = Involuntary Servitude

        (glad to clear that up for you)

        March 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
      • Dave

        Hit the nail on the head, Joe. There are actually striking similarities of things like slavery and the Holocaust to abortion and animal exploitation in the modern West. It all starts with justifications based on dehumanizing rhetoric towards certain humans, or based on having the tragic misfortune of simply not having been conceived as a human (but another species).

        Be a voice for the suffering and dying voiceless, be they unborn humans, slaves or animals at your local factory farm.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
      • Glad I Could Help My Sister

        Most abortions in the US are late-term? Where is your source for this absurd conclusion? Even your precious Fox News states that 91% are performed in the first trimester, 9% in the second, and only 100 per year in the third (less than .01% of all abortions performed in the US). Please take your sensationalism and your idiotic correlations elsewhere.

        A year after I financed my younger sister's abortion, I would drive her and finance it again. Everything she's accomplished in the past year was worth it. If she had a child right now, her life would be drastically different: no more college, living with me, working nights so I could watch her child after I got home from work, no social life, likely on welfare. That comes far closer to slavery than a first trimester abortion. (Not to lessen the far harsher realities and emotional and physical tolls of modern day slaves)

        March 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
      • YouKnow

        To the Sister comment. Wow! You're comparing your sister raising her child to slave conditions around the world. I'm going to assume your sister wasn't raped. I'm going to assume she chose to have unprotected sex with a man outside of marriage and irresponsibly got herself pregnant by him. There used to be a time when women cared for children and didn't kill them or compare them to slavery. Do you realize how developed a baby is in the first trimester. From 1 to 2 months, there is already arms, legs, neck, nose, eyes, lips, organs and a heartbeat. Your sister essentially killed a 2 inch baby. Sex is something to take seriously, not just because of the emotional relationship with the man, but mainly because you can become pregnant. In a few weeks that baby inside you has already taken human shape. You posted almost as if you're bragging. Any innocence that was in you and your sister, you threw it out with the innocent baby. You're a sick excuse for a female and a sick excuse for a woman.

        April 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Joe

      We do the exact same things in the west – reword things so they hide the truth. For example, murder is illegal in every country on earth. Unless of course the government or courts decide that capital punishment is warranted. In that case it's not murder – it's capital punishment. Same result, just different wording. Like with this guy and his non-slaves.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • Secret Mark

      Sidner's question was stupid. "Slavery" is an ambiguous term, and the question is just a matter of semantics. There are lots of forms of servitude, including serfdom, indentured servants, etc, etc. Sidner just wanted to raise emotions and indignation while adding nothing of value. Typical US media BS.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • miss.wise

      This guy Chathurvedi is way learned and educated that you are. Calling him an idiot just makes you IDIOT without knowing many other aspects of this story.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
      • Ms. Toronto


        Chaturvedi may be educated. But it has not done much good on this issue. He simply is in denial.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
      • JP

        he isn't in denial, he's trying to be politically correct

        March 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Alberto

      My thoughts exactly! It's a disease.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • matt

      No one said 'slaves' here. We are only saying 'modern day slaves' why does it hurt this chaturvedi guy so much?

      March 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • yetagainUSbuttsin

      yet again US butt in on other country's business...why dont we worry about our country economy first before we butt in other countries issues....We (USA) just loves to butt in to other countries' issues but when another countries has an opinion on USA...oh no you cant do US of A...

      March 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
      • JP

        since when? people criticize america all the the way our government isn't telling india to stop what it's doing, it's one reporter doing a report on something widely known

        March 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • JP

      bonded labor and slavery are the same thing, the official obviously isn't so stupid because he knows how to chose his words carefully.....slavery has a sting to it that bonded labor doesn't and especially when talking to an american reporter of course he will refuse to use the word "slave" or "slavery" it doesn't mean that what he is saying and what she is saying aren't the same thing

      March 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • dc3gal

      Agreed. He has trouble looking her in the eyes as well. Probably killing him to sit there and be interviewed by a woman. All the earmarks of lying on him as well.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • Deepak

      @rqi butler : To just say randomly"idot" is easy difficult is to understand the issue. That is people dont want to just get rid of there job... because there is no other option.. for them.. it does not mean that if they want, they cant leave... but due to poverty and lack of education.. or no jobs in those certain areas.. they have to work with that owner in any condition . THIS IS CALLED POVERTY my friend or an effect of POVERTY.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Joe citizen abroad

      Agreed. Forced labor, with no option to walk away. That's slavery.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • Manju

      What Mr Chaturvedi says is right, you cannot equate bonded labor with slavery as it was practiced in days gone by. You are not selling them like cattle or taking the children from their mothers or exporting them to other parts of the world to work for next to nothing.We can have a heated discussion about trends that are similar but to use the word slavery is absolutely wrong. If that is the case then people who are working in low paying jobs in dangerous conditions should also be equated with slavery.The fact is that there are unscrupulous people who take advantage of the ignorance and poverty that is prevalent in India. Miss Sidner has brought a problem to the front but has she tried to explain or explore what is the solution to this problem! I think not. It will take time to bring such practices under control, it took more than a hundred years for educated forward thinking people to abolish slavery in the US, it will take some time for my country to use that same power of education and progress to eliminate this scourge. In the mean time guide us with solutions not with sensationalism.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • Raj

      It's not slavery because technically it's not. A slave is legally owned by another. This however is brutal exploitation but Sarah Sidner doesn't care, she has a career to build and sensationalism to sell. Yay!!

      March 11, 2011 at 1:33 am | Reply
      • RS

        Technically it is not slavery?

        It is like saying she is a little pregnant, it is senseless, baseless, ignorant assumptions made by embarrassed folks of Indian descent who do not want to admit that India is not all that pure, mystical and yogic land.

        Bonded labour and a debt that cannot be repaid by generations of the original borrower is one hundred percent SLAVERY. These slave owners have finessed the way the enslave people. Instead of buying a person on the open market, they just lend them some money and own them that way.

        Based on the cast system of India, Mr. Chaturvedi is HIGH CAST HINDU and all these people making excused for this type of methodology to enslave people on this site belong to the high cast HINDUS as well. Another fact not brought to fore in this article is that, 100% of these slave owners are high cast HINDUS as well.

        And to all the Indian apologists on this site, GET REAL!

        March 12, 2011 at 9:19 am |
    • Victoria

      All I can say is thanks for his ignorance. I have been trying to find sources for a paper and I needed to debate the topic of human trafficking, modern day slavery. This guy gives me another source on the 'for' side. Of course I don't agree, just trying to get a good grade.

      March 17, 2011 at 1:43 am | Reply
    • Om Parkash Grover

      Thanks for your efferts to make this plannet more humantarian. Kindly have a look to hidden slavery of India i.e. castism. Every 6th persons of indian population is sufferring from castism, untouchability, not having even normal human rights, No bodies cant not get rid of this castisim whether he may be a minister in India. Status is fixed by his cast in which he is born in india. Lower case in India are not able to live with diginity of human life. Hindusim is werst releigion in the world. Kindly look into the matter seriously and help the mankind and bring this ugly face of indian society in the world

      October 8, 2011 at 2:13 am | Reply
  2. Sarav Chidambaram

    Oh please, dont sugar coat a human tragedy. Try live the life of those so called bonded laborers and you know what slavery means. You disgust me and you have no idea what you are talking about. I am ashamed of your insensitive statement about these unfortunate souls who toil as bonded laborers and work for nothing. What do you call them Mr. Chaturvedi? Poor people? When will you get this in your head? I am proud of my Indian heritage, but I am not proud of the modern day slavery going on in your country. When cast system gets into this where generation after generation people are held back in poverty because of their socioeconomic and caste status, what will you do to liberate them? Arant you ashamed that some in India live as bonded laborers for generations? What are you going to do to solve that problem?

    March 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  3. Eric M.

    I will shoot this guy in the head and will say, you cannot call it murder or assasination. I had the right to kill him for a "certain period of time". And we needed "to eradicate filth"

    March 10, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  4. Aezel

    We had this in America a looooong time ago too. People would let wealthy patrons pay for their passage to America by ship, and then work it off when they arrived. It was called indentured servitude and we got rid of it, because people recognized it for what it was, a form of slavery. It would essentially be like using a credit card, and then the credit card company got to decide what hourly wage they paid you and beat you while they forced you to work for them paying it back.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      America has this right now as we speak. It is called SEX SLAVES. There are SEX SLAVES everywhere in the United States. These are the Teenage Girls forced in the selling sex by force. There are girls brought in from other countries, like Mexico, Vietnam, etc. There are several documentaries made on that, specifically by MSNBC.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • Kyle

        And thank Allah for that. How else would I get a date.

        March 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
      • Pumbaa

        There are "wage slaves" in the United States. Until I was able to retire I lived from paycheck to paycheck working because I needed the money for my family to live. I worked for a hospital for over twenty years and my monthly pension check is less than $500. But I am happy that I was always able to get a job which is not always the case in 2011.

        March 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • getsomesense

      Ok ...what do you say about the kids who put together your shoes out of the country and you get to wear the shoes here. In a way you are also supporting slavery. Its just not shoes...clothes, handbags, toys....I fell all of us are in a way responsible in supporting slavery. We need to stop outsourcing these kinds of jobs to countries where you know kids/adults are exploited. Paid way way way under what they need to be paid.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
      • Not Gonna Happen

        @ getsomesense. This is never going to happen. All of the clothes, shoes, purses, etc. sold here are all made in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. All made in sweat shops for pennies and then sold here for 300% profit. As long as this continues you will always have some sort of "slavery".

        March 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Denizen Kate

      You don't think this still goes on here in the U.S.? You must be drinking too much evian (read that word backwards).

      March 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  5. Sharpei Puppy

    why not let him live in theses conditions for 90 days. See what tune he sings then.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • amused123

      Not a good test. Him KNOWINF it has a finite duration would give him hope. Slaves have no hope, but I do like the idea!

      March 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  6. PDR

    This exemplifies what is very wrong in our world today. Politicians who would deny the very fact that is in front of them and have the thick-skin to call anything such as slavery otherwise. To solve a problem it must first be recognized then confronted, otherwise the problem is readily rationalized and forgotten. Denial is not the solution. Oftentimes, Politicians are in denial.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  7. Nik

    He is correct it is not slavery. While certainly a tragic situation it is NOT slavery.

    The India haters in the west continue to attack it. This is just part of a bigger epidemic in the West. Fear of the rise of the East. New economic powers are rising, get over it people!

    March 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • PrettyAmiable

      I fail to see what is xenophobic about calling slavery "slavery." Violate human rights; what the fuck do I care where you're from? People who traffic humans in the US are assholes too.

      What definition of slavery are you using that you're this ignorant?

      March 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      To deny that this is not slavery is not correct. I am an Indian living in the USA and would admit that it is slavery and accept it. India is a Billion People country and this is part of the society. To be fair, American Media has exposed similar activities in America as well. MSNBC and CNN has ran several documentaries on SEX SLAVES (Teen age girls) in America Several times. So be fair.....Generally Indians are good people but they are not Gods...

      March 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      You are sooo right. They are only living in poverty, not paid a living wage, beaten, child labor, to work off an amount that they do not know. Nooo, that's not slavery. India wants to be treated like this is the 1800's and it is ok to build your country with slave labor. Unfortunately it's 2010 and people can easily find out the truth.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • Not Gonna Happen

      You are an idiot. If you think this is not slavery. These people are paying back loans of less than $200 that there four fathers took from the landowners years ago and decades later the families are still paying it back. Come on. The landowners are taking adavantage of the Illiterate and uneducated.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  8. I care

    Poor people are exploited all over the world.
    It is same here in US, where all the migrant workers are paid less than they deserve.If they are illegal, they are exploited more.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • bnakka

      Only difference the migrant workers do that on their own accord. The only thing migrant workers can't do is demand a proper wage. If they don't like the work or the pay they can go find work somewhere else. That is not the case for these people in India.

      I thought people had basic common sense but some lack it.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
      • thedirector

        Common sense is the least common thing you can find. Especially on some of the posts we read.

        March 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  9. TRex

    Indentured labor, bonded labor are very similar to slavery. There is no point in distinguishing among them. The effect on the people suffering are pretty much the same. Whatever be the processes distinguishing these terms, the end result is the same, a broken human being devoid of rights. I think Sara Sidner has done a really good job with this story.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  10. Rob

    This guy is in denial. If it looks like poo and smells like poo, it's poo. Further inquiry is not recommended. He's the only guy in the room saying it's not poo. WTF guy? It's poo! Dude. Does the sun shine? Can the tortoise fly? Does your wife sleep with you?!

    March 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  11. bnakka

    @NIK: Seriously rise of the east. The only country far east that can even do any damage is china. Don't try to assume India will ever reach a status where it can compete with the US. It might happen in a distant future but no where close to the next 50 years.

    It is slavery. Even the educated are exploited in India, these poor people with no education are even easier to trick into servitude for life.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • Nik

      bnakka, India will overtake Japan in the next 20 years and soon after that will be second behind China. The Middle East and Asia will once again be the center of world trade and civilization as it was for over 4000 years. 1000 years of exploitation will finally end.

      Keep hating and posting biased, racist articles like this. it only fuels the fire beneath the new generation of Indian businessmen, soldiers and scientists!

      Thank you Mr. Chaturvedi for standing up against the wacko liberal imperialists at CNN!

      March 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
      • KD

        Keep dreaming, With all this rampant corruption, caste system etc etc its no brainer. Indian press keeps filling hot air in indian people's mind, and they are dreaming big with KARMA SIDHANT. Way to go.

        March 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
      • Indian Woman

        As an Indian, I would like to state the obvious... slavery is slavery no matter what name it was used under or "era" was used it. It is wrong in any case. If it is truely illegal and the government is taking steps to eliminate it, this guy wouldn't seem so intent on justifying its existence.

        You don't get out of poverty by working as a slave... so how is it that this helps the poverty situation? Rich get Richer? How many Bonded Laborers do you have?

        March 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
      • Carmen

        Yes Nik many great nations rose up on the back of slaves. After all you save a ton of money when you don't have to pay and barely feed your labour

        March 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • Not Gonna Happen

        India will never rise as the politicians and the corporate types are too corrupt.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  12. Rush Limbo

    Wake up, people. It's a global economy. We can't compete with countries like India as long as there are fair labor practices in this country. Bring back slavery and America will rise again. We have to. Our economy demands it. All hail The Economy. Send us your poor huddled masses, and on their backs we will rebuild this country. Of course, we'll have to do away with luxuries like vacation, health care, and pensions, but hey, the top 5% will be fine, so who cares? This is America.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  13. Indian Reader

    Absloutely Disgusting!!!! If this is not slavery then what is slavery? Will the administration ever learn..Mr Chaturvedi probably is a "high caste" and belives he should be always served..Disgusting!!

    March 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • mike hunt

      these people received a loan that they work to repay. although the conditions they work under do not meet US standards, its not slavery. Slavery is when you are forced to work against your will and you receive nothing, not even your own freedom.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
      • Indian Woman

        Agreed.. BUT... when the situation where people don't or can't ever "earn" their freedom... what does that make it? If it continues for generations??? What does that say? The children taken on the debt of the parent that the parent couldn't repay in their own time. Would you prefer to call it a SCAM?

        March 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
      • Not Gonna Happen

        Some of these people have been working to payoff loans for generations. It does not take a decades worth of work to pay off a loan of less than $200. This is slavery and the landowers, law inforcement, and the politicians want do anything about it, because it will hurt their bottom line.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
      • Indian

        @ mike hunt- pls go get your lunch. This is way too intelligent topic for you.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Raj

      If you don't know what it is then why say it is "slavery" ? It is exploitation. Severe, cruel, brutal exploitation. Exploitation that is possible because of a lack of education, because of poor governance and because of poverty. That is why education must be made compulsory for all children in India. The welfare of Children needs to be enforced. Education is the key to all these problems. Not emotional arguments or emotional lectures.

      March 11, 2011 at 1:40 am | Reply
  14. coder2

    Oh relax, people...who doesn't have a slave or two?

    March 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  15. GonzoG

    Wonder if they have any Information Technology Slaves?

    March 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • Indian Woman

      Who wouldn't want one? 🙂

      March 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • amused123

      yes. They are at initech and iniotrode, both working for a guy named Bill Lumbergh.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  16. Daniel

    I think there's a distinction that he is trying to make between the slavery as we know it in the U.S., and the modern-day slavery that is occurring in India. Slavery in America was a brutal practice where people of African descent were subjugated to it solely based upon race. In India, it's a socio-economic phenomenon, where poor people are made to work to repay a "debt". I acknowledge that there's a caste system which is exploited as well, again, it's a socioeconomic and someone may argue racial issue. My points are, 1) our perspective on slavery is different than this man's, 2) it is not a purely racial problem, but a socioeconomic one, and lastly, 3) with this understanding, the practice is still wrong and should be dealt with.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Raj

      It's nice to sit in the West (maybe in some sub-urban home or urban office space and debate the nuances of the developing world isn't it? I mean nobody is going to argue with the "something has to be done" plattitude but what exactly should be done ? Maybe you folks can tell us how the Indian government could monitor and enforce the rule of law and the right to dignity across ALL 1 billion people in a country as diverse as India with a government that barely has enough money to build new roads and maintain exsiting facilities such as they are ?
      Life is hard, life is tough and life is brutal for many people around the world who live desperate lives and will porbably have to do so till the day they die. What the government of India is doing is trying to pave the way to a better future by doing the most with the limited resources it has. By doing the most good for the larger majority. That means not everybody will have a decent opportunities or send their kids to school or even have fresh drinking water. But MOST of us will and more of us will in the future and that is PROGRESS.
      It would be more helpful to stop the preaching and the shock jouranlism that maligns a developing country that desperately needs more business and income to thrive. These kinds of "expose" and "specials" are utterly unproductive and useless other than generating counter-sentiment and generating a condecending narrative that nobody wants to hear.

      March 11, 2011 at 2:38 am | Reply
  17. mike hunt

    when you borrow money and then have to work to pay it off, its not slavery.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Knucklehead

      That's way too simplistic...

      March 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
      • mike hunt

        Occams razor.

        March 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Indian Woman

      Sure – work a lifetime to pay off $10 – we should do that here as well... Wrong is wrong does.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • Not Gonna Happen

      You must be one of these landowner types. How many bonded laborers do you own?

      March 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • MannyHM

      When you try to borrow $3,000.00 but was told NO, you have to borrow $5,000.00 as a minimum and you have to pay it double or $10,000 in one year. It will again double after that. The lender knowing fully well that you can't possibly pay it, that's slavery. You are trapped into slavery.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  18. Knucklehead

    Gotta love that caste system too. Why do we do business with these people? Ask yourselves: What does America really stand for? Not what we say we stand for, but what our actions indicate? "By their acts shall you know them."

    March 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  19. klarg

    If we all get behind the "true conservatives" we can have this in the U.S. too.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  20. Bill Carpenter

    Get a grip. India's Labor Secretary Prabhat C. Chaturvedi know it is slavery. He is just doing the usual political dance. You expect him to commit political suicide to satisfy CNN?

    March 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  21. Bhavin

    India is full of idiots like India's Labor Secretary Prabhat C. Chaturvedi. No wonder people are realizing that India does not shine because of crooks like India's Labor Secretary Prabhat C. Chaturvedi.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  22. Nik

    bnakka, India will overtake Japan in the next 20 years and soon after that will be second behind China. The Middle East and Asia will once again be the center of world trade and civilization as it was for over 4000 years. 1000 years of exploitation will finally end.

    Keep hating and posting biased, racist articles like this. it only fuels the fire beneath the new generation of Indian businessmen, soldiers and scientists!

    Thank you Mr. Chaturvedi for standing up against the wacko liberal imperialists at CNN!!!

    March 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • Arfur


      March 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • Doesn't Surprise Me

      It is pathetic that Mr. Chaturvedi instead of fighting the poorest standard of living of millions of Indians, he picked up a English 'word' fight. May be that’s what he is capable of !!!

      March 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply

      Nik you said: "it only fuels the fire beneath the new generation of Indian businessmen, soldiers and scientists!"

      But maybe not the Slaves, huh, Nick? Because they cannot read and they are to busy being slaves, to get some leisure time to read CNN.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  23. wallster

    ... it's not TORTURE, it's enhanced interrogation techniques... America is SO much better than India.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  24. bhasky

    that guy is right! its not slavery. If the kids have money to repay the loan, they are free and dont have to work their a$$e$ off. Slavery is owning another human being without a chance of ever been free. Sara should understand that the "founding fathers" of this country like Washington and Jefferson were all slave owners. They "OWNED" another human being. The America that we see have traditionally been such an enterprise. Its not a question of treating a person right or wrong, Slavery means owning another individual. She should have been asking of child labor than delve on "slavery".

    March 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  25. Arfur

    This arrogance is very common among Indians. A decade ago an Indian Minister said (with a straight face) that Indians were genetically superior and could not catch AIDS (How's that working out for you Apu?)

    Indian males are just trumped-up little fatties,,, the caste system makes them feel superior.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • Nik

      Trumped up little fatties that you will be working for and your wife will be sleeping with!!!

      Keep chowing down on that McDonalds and listening to 50 cent loser.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
      • Arfur

        I'm retired and doing just great thanks. Go fetch my slippers, then get your bitch-ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie. There's a good girl.

        March 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Kaushal Shah

      Grow UP !!! U can't even understand what he is talking. Wake up America. We need to embrace the truth and problems they face then just keep condemning them with "english dictionary" !! We all will look like idiots talking good language but not using our brains. Believe me !!!! U have no idea....

      March 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply
      • Arfur

        Speak English you muppet.

        March 10, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • Kaushal Shah

      U say indians who never made any aggression on anyone as arrogant ? Arrogance is where we all live unfortunately. We better come out of our shell. America is now just another country. We can only make it special by thinking and respecting other coutries for what they are. Did u read the other article where a son pays his dead father's debt ???? Wake UP u idiot !!! That's the country where people don't file Chapter 11 after enjoying their life and screwing others lives and making the government run in deep RED wilth all kinds of debt from China. U need to developer ur mind to undersand that !!! U for now, can only read English. That's it.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • KS

      Can u even think CLEAN ? U arsehole u r a black spot on America. U r the one who make us all go down some day. U need to either get out of America or go to hell now. STOP This.

      March 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • KS

      Arfur the big fat ass is a traitor for America who is working here to get us bad name. Kick Arfur out of this post. He is insane and a disgusting animal. Get out Arfur GET OUT !!!

      March 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  26. Catherine

    American-style slavery was especially vile, being purely racial in nature and unusually brutal even by the standards of slavery through history. *BUT*.... Mr. Chaturvedi's response absolutely stinks of denial. I think that CNN's story shocked him, and he's trying not to accept the conclusion that CNN drew from their investigation - that the abuses in question *do* constitute slavery in every meaningful sense of the word. I hope he rethinks this in the privacy of his home and heart.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  27. Sunny

    Being from India, I am kind of not surprised by the arguments. In India, family is treated as one institution and as such many people feel it as a responsibility to honor their parent's debt. So no matter what you call this, it is nothing but slavery.

    The bureaucrats' wants to save their back by justifying that it is not slavery. To me the only defence they have is that this practice is not legal. But being a highly corrupt system in India, some people take advantage of poor and uneducated folks. Government as well as Society does nothing concrete to stop this.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  28. Nobody N. Particular

    The only difference between slavery and bonded labor is that you can sell a slave, you cannot sell a bonded laborer. They are treated about the same, and are looked down on as if they were dirt. This is not surprising in India, the caste system has not been forgotten, and there are those who believe it is their right to rule over those who owe them. Let's not get caught up in semantics, neither slavery nor bonded labor should be allowed. As for bonded labor, it only proves what Shakespear wrote about in Hamlet, "Neither a borrower, nor a lender be".

    March 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • Kaushal Shah

      I agree dude. Slavery and bonded labor is almost same !! I came as a bonded labor with an It degree to serve top 10 fortune companies and I can't move because of a special visa... u know why, coz I was a bonded labor stuck to that sucking employer for 10 years who takes 2/3 rd of my money and throws some bones to me... So, I agree with u. There is too much everywhere... How can we end it is what we need to think. There are millions of Mexicans in US living the legal life with being bonded labor. U know that right ?

      March 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  29. Neutral Observer

    Let me tell you what ... this guys last name is Chaturvedi , no person with that last name will be a slave in India they will be working in the jobs outsourced from America as a cabal denying jobs to other people .This guy belongs to the "superior caste " in Hinduism which is very active in corporate jobs especially the ones outsourced from America.

    This guy will deny it exists becuase the slaves in India belong to the inferior caste in Hinduism. Even the people posted as officials in Indian government are chosen from these "superior castes" , look the Indian CEOs in America, Citigroup Vikram Pandit, Pepsi Indra Nooyi they all belong to this "superior caste " in Hinduism and will deny that slavery exists in India as they are the masters.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  30. njemnu

    How can eradicating poverty be easier than enforcement? This guy is an accessory to crime!

    March 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  31. Anil Kumar

    They both are talking about the same issue, but one person does not want to use a label that the other person is forcing down on him. The reporter wants to use the word "slave" because it creates the shock value, increases readership. The reporter loves this confrontation because it increases the ranking of this story compared to other reporters. Aaahh.. there is a little bit of Charlie Sheen in everybody..

    March 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • Neutral Observer

      Aaah I see the hurt pride which wants to project India as the La La land for outsourcing American jobs full of bright colors and all supposedly fair skinned people

      March 10, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  32. Rahul

    This dude sounds like a typical bureaucrat in the Indian govt. Indian bureaucracy is the institution that is most out of touch with Indians... Rich, middle-class and poor.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  33. Srenivas

    The Indian labour secretary is absolutely senseless and in denial like all those bloody Indian politicians, it seems he has lot of their influence. Wakeup Chaturvedi, wakeup...Don't be in denial, it is absolute slavery, accept it and work towards eliminating this epidemic.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  34. astrokid.nj

    Good job reporting on this Sara Sidner.
    II am Indian and I cant tell you how many ways my country frustrates me. This one is one more.
    With this moron bureaucrat in denial, no way he is going to solve the problem. Listen to him "Bonded labour is difficult to solve.. we should solve poverty first". Yeah man.. thats great. Why dont you freaking resign then, and come back when poverty has been eradicated.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  35. Shay

    If you borrow money and you work to pay it off it is not slavery. However, being abused and treated lesser than human is wrong. What should be done is the treatment should be improved and the people should know how long they are to work for. Sorry but this is not slavery. Only the treatment should be improved. Imagine you live in a society where you are poor and a rich person can help you accomplkish something in exchange for your labor. Many persons are willing to do this once they know how long they are working for.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  36. MitchR

    Thank you CNN, for focusing so much on such an important issue. It's a refreshing change from the news about charlie sheen, or bashing the flavor of the month like the ipad.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  37. AJ

    Though I respect your position, I do not respect your statement. How do you like to differentiate poverty and bonded labor. Sounds like you are saying… Hi, don't use the word slavery, you may say bonded labor or poverty but we treat the people however we want. Man, if you see someone suffering like this, hell with the terminology, go out and help them and that is why you and your office or whoever responsible are there for. You sit in such luxury room and talk about poverty and how it is different from bonded labor and slavery. Don’t look at it, feel it and you will realize.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  38. Katy

    Reason #1 not to buy and support the silk industry – bonded [child] labor.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  39. phil

    This is guy is not a politician ...worse... He is a bureaucrat, and not a very tactful person. India is a country with 1.3 billion people. To be fair he cannot wave a wand, and fix India’s problem in a second. It will probably take many many years to fix it.

    March 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  40. Jamal

    In US the tea partiers (who control the house or rep) are demanding "We want our country back". Back from whom? The black people? what does that remind us of?

    March 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  41. Claire

    India and its phony democracy! How long will the world pretend that India's human rights violations are to be ignored? The UN continually turns a blind eye to the race based poverty embraced by India's elites.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • Nik

      LOL so many losers here. You lost your jobs because your were incompetent so now you vote democrat and bash India. Well guess what, the new economic powers are laughing all the way to the bank!! Keep hating!

      March 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  42. JoeD

    He wouldn't call it slavery. In feudal times, they called it vassalry: the same meaning, but different names. See also: I would not call it murder: I would call it homicide. Right!

    March 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  43. raj

    We should stop simplifying the issue on both side of fence. It is a human tragedy. People in America certainly do not know at what level of comfort they are living in this country. One should stop making horriblle comments.

    Let take a few example and parameter for discussion-

    USA is relatively a very new county comparing to India. As early as 60's black were not allowed proper place in society
    It was eliminated after great effort and sacrifice of many good people.

    US has population 1/3rd of india and area 3 times india.

    What I am refering is older the society more baggage it has to put thing in correct propective.What you saw in video is unfortunate and govt should take action against it. but remeber once these people ( mostly poor and illiterate enough to not know how much they own ) are out of that labor camp, it will be miserable situation for them to find a work to feed family Which is not very uncommon to extend to 5 little child and other parents. Poverty is the root issue. Govt can put owner of brick factory in jail and it will end up being more difficult situation for these people. Probably not for these people because of media attention but there are million more who will end up in more difficult situation.

    I am not saying what you saw is correct but people in US tend to paint everything with there brush because they live in material comfort world. This attitude has and is still giving them problem in IRAQ AFGANISTAN and many other places.

    Any social chnage is very gradual. I appreciate the effort of CNN to bring it to mainstream but please also show why is it the way it is right now. Your 10 min documentary without analyzing the situation is not an ideal reporting. Please bring it to world's attention but at the same time bring also the poverty and the reason behind it.

    I am happy to note that india is making good progress but there is still many more miles to cover. and I also warn you that whether you like it or not progress you will see will be at expense of your material comfort. because as they grow, they will claim excess share you have in western world.

    I hope CNN as an after though reporter will dig dip into issue and bring it to people attention. Commerce secerretary comment is a political statement, behind it there is real work which is very complex in nature.

    And for the guy who refered to Grammer in his speech... well no big deal.. in your country even beggars speak english that does not make you grammer expert and great personality. You should probably compare your englisg with British expert.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • rajsmellsilkecurry

      raj NO ONE CARES WHAT U HAVE TO SAY mr. seven eleven.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Reply
      • raj

        Well may be some body will care. You never know.... see sidner crossed oceans to report this issue to bring it to notice to world. overall people are listening.. you can see people are donating for this cause. Curry is good.. you should try sometime if you have not already.

        March 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  44. SUNI

    Moral of the story is – 'Don't borrow if you don't have means to return'. working off to pay your dept is used everywhere around the world so what is wrong with that?? I go to India and people ask for money to get their daughter married or for son to start business or children to go to universities, Now, If I know these folks will never pay me back why should I give them any money? on the other hand if they promise that they will work for me or my family to pay it off then I have no problem lending them financial help in time of their need. it is that simple. I don't stay in India and visit just once a year, so do you call that Slavery?? Don't throw word 'Slavery' casually, what you consider Slavery is good business for me! Nobody like loosing money – We work hard to make that money and sometimes people make all kinds of excuses to borrow money but have no intentions to return it. Asking for your own money back or to make them work to return that money is not Slavery!!!! I got a Students loan from Government and I am still working two jobs to pay it off or the government will garnish my wages...So am I a Slave of the Government????

    March 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply

      Yes you are a slave of the Government, and you are a Slaveowner yourself.
      And when you die, you will go to Hell.

      No matter how good for business Slavery might be for you.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
      • SUNI

        You seems to hell much better seems like you have been on one – haven't you??
        Hell and Heaven is here on Earth. People borrow money and promise to work for it, there is nothing wrong with that..
        at least they are not in jobless lines like in US...Solve your own problems and hells before trying to teach Heaven to others..
        We are not afraid of either.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  45. Big~Tuna

    "We do not allow slavery, we have lower caste peoples. I myself have some 100." Mohandas Gandhi

    March 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • bhasky

      he also had chicks 24/7. Slept and bathe with the chicks.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  46. Chris

    If media reports are to be believed, there would be no young girls left in Nepal. Oft-quoted figures such as 5,000-7,000 Nepali girls being trafficked across the border to India every year and 150,000-200,000 Nepali women and girls being trapped in brothels in various Indian cities, were first disseminated in 1986, and have remained unaltered over the next two decades. The report that first quoted these statistics was from the Indian Health Association, Mumbai, written by AIDS Society of India secretary general, Dr. I S Gilada, and presented in a workshop in 1986. Subsequently, a version of this report was published as an article in The Times of India on January 2, 1989. To date, the source of this figure remains a mystery. Unfortunately, such a lack of clarity is more the norm than the exception when it comes to reporting on trafficking in women and girls.

    There needs to be a distinct separation of
    1. Child sex trafficking
    2. Adult sex Trafficking
    3. Adult consensual
    4. Sex Slavery
    They are not the same. Adult Women are NOT children.
    Media coverage of trafficking and adult women's migration and sex work is confused and inaccurate. The media wrongly uses the terms 'sex work' and 'trafficking' and adult sex work and child sex trafficking synonymously, perpetuating stereotypes and stigmatization.

    Here is some more information about this:

    March 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  47. Roguey

    It's pretty darn close, but it's not slavery. They are abused, exploited and enslaved, but they are not slaves.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  48. LordPet

    I'm not being defensive; you're being defensive

    March 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  49. Morality update

    Admission of slavery's existance is the same as admission of guilt for those in politics. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck – then don't say it isn't a duck. It makes you look like a liar and people wonder what else you're trying to hide.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  50. Mike

    II bet he's got some labor working for his family in house... It's slavery dumb ***.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  51. gyroscope

    People in west do not even like to look into reality. It is poverty driven need of people to work in such pathetic conditions. This is not slavery. Brick kiln operators donot make enough to hire educated people. So illiterate people take these jobs to fend off povety. The homeless in US do not even have this opportunity in this capitalistic society. They like to give the work to illegals. These people are better off than homelesses is US. This is just like working is stores for federally justified minimum wage ($6-$7), which cannot bring even decent lifestyle even after being eucated. This system is even worse than slavery.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  52. Chris

    Sex trafficking is illegal and the pentities are very severe. It is very difficult to force someone to be a sex slave, they would have to have 24 hour guards posted and be watched 365 days a year, 24 hours per day. Have the threat of violence if they refused, and have no one notice and complain to the authorities or police. They would need to hide from the general public yet still manage to see customers from the general public and not have the customers turn the traffickers in to the police. They would need to provide them with medical care, food, shelter, and have all their basic needs met. They would need to have the sex slaves put on a fake front that they enjoyed what they were doing, act flirtatious and do their job well. They would have to deal with the authorities looking for the missing women, and hide any money they may make, since it comes from illegal activity. They must do all of this while constantly trying to prevent the sex slaves from escaping and reporting them to the police. They would need to prevent the general public from reporting them into the police.

    This is extremely difficult to do, which makes this activity rare. These criminals would be breaking dozens of major laws not just one. Kidnapping itself is a serious crime. There are many laws against sex trafficking, sex slavery, kidnapping, sex abuse, rape, sexual harassment etc. If someone is behind it, they will be breaking many serious laws, be in big trouble, and will go to jail for many long years.

    While there are some women who may be true victims. And it is possible for this to happen in rare situations. This is a small rare group of people and that the numbers and scale of this crime is exaggerated. The very nature of someone pulling off a kidnapping and forced sex for profit appears to be very difficult. Since it would be difficult this makes this crime rare. Not impossible, but extremely rare. And do you really think that millions of people are lining up to make a career out of being a illegal violent sex slave kidnapping pimp?

    A key point is that on the sidelines the adult prostitutes themselves are not being listened to. They oppose laws against prostitution. But no one wants to listen to the prostitutes themselves. Only to the self appointed experts that make up numbers and stories many of which have never met a real forced sex slave or if they did it was only a few. The media and government never ask the prostitutes themselves what would help them in terms of laws.

    Many women in the sex business are independent workers. They don’t have a pimp.
    They work for themselves, advertise themselves, and keep all the money for themselves. No one forces them, because there isn’t anyone to force them. They go out and find their own customers, set their own prices, and arrange everything by themselves. Sometimes they may employ others to help them, but these are not pimps. If for example, she hires an internet web design company to make a website for her, does that make the web design company a pimp? If she pays a phone company for a phone to do business, does this make the phone company a pimp? If she puts an ad in the paper, does this make the editor a pimp? If she puts the money she makes into a bank account does this make the bank a pimp?

    A lot of anti prostitution groups would say yes. Everyone and everybody is a pimp.
    These groups make up lies, and false statistics that no one bothers to check. A big reason they do this is because it provides high paying jobs for them. They get big donations, and grants from the government, charity, churches, etc. to have these groups, and pay these high salaries of the anti prostitution workers.

    Sex Trafficking/Slavery is used by many groups as a attempt to outlaw all prostitution around the world by saying that all women are victims even if they do it willing. This hurts any real victims because it labels all sex workers as victims.

    This is done by the media, aid groups, NGO’s, feminists, politicians, and religious organizations that receive funds from the government. There are very strong groups who promote that all adult women who have sex are victims even if they are willing, enjoy it and go out of there way to get it. These groups try to get the public to believe that no adult women in their right mind would ever go into the sex business unless she was forced to do so, weather she knew it or not. They say that 100% of all sex workers are trafficking victims.

    They do this in order to label all men as sex offenders and wipe out all consensual prostitution. Which is what their real goal is. There is almost no one who challenges or questions them about their false beliefs. Therefore, the only voices you hear are of these extreme groups. These groups want to label all men as terrible sex offenders for seeing a willing adult sex worker. No one stands up to say this is foolish, the passive public says nothing.

    These groups even say that all men who marry foreign women are terrible sex predators who take advange of these "helpless foreign women wives".

    These groups believe that two adults having consensual sex in private should be outlawed. Since they believe that it is impossible for a man to have sex with a woman without abusing the woman in the process.

    This is an example of feminists and other groups exploiting the suffering of a small minority of vulnerable and abused women in order to further their own collective interests. For example, getting money from the government and Charity into their organizations. Rather than wanting to find the truth.

    Here is some more information about this:

    March 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  53. AK

    Who the hell is Sarah Sidner to bother about whats happening in India. She keeps writing such posts about India. This is not the first time. First let her lift her own ass and see how rotten it is under it.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  54. Peter Ogwuche

    It's very obvious that the labour secretary would't commit himself by speaking the truth because he wants to keep his job. Since he is aware, definitely the india higher Govt. is also aware and should be talk to on this barbaric tendencies of you must pay me by their citizens. Come on Indians this is 2011 and this type of practice can only take you to the woods. It's not even practiced in Nigeria where anything happens. And my word for the labourman in India is to live up to expectations as labour secretary do things as of intl. Practice and also enforce the right intl labour practice.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  55. Chris

    It's always interesting to hear the wealthy and powerful make excuses for the conditions in which the poor and powerless are forced to live.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  56. Mohammed

    As an Indian, I am ashamed of Mr. Chaturvedi’s response to Sara on the appalling condition of the so called “bonded labor” as defined by him. This clearly states that Mr. Chaturvedi is for the rich and the land owners. Mr. Chaturvedi should be ashamed of himself and should resign and someone who has the decency and passion for the poor should take over his position. Mr. Chaturvedi is pathetic and undermines the issue. Great work Sara, I am so proud of you to open our eyes.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  57. RobA

    This is comparable to the conservatives who insist that their refusal to treat homosexuals as human beings does not amount to "discrimination." It's the word they don't like, but the concept is an exact match.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  58. Shelia B

    Several points need clarification...
    1. Indentured servitude in colonial American was a contract between two people that provided passage for one and labor to the person pay the transport in order to develop woodlands into farms. The person holding the indenture had to supply clothing, food, and shelter and the period of servitude was only for a certain period of time. At the end of the servitude, the farmer or whoever, provided the former servant with clothing and a bit of money. Sometimes the indentured servant actually learned a trade. Granted there were abuses even of this system. The US paid in blood for the institution of slavery. At the end of Reconstruction, racism in our country grew at a rapid rate. The sediments of that hatred still linger among some of our nation's citizenry.

    2. Poverty in India is overwhelming to any US citizen who has been there. The debts described are not necessarily large based on what we would consider a loan. Passing and inforcing userey laws would go a long way in ending this practice of repayment. At one time, in western civilization, you had debtor prisons – read Charles Dickens. We cannot understand this form of servitude for lack of a better word any more than we can understand slavery in any form. So I don't think anyone is bashing India. It's just that we think with all the modern achievements, changes in attitudes that we as race of people still have such things as debtors working off loans, let alone women and children being sold into prostitution.

    3. It us up to us who can to eradicate this kind of poverty, provide education and create meaningful jobs by developing industries that do not rely on this kind of manual labor. Anyone dealing in trafficking children deserve a special place to rot.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  59. RobA

    This is one of many examples of why draconian traditionalism fails in a modern society. A backwards ruling class tries to hold back a progressive population, and the result is what's sweeping across the eastern hemisphere now...revolt.

    People need to recognize that even the most fervent nostalgia does not justify destroying social progress. Hyper-conservatism is the enemy of the future.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  60. Prashant

    After 50+ comments, the discussion is still stuck at the definition of slavery. Lets all agree that it is slavery. What can be done to minimize it (don't think it can be entirely stopped). Micro-lending comes to mind, but high interest rate means just another form of exploitation. Without any collateral or education/income not many banks will lend money at affordable rates. There is no income tax in India on farming related activities. Also most of the day labor transactions are done in cash. So people who work as day labor have no way to create any financial records to support their case. Any government relief or plan never reaches the poor. If they need loan, they will go back to the same people who bonded their families for generations. They know the consequences, but still choose to borrow because they have no other option. This issue is much broader than a corrupt politician who is in denial of his or her responsibilities.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • bhasky

      lets us all agree to look up the dictionary.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • phil

      This guy is an inept bureaucrat. He cannot fix anything. He just gets his fat salary, and go home everyday. This problem can be fixed only by educating these people. And it will take the time of a generation to do that.

      March 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  61. wow

    this minister is a dumb-ass. He is just a dumb-ass.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  62. Dont pull each other's legs

    If there is sufficient time for all skilled writers in this blog!
    Before we decide and convict other's cultures, please check these two links.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • Alberto

      What's wiki-history got to do with modern-day slavery? Slavery is slavery, no matter who started it, what the history is. Fact is, it goes on today, and India has a problem to deal with, along with killing of female newborns because they are a liability on family incomes and expensive to marry-off. Additionally, women being looked upon as unfit to marry if widows or of darker complexion. As someone who has helped victims of domestic violence in the past, I have come across a handful of Indian women with abhorring domestic situations dealing with in-laws in control of their lives. These women were made to work like slaves, serving the in-laws as servants and putting up with mental and physical abuse. That is today, not a thousand years ago.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  63. manghirmalani

    I feel Indians are right, English is very simplistic language, your interviewer is buffoon, India have long history of 5000 years"discrimination." is not a right word just because American attorney created a word , how can you talk to stupid person who know history of 300 years .

    March 10, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • bhasky

      True man. we have mastered the art of discrimination. over the years we have made people believe that "this" is why you were born. Your son will carry on what youve been doing and so on. Now people are proud to be a brahmin or a shatriya or even a low caste. We r the best

      March 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  64. Byrd

    Not slavery, but bonded labor? When did the republican spin-mysters invade India? I guess they went over there with the rest of our jobs.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  65. SUNI

    There is a lot of mess in US to be dealt with and cleared, first start from home! Sara, what about poverty in US, what about homelessness in US, what about lack of jobs in US and what about the bonded (minimum wage) labors in US? What have you done to change these conditions in US????
    Every country have its problems....US is not clean of its faults. Stop poking your nose where it does not belong and where you will never be able to change a thing!!

    March 10, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Reply
    • Alberto

      Yeah, but we bring it to light, and deal with it in this country. Enlighten me again, how many centuries has slavery been in India?

      March 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
      • AK

        Really?? What about the native Indians? You aliens killed them. They are almost extinct.

        March 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  66. DGirl

    Paying off a debt by offering and volutnarily working to the amount owed s a time honored tradition, even here in America. HOWEVER, not giving the worker the respect deserved as a human being, not giving them time off for family, beating and torturing them, not giving them a choice of how they will pay back the debt, and not establishing a dollar value for the work and when the debt will be paid off and sticking to that plan, is not part of that time honored tradition mentioned above. Now you are talking slavery. THIS is what the article referred to, and this is to what India doesn't want to admit. Its about abuse of people and power for profit. That is all slavery is.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Reply

    There is not much in this world that I hate more than liars. That, and new words and terms designed to hide facts. "Bonded labour"? How stupid do you think we are? Does not matter what you call it, you psycho.

    Wether you call it "Slavery", "Bonded labour" or why not "Super Sized Incomefree Activity", it does not hide the facts.

    This is just another way of lying. Excactly the same as saying child-murder is not a murder because we have invented a new term for it called "Abortion".

    "Bonded labour"...
    There should be a law against inventing new terms, when the motive is hiding facts.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  68. hurricane p

    and people wonder why america cant compete for jobs with india! many of the multinationals pretty much enslave their workers as well...

    March 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  69. Sundeep

    What an a**h***! "we're aware of the problems with bonded labor and child labor in this country" says mr. minister, leaning back on a chair as if he's done this country a great favor! Shame! shame!

    Let the world see it! why hide? hiding only makes things worse!

    March 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  70. Anil

    In India, we have learned to accept that not everyone will have access to good education, nutrition etc. It is not possible to educate and feed all those kids, we could not afford it. Instead of letting these kids go hungry most people will take them and provide them with food in exchange for some work. I myself have have taken in 2 kids off the streets and they have a place to sleep and food to eat. They just have to do some daily chores around the house in exchange for that.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      So do you ever punish them? What you describe sounds like slavery to us here in the US. True we do no better for our children that do not have homes but most people would look at your explaination as slavery.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • Alberto

      Kudos to you, Anil! That's two kids whose fingers will not be chopped off to beg for the loan sharks who lent money to their families.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • Anil

      Of course all children have to be punished or else they will be spoiled. I do not believe in physical punishment. If they get lazy and forget to do their chores, they don't get to eat for the day. Food is a strong motivator.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Reply
      • Alberto

        Anil, you will do the kids a better service by talking to them on a real honest basis, making them realize their mistakes. Punishing them with hunger is tantamount to torture – there is a price to pay for such inflictions. Hope you'll find ways to make them better human beings by teaching them, not punishing them. Kudos again, for caring about kids.

        March 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  71. renap

    And US Corporations continue to send OUR jobs to countries like this so. Only so they can have more money to line their own pockets.

    They are as bad as Inida's politicians. there's a special place in he!! waiting for all of them.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • raj

      what can they do.
      Market is saturated here.
      There is 2 billion people in market in china and india.
      You have to lose something to gain something.
      The market in other country compell them to do what they are doing.

      My guess is that it will be more painful here if all asian country decide to restrict america to sale their product their.
      No walmart in china
      No windows OS in India
      No intel chip in indo china
      No cargill seed ( seed monopoly ) in india china

      March 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
      • AK

        LoL!! I will add to that.
        No Indian and Chinese scientists,doctors and engineers. I can imagine the situation here.

        March 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  72. Ebob

    Argue word definitions all you want. The real question is, 1) whether it is right, even in a third world country, and 2) why doesn't India join the modern civilized world and do something about it.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • AK

      Dude..Every Indian knows and accepts that it is wrong. India does not have a machine to convert these people from rags to riches. It will take time.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  73. Chris

    oh,'s slavery call it what IT IS!

    March 10, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  74. justin

    You don't have to call it slavery. Call it what it is. Indentured servitude. Before America started shipping in black slaves they started with white British indentured servants. People liked the idea of free labor so much they began racial servitude in the U.S. India is at the indentured servitude mind set now. Won't be long before an entire class of people will be forced into slavery. Wait, children are a class, and they are not being compensated for their work. This means the proper language to describe " Child labor" is child slavery since they are not being paid and not able to leave the job.

    To force someone to work without compensation or allow them to quit the job is the very definition of slavery. Therefore, the use of minor laborers in India is slavery. At least India is making progress. They have managed to make it into the 19th century. Give us a call in another 600 years when you manage to make it into the 21st century.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  75. The Observer

    What literate, educated, intellectuals can do in a forum like this is share possible ways we can salvage ourselves from situation like this.

    Option 1. A Billionaire could buy the bonded laborers and set them free...
    Option 2: A Trillionaire could buy the bonded laborers, educate them and hire them back at a competitive compensation
    Option 3: A Guzzillionaire could buy the bonded laborers, educate them, feed them, make some of them sports professional and pay the others (or provide credit cards) to watch the games and few others to be accountant to keep the Guzzillionaire growing...

    March 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  76. clyde

    Ok .. let me see if I have this correct. You dont get paid, you are not free to leave, and you are forced to work regardless of being ill or not. Yet is it not slavery. Clearly this man has no clear understnading of the English language, or is a lying fool. Or both. No wonder India steals USA jobs – they have slaves.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  77. Pathetic Official

    It is pathetic that Mr. Chaturvedi instead of fighting the poorest standard of living of millions of Indians, he picked up an English word fight. May be that’s what he is capable of !!!

    March 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  78. Keats

    Slavery in modern day India is alive and well. As an Indian I know of families in big cities like Mumbai, and Kolkatta who have home slaves for generations. Bonded labor is just a nicer way of saying modern day slavery.

    Shame on you India!

    March 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • randomguy

      So let us know about what you did to change this? We are all listening.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
      • Keats

        I wrote this comment. What did you do?

        March 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  79. Marcus

    You know what sucks about being a slave? They make you work and do stuff but they don't pay you or let you leave... Besides that, it's not so bad.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  80. Slavery ... Sorry .. Bond Labors

    Well, we all know the Indian Government is highly corrupt 2G Scam, Common Wealth Games, Adarsh Housing, ISRO S-band scams and hundreds of low level scams at every level..... just scam's after scam's worth billions. If you don't know how corrupt some of the Indian officials, you will know after you land in the Airport with Custom officials & Airport Security people asking/sometimes demanding money. They do have laws to protect slavery ....... sorry ... bond labors.

    If the officials are so corrupt, who will implement all these nice laws ???

    March 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  81. Alex

    Hey, Kaushal Shah, so as Shah you definitely are a slave owner, if that's what you imply by "your name says it all".
    What are you as Kaushal? Tell us

    March 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  82. DMN

    Americans please look in your own backyards, there are several stories of poverty right here....prstitution, drgu trafficking, drug additction, abuse aren't those forms of slavery? If CNN has guts try doing sucha story in CHINA, your rporters will never see light of the day...just because an Indian official give you interview don't call him names....AMERICA IS NO PARADISE !! Do you see Oprah show at all...see theplight of blacks in maerica is no different, Indans don't come here to preach Obama or Biden what they should do ....MYOB.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  83. David

    Right to carry a firearm will solve a lot of India's social ills. Right now only criminals have them.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  84. Kuddln

    SO when can WE make a slave out of India's Labor Secretary Prabhat C. Chaturvedi ?? I want to know!

    March 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  85. fd97616

    this is a very funny and stupid answer. Even a kid will tell this is slavery and exploitation.
    And he cannot answer any of the questions to that story.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  86. SUNI

    Wow! Clyde...You talk about English language like you are PhD in English..But the work 'understanding' in your blog here is spelt wrong??? ha!ha! This is what I am saying everyone here is preaching but have absolutely no clue how to solve a problem!! Start with your own homes, neighborhoods and communities and then change your Country first only then you have earned the right to solve other Countries problems. India has a history of over 5000 yrs while America only over 300..India has survived for centuries and will survive for many more to your own nation first before poking finger at one of the oldest nations on this Earth. Nobody is an expert here so don't pretend to be one in English language please..making fool of yourselves..Uhhh!

    March 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • History doesn’t matter Mr.SUNI!!!

      History doesn’t matter Mr.SUNI!!! Rightnow at this second millions of Indians sleeping without food. If you are so proud of the country, then do something about it instead of sitting and defending the corrupt!

      March 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
      • SUNI

        Yes, You are right, I must do something.. but, problem is you do not know me and so you tell me to do the way let me enlighten you that I visit India every year since my family lives in India, I do help financially people who are in dire need of money like getting their daughter married, or someone's son is going to university etc..but, I am not a walking charity organization and thus have to make sure it is paid back, since I am working here two jobs to make that money, I was not born rich either, but I do know and see poverty around me when I visit India. If someone works for the money I loan them I take it as a good business and trust to lend in times of their need. I do not consider that slavery instead good business. I don't care for people judging since that is the way it will be..
        And Yes, History does matter, or History would never be a subject in schools! How convenient to say History does not matter when infect 'History is the base of every nation and culture',
        you are doomed if you don't know about it or if you don't have one to call your own...what a shame!!

        March 10, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  87. Woody

    I grew up in India 20 years ago and this was very common. Most Indians are in denial because when you grow up with this all around, your frame of reference is warped. Racism, discrimination and slavery in the American sense of the word is rampant and I dare say institutionalized. Indian society is also extremely stratified and the top 2% who are the ambassadors in our colleges, companies and cultural activities do not associate with or identify with the remaining 98%. This is the issue and why Indians are in denial.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • likeitornot

      ya!! and because you served america for last 20 years you are smart enough to put thing is prospective for world.
      As if you have been designing solution for india in those years. denial ... __NO___ a fact fo life Yes. Send some money their to people other than your close relative.

      Smart people like you are better in this country than in india.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  88. randomguy

    common guys, those of you are still frogs in the pond, the world outside is so different and while i definitely is not supporting bonded labor, the core reason for this is poverty, as someone else mentioned earlier, if the government were to crack down on the employers and fire all these people they would be miserable, are any of you kind people willing to help out when these people are out in the streets without anything. Is there a single individual here to help these people, actions speak louder than words so go ahead and act and show what you can do.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  89. Nik

    I love how all of these people named "Woody" and "Keats" are pretending to be of Indian origin.

    None of you are Indians. Your blatant hatred of India shows this. If you are an Indian you were probably one of the Indians who thought British rule was a good thing.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • Not Gonna Happen

      The American companies do buisness there because it's cheap labor. The people who work in the call centers in India, probably make any where from $5000 to $ 10000 a year, and you have to have a bachelor's degree at minimum to work there. If you have a call center in the US, you would pay a minimum of $25000/year plus health insurance, vacation, and other benefits. There are no additional benefits paid to the call center reps in Inida. That's why we do buisness with them.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  90. Julie Labrouste

    He would, "never use the word slave", even if they were chained to an oar.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  91. miss.wise

    there is a difference between bonded labor and slavery. In slavery there is no bond written. they are just bought and they work till they live or die. Bonded labor is when you sign (finger print) a bond where you will provide services in return of a favor. In the bond they say if the bond is not paid, their family works as well. Slavery and Bonded labor both are bad and should be eradicated from the society but as Mr.Chaturvedi says, it is bonded labor and not slavery. Those who just look at the dictionary and without any other knowledge and jus THINK they are MR. Know all, please go back to studying.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  92. South of Arizona

    Be smart, fill the labor void with people from south of Arizona who are willing to work under you, and make you move up the socio-economic ladder. Otherwise, one day you will also be slaved ... in your own town!

    March 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  93. randomguy

    If Woody were to visit India and if one of these people come begging to him, how much do you think he will donate? 1$, 2$, a quarter?

    March 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  94. MediaSlave

    ... I am a slave to western media, ie CNN. Like a bad traffic wreck, which you have to slow down to watch. I need to stop and read some of the most asanine articles. Yes, folks... lets bash other countries, and glorify their problems to deter-issues that we have here. Lets solve US problems first...

    March 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Reply

    Listen, give those people a break from mud wrestling or building pyramids, or whatever Hell you are putting them through and grow up.

    Just because their great-great-great grandfather owed you some money does not mean you own his decendants.

    When a man dies, his depth dies with him.

    F^ck you, Uncle Tom.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  96. 81496

    As someone who grew up in India, I think I can offer a pretty clear view point on this issue, not like a certain Kushal who went to the bad part of town. I have to say that this is pretty much blatant slavery, and I'm pretty darn ashamed that there are people who refuse to accept that and stay in denial instead of working to fix the problem. I also have to say (to Chris) that yes, when I lived with my grandparents, they did have a maid. And yes, she's not a slave, she's a maid. To be honest, I think we take care of her and her 4 kids more than she ever could herself. My family back in India could be characterized as lower middle class, and we pay her as much as we can while still feeding ourselves. We feed her and her children three meals a day, help pay for their rent, give them new clothes and shoes every month, and my grandma still cooks, dusts, gardens, and does pretty much a lot of the stuff that needs to be done by herself. Our maid is extra help and we treat her like a person, not like a slave. So people like Chris need to stop assuming that all of us are terrible people. At the same time, I'm not saying that people don't treat their maids like dirt, but I'm saying that all of don't. That's all.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply

      @ 81496:
      Could your maid quit if she wanted to?
      Could she go do her own stuff if she wanted to?

      Or not?

      March 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  97. sweeet

    this sounds good to me...our country has it backwards...we give away money for people (ex-slaves) to sit around and do nothing...I think we should make them work for it. I love the idea. work off your debt. a great idea. Work, or die, natural selection and a cure for the global population problem.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  98. Arcady

    There was a sign in Dachau; one the concentration camps of WWII that said "Work will set you free" – recently in the news when it was stolen and then refound.

    Perhaps a copy of that sign should be sent to India to be placed outside this man's office...

    March 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply

      It was in Auswitch. The sign said "Arbeit Macht Frei". Or "Work makes free".
      But work did not make free.

      The allied forces made free. Eventually.

      March 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • likeitornot

      I give you a better solution , it is less painful and it may cost you a few hundred air fare.
      You will risk arrest though

      At the entrace of white house you should put a big board with this information-

      "Within the first two to four months of the atomic bombing on japan, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki,with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. The Hiroshima prefectural health department estimates that, of the people who died on the day of the explosion, 60% died from flash or flame burns, 30% from falling debris and 10% from other causes. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness. In a US estimate of the total immediate and short term cause of death, 15–20% died from radiation sickness, 20–30% from flash burns, and 50–60% from other injuries, compounded by illness. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians"

      This number is less than 6 million jews killed but should put your comments in right perspective.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
      • GABRIEL

        When a nation chooses to ally it self with nazi-germany, such as Japan did,
        it does take on the risk of utter and perfect inihalation voluntarily.

        Same with the jolly inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. They also had it coming.
        From miles and miles away.

        Japan had plenty of opertunities to end the war before the bombing of Hiroshima.
        They could have said "Listen, we do not want this war any longer, we want peace".

        But they did not say that.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  99. dc3gal

    In watching this video, I find it interesting this good ole boy has problems looking into the interviewer's eyes. He is constantly looking away and when he does look at her, it's only for a few seconds. It's probably killing him to sit there and be civil towards a woman. All the earmarks of a liar are all over him!

    March 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  100. Murali

    If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and looks like a duck – Then it is a duck.
    Bonded laborer is still a slave.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  101. Drew

    Bonded and forced labor is slavery.

    This is absurd as hearing someone say, "Don't call it 'rape', call it 'coerced sex'."

    Hey bonded laborers, there is a quicker way out of your debt: "neutralize" the person holding the alleged debt.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Reply



      March 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  102. Tripp

    I been to India, it's a Vhithole. This doesnt surprise me coming from this backward country.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  103. sports medic

    I sold my soul to the company 7-11.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  104. Mai_ka_lal_jai_kishan

    Bonded labor is not "slavery" by any interpretation or as referred in the report

    Its more like "labor" under contract...

    The "contract" here may take many shapes and forms...

    But bottomline: people who are working as bonded laborers are free to do as they will .... they just chose to work under "bond" or "contract" for lack of any other BETTER choices...

    India is a free and democratic country and no one can hold any one against their it is not slavery...

    Is bonded labor (which thought not slavery) good? ABSOLUTELY NOT (for laborers, YES for the ones who hire them)

    March 10, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • Stop useless lecture

      Rightnow at this second millions of Indians sleeping without food. If you are so proud of the country, then do something about it instead of sitting and defending the corrupt!

      March 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Drew

      Preposterous! Bonded labor is slavery in the rest of the world.

      Terror and violence are not what happens to "contract laborers", it's what happens to slaves who disobey their master.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply

      Right, and I guess "Abortion" is not murder either, according to your logic.
      Who the f^ck do you think you are kidding Mai_ka_lal_jai_kishan?

      Are you on crack?

      March 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Joan

      Well said...

      March 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Joanna B.

      So its like if I stop making payments on my house (which I bought under a contract of financial obligations), they will kick me out of my house of 10 years!! This is fvcking stupid. This can never happen. Even if I signed the contract, I have a choice to not make payments and stay in the house.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • Alberto

      Makalal, you are in denial. India is pseudo democracy. Corruption, murder and extortion are a way of life in India, and determine the country's political state, not free elections.

      March 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  105. Tyhouston

    Still NOT slavery.
    Indentured servitude...

    Learn the different, slavery means that person was taken from freedom, put in chains or physical restraints, became property, and has no free will or chance to even be free again.

    These people gave it all up for a loan,willingly.

    Sorry not slavery have a nice day.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Drew

      Sounds like the government writers were ordered to get to work.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply

      Wrong Psycho.

      Slavery means working for someone under slave-like conditions.
      It does not mean having a gun pointed at your head at all times.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  106. Raj

    Its not slavery. Slavery means institutionalized laws where one individual owns the "deed" to another person in all legal respects. In bonded labor you are basically tied to a very strict financial contract. It is not legal in India to move the debt to children – the parents allow it.

    To keep this in perspective for Non-Indians.

    1.100's of millions of poor workers in India work without a bond – the vast majority. They also work in dangerous conditions, have child workers, no union representation and are exploited. But they can and DO quit every single day. They can and do unionize. They can and do go to court. This workforce power is what has slowly improved working conditions over the last 50 years. No its no America but most poor people in India now put their children to school or wear hard hats at a construction site.

    2. 10s of millions of wealthy Indians are actually bonded. They borrow money to go to school, get a job or join the military. They lose their freedom but live and work in safe and comfortable places.

    3. The intersection of poor working conditions and bonded labor is minuscule and continues to shrink every year. Indian states like Bengal in India that have gone through communist rule for several decades have eliminated the problem and are now transitioning to capitalism. But they have a lot of poor people because the economy didnt grow. The freewheeling capitalists states like Maharashtra have much fewer poorer people left but the ones left are so abused that now social protection must be put in after the fact.

    So, Non-Indians should understand the scope of the problem – its relatively minor and it has vastly improved either through socialist policies or capitalist growth. Only India has states that have the freedom to pursue both paths and they are both working.

    For Indians, I have a different piece of advice: DONT BE SO DEFENSIVE. As great as the country is, this small percentage of people is still millions. We need to fix it. It is not technically slavery but it is still very rough, unfair and hope deprived. We need to focus more on eliminating the problem. Who cares about the semantics of slavery?

    March 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • Joan

      Well put...

      March 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • Relatively minor ??????

      You fool, right now at this second millions of Indians sleeping without food. If you are so proud of the country, then do something about it instead of sitting and writing big useless lectures.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Reply
      • Raj

        I do; thats the point. My family has donated time and money to a set of three villages to increase the literacy rate for girls from 20% to 90% in 45 years. The birth rate has fallen from 8 to 3 during this time. About 20% of the village kids now leave for cities to work for companies and have put the money back in to build proper houses with electricity. These villages were feudal only 50 years ago where there was "bonded" labor. Im not a UN guy with an unlimited budget, I have a job, a family and enjoy life. I give about 20% of my time and money back and so do most Indians.

        Relatively minor means put growth and improvement in scale – no need to call me a fool. Long posts are there to get accross a message for more people to join the cause versus bickering about semantics. I'm sure something I have written will re-enforce someone else's desire to donate time to fight social injustice.

        If you were to take the populations of every country in North America and South America its still less than India.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • likeitornot

        and you should mind your business too if you can not tolerate comment from other not lecture when people are sharing ideas. No one here knows if you or anyone else is doing something about it.

        people are proud of their country in good sprit.

        Very well said Raj!

        March 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • KS

        Idiot that u r, better think before telling some a fool. U crap. U don't even have guts to disclose ur tru name. Get out of this site if u r worried about ur identity.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
      • Shatru

        Relatively Minor??
        India is very poor but its hardly a place where millions are starving. In fact the last time millions of people were starving was the famine of 1944 when the British diverted food to Europe during the war. There was a famine in India every ten years during British days. Since 1945 India has exported food and has not had a problem with people getting enough staple foods. Whey you see someone in the street in India do you know that they left a perfectly good village in the country side to find work in the city. Make a few extra bucks to send to family. Its called choice. Visit one of thousands of poor Indian villages. Nobody sleeping outside or hungry. Just dirt poor.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • Relatively minor ??????

        My point is ……… there is no hiding, everyone know that India has scores of people who are very poor, when an international media debates about this issue be an Indian official or citizen just accept the fact that we do have lot of poor people and issues such as bond labor/slavery/discrimination.

        I am disappointed mainly with Mr. Chaturvedi’s poor response, who is heading the country’s labor dept. Instead of picking up a fight on the vocabulary, he should have listed all the programs government is implementing to tackle the problem (I am sure they have many programs), obviously it is not working and all the challenges they are facing.

        The poor people rarely gets the attention in the media, Chaturvedi misused this opportunity to divert it to English vocabulary. Sorry for calling fool, many of us do donate and I do too, just a drop in the ocean.

        March 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • sports medic

      "It is not legal in India to move the debt to children – the parents allow it."

      So does the person who gains control of the child through the contract. It's a deal with the devil.
      Using your logic, Hitler was not commiting genocide because some Jews actually believed they were "resettlement camp" and went willingly.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Reply
      • Raj

        Point taken; its illegal but hardly enforceable when everything is stacked against you including a big stick. Thats one of the area's where NGOs are helping – providing lawyers to explain rights to workers.

        March 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Alberto

      So, somebody whose family is owed money from two generations ago, decides to rape the grand daughter of the debtor, just because he can, is not technically a rapist, is that what you mean? You can say all you want to gloss over the real problems because I know, it is really embarrassing and stigmatic to be associated with these practices. But unless you face and acknowledge the realities, you will never change them.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  107. BAS

    Sara Sidner is trying to make a story out of a situation she does not understand. She has clearly not done enough research on this subject or on the social or economic differences.

    This is a classic case of seeing the situation through an American lense and judging a situation by American standards.

    The workers were free to participate in the video and felt comfortable making comments and claims which would not have been possible if they were "slaves".

    March 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Alberto

      Okay then, look through an Indian lens at the link below. My son has a female Indian friend who occasionally sends him video links about the Indian culture, sent him this. I listened to it, it's got a beautiful melody, but the lyrics had to be translated to me. The title of the song is "Kabhi Pyase Ko Pani."

      March 12, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Reply
  108. ba

    The main difference is extreme poverty- it is quite common not to even have the means to have a meal a day. It is not unusual to come across people who have starved to death in cities – people on the sidewalks ignore the dead. In some depraved way the children who are slave laborers get to eat at least a bowl of rice a day- in a lot of ways they are the lucky ones vs the kids who die of malnourishment or of hunger. Unfortunately the average Indian is not as givingand charitable as an American- perhaps some of it has to do with the sheer numbers of people living in abject poverty.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  109. Shatru

    In a country as poor and populous you can find anything but to characterize this as normal is stupid. Every country deals with management vs. worker. In India poor and illiterate workers have full rights. Thats why there are so many strikes and unions. Thats why their conditions improve every year. In fact India's unions and informal pheasant mobs are great – they uplift the worker and protect them; If a landowner abuses people for too long he will eventually face a mob. The only place this breaks down is when large groups of migrants move to a new place and have no roots or ties with others.

    Of course Unions have a downside – once everyone has fought back and got full protection then they keep asking for raises to do nothing. Indian railway workers are about as dumb and lazy as they get but at least they have full workplace safety rights.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  110. Drew

    It's morally right for slaves to revolt and kill those who enslave them. Nobody in the developed world would hold the slaves for any crimes of resulting from seizing their own freedom.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply

      Thank you again Drew.

      Just put the slaveowners out of their misory / greed.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  111. EmptySkull

    Those who don't want to tackle the problems dwell on semantics

    March 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  112. AnnieMiami

    To Informed Person, I would add that historically this is hardly the first time indentured servitude looks like, sounds like, smells like, feels like slavery... Before the Triangle Trade in slaves got started in the U.S., England [or English trading companies] sent both prisoners and indentured servants to provide labor for new colonial enterprises. About indentured servitude, at first you think, OK, fair deal: contracting to work for X number of years in exchange for passage, room and board, and a little coin, seed and a hoe at the end isn't such a bad deal as a ticket to a new life. BUT I later read – and it stands to reason – there was no legal authority over here then to whom "servants" could bring complaints. They were treated as property, as slaves, worked brutally, underfed, provided no health care such as it was, and if they displeased their master, the master would impose penalty after penalty in the form of an extension of their contract which resulted in people being enslaved for life. Or, put more realistically put, death. If I recall, the word got back somehow to England that signing on as an indentured servant was a ticket straight to hell and people stopped signing up. Clear terms and limitations and means to enforce terms of indentured servitude spell the difference between the arrangement representing anything like an honest contract and slavery for life in all but name. So maybe the Indian legal system needs to take this on and set and enforce some boundaries including establishing a complaint process accessible to bonded people. Does anyone know of any past or present move in this direction within Indian jurisprudence?

    March 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  113. delbre

    They would never use the word genocide either, even after killing thousands of their own Sikh, Muslim, Christians and Dalits.

    What Gadhafi is doing in Libya right now is nothing compared to what the have done to religious minorities in India for decades.

    anyone heard the indians condem gadhafi?.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  114. Nick

    Child Labor is wrong in every angle however why all these American folks are all getting pissed off? Their country was built on the same rules of slavery...Lets not forget the history. However India needs to work on this issue and channel the energy young kids to school, learning and proper future.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  115. Punji`

    They are ALL lower caste and are grateful for the work.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  116. MCJNY

    The need for cheap labor is historically part of the human condition. All throughout history on this planet, one group has enslaved others. The idea that he doesn't want to call it slavery is just laughable. freedom is the aberration in the scheme of things, not the norm. sadly.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  117. JOHN


    March 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  118. KS

    So Mr MCJNY, if America does it , its not slavery, but if India does it is ? Just because the modern day american slavery is beyond $5-10/hr work ? This is called hypocrasy. Just in case u don't realize.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • JOHN

      You are as ignorant as your Mr. Chaturvedi.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Reply

      KS: Why not pay your slaves 5-10 usd an hour then?
      And let them quit if they want to, and do not let them inherit their parents depht.

      Then all of a sudden they are not slaves anymore.
      That is what America is doing differently.

      That is why people in America are not slaves.
      But when the issue did come up in America, Americans at least had the balls to go to civil-war over the question.

      They did not try to invent new terms, such as "Bonded Labour", and think that would wipe the whole issue of Slavery under the carpet.

      March 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  119. SUNI

    Yes, You are right, I must do something.. but, problem is you do not know me and so you tell me to do the way let me enlighten you that I visit India every year since my family lives in India, I do help financially people who are in dire need of money like getting their daughter married, or someone's son is going to university etc..but, I am not a walking charity organization and thus have to make sure it is paid back, since I am working here two jobs to make that money, I was not born rich either, but I do know and see poverty around me when I visit India. If someone works for the money I loan them I take it as a good business and trust to lend in times of their need. I do not consider that slavery instead good business. I don't care for people judging since that is the way it will be..

    March 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Naresh

      Everyone know that India has scores of people who are very poor, when an international media debates about this issue be an Indian official or citizen just accept the fact that we do have lot of poor people and issues such as bond labor/slavery/discrimination.
      I am disappointed mainly with Mr. Chaturvedi’s poor response, who is heading the country’s labor dept. Instead of picking up a fight on the vocabulary, he should have listed all the programs government is implementing to tackle the problem (I am sure they have many programs), obviously it is not working and all the challenges they are facing.
      The poor people rarely gets the attention in the media, Chaturvedi misused this opportunity to divert it to English vocabulary.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  120. stevador 39

    Sara Sidner needs to consider the problems of the U.S. Because of people like Sidner there is human trafficating in the U.S. Sidner is evil because globalists are evil.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  121. indian

    Indians-stop being defensive.
    A spade by another name is still a spade.
    Bonded labor=slavery in India.
    In places like Bihar and UP, you could end up working for food alone (as wages) for a a minor loan (RS 5000=$110), and end up working for loan sharks for 2-10 years.
    The catch these landowners/ loansharks use is the rate of interest is like 15-50% and compounds rapidly, whereby the loan spirals out of control.
    As a resident physician, I worked closely with poor patients and relatives who would borrow money to come to our university hospital in Mumbai(Bombay); I have seen their plight. Thousands of farmers have committed suicides in India recently after a famine killed their crops, and they poor men were left with loans. The wretched souls killed themselves for sums as low as $100.
    My people (Indians) suffer from delusions of past glory. The new (and prosperous) generations have no idea how pathetic the lives of the poor are. We are always in a state of denial. It hurts me when I see my uncles/ Aunts treat their children like angels but shoo away or are plain nasty to maids' child or the street urchins.
    I get really depressed when I go back.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • bhasky

      you are not alone. share the same felling. the funny thing is if you look at it closely, we dont really have a past to be extremely proud of. the egyptians build the pyramid 4000 years ago. we were still trying to figure out the caste system.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  122. Rakesh

    Those Indians who Deny This are the Biggest Idiots....
    PLEASE Help and give Generously... to This Project in INDIA....

    March 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • jordan

      dont beg the world for charity-they will give and take more-just like the british-we can solve our problems ourself

      March 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  123. Paul

    "Unfortunately the average Indian is not as givingand charitable as an American- perhaps some of it has to do with the sheer numbers of people living in abject poverty." yup – we've even given them our jobs and they still won't help themselves.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • jordan

      you have given them your jobs-you are full of shit-they are better educated and therefore your corporate companies took the jobs there to make more money-american arrogance--it is the begining of the end for this country if you think that way

      March 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  124. Chris

    As if living in the US....debt capital of the world isn't slavery?

    March 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  125. justneedsomethingtoreport

    reporter just needs something to report on as she is supposed to show her boss that she is doing something. lots of comments on slave or not slave. can somebody explain which american is interested in solving the problem in india. it is a problem and "india" needs to solve it. she is reporting just to show that she is 'working' thats it. i find it hard to believe that people here are very much concerned to do something about human rights in india. so just face it. it is just about peeking in others house and judge whats wrong there.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  126. TKP

    SIDNER: Do a report on the CRACK issue and bring it to the USDA and say what can you do to stop it. It will go on once there is a market.

    "QUESTION" Are indenture servants slaves?? The early IRISH in the US, Indians to the West Indes, This is also in the Haitian culture. Also, the exported INDIAN laborers are treated like shit compared to Europeans and Americans.

    Also looks like he bllindsided the Indian Labor Minister with her report and overwhelmed him is an aggressive Western manner to make a name for herself.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  127. Taknevs

    Ppl in the US should understand that India is a relatively new country compared to the US. US has been in existence for more than 200 years. Slavery and racism was prevalent until very recently. India will go through a growth phase and looks inwards to cleanse itself of all evil practices. Its a difficult question but which is better – all of India slaves under British rule or some of India slaves due to poverty.
    Be patient with us, we are not a backward country like those in the middle east. We will shed all these corrupt practices. It took you more than 100 years, it should not takes us that long!!!

    March 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  128. HUD

    I can see so many Indians are armed against the CNN report. They don't like to show to the world, specially to the Western countries, that India is in such a low level in modern humanity scale. Secondly, most of the Indians who are privileged to use Internet to comment on this are representing high-cast wealthy people or middle class people who are dreaming to become wealthy.
    They never admit that India is still continuing inhumane practices like "bonded labor", child labor, cast-based discrimination, dowry etc. So they never make any significant efforts to improve the quality of life of Indian people. Instead, they try to conquer space, produce high-cost films, built luxury shopping malls, cricket grounds, organize multi-billion cricket tournaments etc.
    My Indian friends, stop being jokers. If someone show you your fault, don't try to attack him, or call him names. Saying USA, Pakistan, England, New Zealend has the same fault doesn't help you too. Arguing about the assigned name for the fault is useless. If you have that fault admit it and fix it. If not, just deny it.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • justneedsomethingtoreport

      there is no country in this world without faults..agreed. however how come it is people like you try to tell each and every country in the world who is humane and who is not. we all need to work on our problems and find our own problems. who gives you the right and authority to judge others..

      March 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  129. jordan


    March 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • HUD

      So world should keep our mouth shut and let those poor people suffer for generations?

      Jordan my Indian friend (I know you are an Indian because only a person from India or Pakistan can argue like that. And I know Pakistani will not involve here), open your eyes and try to grow up.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  130. HUD

    My Indian friends, you may use the word "%#$@" instead of "slavery" to describe it. But the problem is that "%#$@" is still exist in India, and its inhumane, and you are not doing enough to stop it.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  131. B.Baffled

    I am speechless to how many people are justifying an inhumane action based on whether it falls under a certain term... slaverly, sex trafficking, socioeconomic and so on. Then to indulge in pointless conversations about who is responsible and how to fix it and point fingers and DO NOTHING.

    It starts with each and every person. Doing all that they can every day to not support anything they would not be willing to endure themselves.

    People need to educate themselves about what they purchase and consume. What and who they vote for or the fact that they do not vote and the effect that has.

    We are HUMAN, we reside on EARTH. Sooner than later nature and our own demise will make that very clear to people. As it has for the many before us, Romans, Mayans, and Inca's. Or Hopefully we will figure that out before it is too late. However, reading these 200 plus comments makes me fearful we are too far from that.

    Take responsibility for your choices, all of them, treat others as you would like to be treated, be compassionate and loving in all that you do. Provide for yourself, the ones you love and your community, and respect the fact that no one OWNS anything. All is temporary. Ego's make people think otherwise.

    Ultimatley, we thwart our own progress as a species.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • HUD

      B. Baffled, Don't be surprised. This is how most people from India thinks. Discrimination based on cast, gender and money is unofficially legal in India, governments and society does not do any active role to eliminate them.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • B.Baffled

        @ HUD
        I am not surprised that it exists...I think you would have to be VERY SELF involved person to think it does not. Furthermore, to think there is not some form of all of the above in every nook and cranny of this Earth is another far off thought.

        I am surprised that in the thousands of years it has been going on we have yet to correct it. We ALL should take responsibility for that.

        This example applies to every comment on here and can be an analogy for any situation you can come up with.

        We are eating in a resaraunt in an upper/middle class neighborhood. A server accidently spills boiling hot water on a patron. The woman let's out a blood curdeling scream. Out of the some odd 150 people in the facility, ONE person comes across the restaruant to her aide. Some were frozen in horror others were yelling from thier seats what to do, while the people closest to her did NOTHING but watch her cry in pain.

        This is a true story. I have several more. We are over grown lemmings at this point. What a waste of a big brain.

        March 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  132. Chirag

    um yes it is slaverly...too many corrupt politicians in India. They are the ones holding the country back from true prosperity.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  133. GABRIEL

    F^ck this entire debate.

    If history has tought us one thing, it is that Slaveowners will do and say anything to remain Slaveowners.

    Just give it up, or the Lord, the God of Israel, might just have to pull a "Let my people go"
    on your Slave-owner-asses.

    And if He does, Holy f^ck you are going to be sorry you did not listen while you could.
    So I`ll say this to you one time and one time only:


    March 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  134. ram

    Child slavery or bonded labor may be the best available means of living for those unfortunate people in some (national, regional or local and not in general) economies like in India or similar third world countries. There are situations where by stopping bonded labor or child labor (or slavery), we may take away their only means of living. When that official says 'poverty' he is referring to such economic situations. I know of this reality when they closed down a lot of carpet factories in India because of rampant child labor. Generally speaking, a fly-by reporter can always dig up a plenty of very compelling issues in third world countries but would require some time and effort to understand the real problem. I was once asked by a visitor from Switzerland that why my country did not have any good infrastructure. Perhaps he does not know that a lot financial resources which was supposed to be used for building infrastructure in my country is actually sitting in secret bank accounts in his country and that he is a beneficiary of using that financial resources. I come from a small country with big political corruption.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  135. Rakesh

    THANKS for Ms. Sidner to Exposing the Reality and True Face of INDIA to the World...
    And MANY Thanks to THOSE, who are Donating to This Project in INDIA....
    GOD Bless You for Your Generousity...

    March 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  136. Vinod

    His is not just social but also a religious perspective. For Hindus believe that it's because of their karma that some people are in this condition; therefore, there's no point in working to redeem their lot in this life. They're destined to suffer, and to die like this. Their crime: they were born in a Dalit caste, poverty-stricken family! Thus this bureaucrat as an elite Brahmin will never be able to understand the plight of Dalits, and don't ever expect him and his Brahmin elites to work toward the freedom of Dalits in India. Dalits have to organize themselves and revolt against this slavery.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply

      Hindus are wrong.
      But I can promise you it will be the destiny of the slaveowners to suffer massively in Hell.
      There, the roles will be greatly reversed to your endless dissatisfaction, and you will have a new master, and one that is even less kind than yourself.

      If not sooner.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  137. American IT Job

    India is the one of the main reason US is in trouble with jobs. There are managers or CIOs in every company these days who are forcing IT jobs to be outsourced to India. India has positioned effective whiners in all IT departments – who are actively looking to take away american IT jobs to India. Go ahead, do your investigation, you will find that in all RFPs or IT project, they want nothing but outsourced (only to India) projects. They work under cover, and all the blame goes to China for manufacturing jobs. Unfortunately, nobody mentions about the IT jobs. This is a sad fact

    March 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • AK

      When morons like you don't know how to program and code, how can you expect IT companies to hire you for the IT job? Ofcourse the IT companies will need somebody smarter to do the job.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  138. ram

    By the way, I worked in my father's printing press starting at age 6. I used to work 6-8 hours a day and sometimes whole night too when there is a lot of work and it needs to be finished soon. If we did not work, we did not have food on the table. Our country did not have free/reduced school lunch, no free school, no unemployment, no disability, no medicaid, no medicare, no social security, no welfare payments. I hear US has all of those and it is funding with money borrowed from a third world country. If US does not solve its problems, slavery will be right in its doors in one form or the other. It will follow just after poverty and then you (we) will understand what that official is saying about 'poverty'.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  139. Mast

    This guy looks like a Brahmin and is in denial mode LOL!

    March 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • justneedsomethingtoreport

      lets say he is in denial...but for what he has written about situation here in US is absolutely true. We are spending more than we can and if you cant see that I m sorry to say but you are the one in DENIAL and by the way there is nothing funny about it to laugh at.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
      • Mast

        Sorry, I am not sure how the situation in India is connected to spending in US? but agree not funny

        March 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • justneedsomethingtoreport

      thats the dont have a clue....

      March 10, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  140. ram

    One more thing, I was told by my doctor friend in US that 50 miles away from major cities it is just like third world. People paying for medical insurance by themselves do not seek doctors visit more that once in a year. However, those in government insurance see doctors every week for prescription drugs and live on disability, and there are a lots of them, more that hard working Americans.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  141. ram

    Perhaps my last post sounded like a fly-by reporter. I should seek employment with CNN.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  142. Anwar Sadat

    We Indians need to acknowledge that this is an ill that exists in our society and that we need to fix it. Not every criticism of our society/country/government is biased. Mr. Kaushal's knee jerk reaction to call others who clearly and correctly identify this ill within our society as their being ignorant is in itself a sign of ignorance in my opinion. Mr. Chaturvedi's attempt to obfuscate the issue on technical grounds, i.e. bonded labor is not technically speaking "slavery", while legally sound is a sign of heartlessness. All Indians know there is bonded labor that exists. All sane Indians are ashamed of it. We are a fast improving economy. We need to solve this issue quickly. Basically we need to implement our exisiting and good laws with some vigor. Otherwise shame on us. Certainly we should not be considered worthy of a security councol seat if such blatant ills cannot be corrected.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  143. Trav0

    This is like the old argument that Irish immigrants who were chained to their factory jobs 16 hours a day weren't slaves.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  144. Brandy

    Funny, with the 250,000 + child sex slaves in the United States, why are we talking about India's bonded labor problems??!! It is a shame that they have these problems (the same ones they've had for thousands of years with their Caste system) of children living in these conditions, but I've seen worse in the United States with my own eyes! I've seen a 4 year old riding his bike alone @ 2am in Norfolk, Va because his mother was either a prostitute or drug addict. Why does the US always target other countries to cry about human abuse, when it occurs extensively in our own country? If we can't even do anything about it here, then what can we do abroad?

    March 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  145. mick

    How is this different form the illegal (undocumented workers) that neither the state nor federal government has done anything about. They work for less than minimum wage live in horrible conditions yet produce most of our food. Double standards?

    March 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  146. Bob Fates

    Heyyyyy......when ya got a billion people in a country that is basically 3rd world, what's a little slavery here and there gonna hurt?

    March 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  147. Anil

    It is funny how the west especially America enjoy talking all the -ve points they can gather about India. I have never heard one American say anything +ve about India. Yes Slavery is an issue and it is acknowledged in India and people there are doing their best to fight it. But this also exists in America. Don't believe it, how about them illegal immigrants from Mexico? What do you do to them? Give them menial jobs without benefits and decent pay or deport them and make their situation worse. How about Americans instead complaining actually do something like help India uplift these people. But wait, that would mean you would have to move from your couch or leave your vacation house in Vermont. Now that would not be fair. Would it? Even better would be to stop wasting your time on silly issues like hanging on to your guns. Instead of spending money collecting guns, use that money saved to help somebody in need.

    America does not have a population to feed like India and handle challenges of that magnitude in terms of poverty. India has done a good Job and will continue to do so. Yes there are people who face slavery in the country still but this is no excuse to degrade a country the way I am seeing in some of the comments. I am mean even look at CNN. They deliberately chose to interview someone they think would look like an Idiot and represent India as a whole. The sad part is 90% of the folks here have bought that -ve view. Looks like CNN is walking on footsteps of a some channel set up by Rupert Murdoch.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • YouKnow

      We all know every country on the face of the earth has problems with poverty and oppression. But as the intelligent figure that you're eluding to us, you cannot honestly forecast to us that the slave problem in the U.S is at the same level in India. Who do you think you're convincing? Americans may not be as keen as Europeans concerning humanity issues around the world, but we still know the conditions in India are far, far worse than the atrocities in the U.S. Incomparable really.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  148. Budhi

    Being a poor is not a punishment itself but these are big stupid idiots who are punishing them..

    March 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  149. PeterD

    CNN Freedom Project is Pure Propoganda. They need to focus on reading the News and problems in our country here. Sara Sidner is a Slave of CNN Producer and CNN Producer is slave of our own BARRY and Damn Democrates..

    March 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  150. Well said Matka Singh !!

    Matka Singh

    These are undoubtedly the problems of poverty. I was there. I was working when I was 10 years old, trying to support my family. It was not a choice, it was a necessity. But, you will never understand.

    Now, I probably am wealthier than most of you guys on this site. India is the "freest" country in the world. I wanted to build a $250,000 home on MY land, I built it. No need to get an approval from anybody. You guys can't even build a home on your own land! Can you? And they ask you to show your almost nude body at the airport or let them touch your junk, you ca'nt even say no. This is slavery.

    This story on CNN is not about slavery. Most of these people can go anywhere they want (nobody will ever find out where) or go tho the police station to complain. Slavery was in the USA, your country, where blacks were tied down in shackles. Remember that! You still do not treat the blacks well. See who is talking about slavery......the masters of the slaves with a shameful history of their own.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • YouKnow

      Again, you are a minority and in the lowest sense. The vast majority in India don't see the opportunity as you have described. The vast majority in India are oppressed under a caste system, that although was outlawed on paper, still exists in practice. Put self-praise of your success aside for a moment and have sympathy for the vast majority that will never have an opportunity to buy a $50,000 house much less a $250,000 house. For today, we are voicing our concern for those suffering in your country, India. Comparing your riches to those less fortunate than you simply because they are voicing their concerns is not an attractive character trait. Read about Warren Buffet, the 2nd richest man in the world. He cares for your people more than you care for them. Now that is a shame on you.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  151. Anwar Sadat

    Indians who are complaining about negative reporting bias need to take a chill pill. While it is true that media chases bad news and ithis news fits the story line that US is superior to nations such as India, it still does not negate the fact that we have a huge problem of "slavery" like conditions under which these bonded laborers, often the backward castes, live in India. While we may be on solid ground in pointing out that such forced low paying work conditions exist in the US as well, we should be honest and acknowledge that this problem is far more acute in India and that we need to take corrective action as we lay legitimate claims to security council seat and a place in the G20 etc. The fact that other countries have similar problems does not mean that news organizations from these countries have no right to report on these issues in our country. By the way CNN has reported about forced labor, "sweat shops", in the US so this criticism cannot be leveled against CNN. I as an Indian am ashamed of this ill in our society, along with many other ills, and we, including the labor minister, should try and fix the problem instead of being overly sensitive and not listening. If not then we have no right to point out ills in other countries because we have all those ills in our own country in different measure e.g. why point out discrimination against women in Pakistan when in our own country ratio of female to male in some parts is as low as 0.75 due to selective abortion and/or child infanticide. Let us fix things and get better.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • YouKnow

      Beautiful reply. I wish others, including Americans, cared about the poor people of the world and each country's crisis as you have expressed of your country. God (Brahman) bless you.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  152. Kenneth Spicer

    "I would not call it Slavery" said the beer-bellied todied "official". Why? Because his masters think the word makes the slave business look bad. Open your eyes, slavery is everywhere in the US. Immigrant cooks at resturants. the h00ker on the corner with the Romanian accent. The wife brought over here from the Philipines. Kept hostage in her husbands house. Both servant and sex slave. The next time you open the internet to look at porn, think. Whose's daughter are you drolling over? Is she a slave? Or do you honestly think she likes it?

    March 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  153. shilpy

    india's material progress has little meaning because the moral degradation is considerable. i have been to many poor countries in latin america but nowhere are govts so corrupt, and places so crowded like india. people of india are brainwashed into socialism-communism. as ascendant islam is now in the corridors of power. the net result is indian societal and structural degradation resembles russia's or yougoslavia : violence, intimidation, gansterism, mafias, and of course that all encompassing deep and wide corruption in all public institutions. about the only thing india has left to be proud of is its past – the common glue still holding precariously; perhaps there is god! – but the communist-socialist india has a disdain for spiritual people, and traditions. its media are always running down india's dharma and tradition, its crazy govt is busy harassing and jailing spiritual leaders on trumped up charges and frame ups; promotion of licentious behavior is considerable. a traditional family has no chance against this degradation, and frankly india is losing it rootlessness that is sure to unleash all centrifugal forces.

    the result is an indian person has a lot of problem trusting fellow indian because of this communist-socialist mindset, and this govt is making an already terrible situation worse. under the crazy caste politics, the brahmin scholars in southern states have been driven out, and crazy hostility towards india's civilizational values prevails. another southern state has notorious problem with terrible liquor consumption. india's problems are too many to list, and is governed by weak govts that simply can not deal with islamic terror, maoist terror, tamil tiger terror, northeast christian terror on and on.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • Fau

      Oh, you forgot to mention Hindu terror! by accident?

      March 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  154. Rick McDaniel

    Words are not the issue.......conditions and situations are the issue.

    To be indentured through indebtedness, is a form of modern slavery. There is no free choice, nor any free will, associated with that kind of arrangement, and indeed those overseeing such arrangements will almost always become abusive to people, because they CAN!

    March 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  155. Freddie

    Let the one without SIN cast the first stone. Children working against their will in any country is illegal. Take care of your own house before venturing into your neighbors yard.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  156. vijay

    No its not slavery, because no one is bought or sold as they did to Blacks in USA,
    Yes there is a problem when people due to hunger and poverty are mistreated by the Employers, and most of the people would not go and make a complain to the police as they are illiterate or furious to loose food and shelter.
    The whole problem is linked to joblessness.
    So he is correct, There is no slavery in India.

    and its happening in USA too, you have to work for minimum wages and require to do more than what you are suppose to do, if you dont than you loose the job. and Thats the Reality

    I lost the job and i have to do the job where sometimes my employer would tell me things to do , which i would not do at all if the Economy was good and i could quit the job and get the other one. but where are the jobs these days, so in lawfull manor my employer too use me more than justified.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • YouKnow

      Vijay: You are incorrectly describing slavery. The word slavery comes from the word slav because long before the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Slavic people in eastern Europe were slaved in many parts of Western Europe, India, the Middle East and Eastern Asia. The slavery that existed then is similar to the slavery that exists now in most areas of the world. The Transatlantic Slave Trade was unique only within itself and is not compared to the forms of slavery the world knew of and called it long before and after. Besides, the world as we know it today terms slavery as follows: (1) the state of being under the control of another person (2) work done under harsh conditions for little or no pay.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  157. Anonymous

    “Slavery has been fruitful in giving itself names. It has been called ‘the peculiar institution,’ ‘the social system,’ and the ‘impediment.’ It has been called by a great many names, and it will call itself by yet another name; and you and I and all of us had better wait and see what new form this old monster will assume, in what new skin this old snake will come forth next.” – Frederick Douglass

    Of course the Indian official is not going to go on record and call the practice of debt bondage slavery, but for all of those commenting who do not think debt bondage is a form of slavery, please go read Disposable People by Kevin Bales or A Crime So Monstrous by E. Benjamin Skinner to get first hand accounts of slavery from modern day slaves. No, most slavery in the world today is not chattel slavery like that during the transatlantic slave trade, but that does not mean it is not slavery or that those held in debt bondage or forced labor do not suffer both physically and psychologically from their enslavement.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  158. Siva

    I agree with Anwar that Indians need to chill. Bonded labor exists in some parts of Insia and should be considered a form of slavery.

    And people of the "greatest nation on the face of the planet" also should chill about the nuances of terminology. What do you call the cheap employment of millions of illegals by American businesses without any form of protection?

    And, what would "Spreading democracy" in Iraq be called – Genocide? And ,what do you call all the deaths caused by CIA terminating democracy and putting in power of the likes of Pinochet and Shah of Iran. Takers anyone?

    March 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  159. vijay

    Law of supply and demand, more people are jobless than the available jobs.
    So to get the job to fill up your hungry stomach, you will have to bend down to the employer, take his harresment and do more work than what you are suppose to do for the money you get paid. You dont do it walk away and someone else would do it.
    India has a billion plus people and atleast 300-400 million people are jobless, You cant call it slavery , because no one is bought or sold with money, rather they are cheap to get your work done in harsh conditions, you dont do it, 1000 people are waiting in line to take your job.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • YouKnow

      Vijay: This is called modern slavery. Your country is a product of colonization and imperialism from Europeans. Capitalism has an agenda to remove sustainability. Mainly throughout Africa, the Middle East, South America and Southern Asia, it's becoming impossible to own land, farm that land, drink from natural sources or kill wild animals for food. Our existence is to those in power for the consumption of their goods. Since they have no land to farm on, slavery is the only option just to stay alive. And for many of those in the sex trade, especially girls, slavery is violently forced upon. I challenge you to google the definition of slavery. I've done it for you; here are the results: (1) the state of being under the control of another person (2) work done under harsh conditions for little or no pay. People are starting to fight back, revolutionaries are standing up. India is soon to follow what is happening in the Middle East and North Africa.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  160. Mr. India

    Well, I am really sad to say being an Indian. The reality is – India is one of the most corrupted countries in the world. This is the land of freedom in the world – no doubt in it. The converted Christians have been living in challenging situations especially in Assam and Bihar states. Muslim’s Babri mosque has been destroyed for political reasons – no trails, no court, no convictions – yes, you can do whatever you want to do however it’s not for you unless you are politically and financials sound person.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  161. vijay

    The Hippocrates in Western world criticize India for Labor condition, yet they have no shame buying the products at Walmart , made by Chinese, Pakistani, Bangladesh Child forces, Bonded labors , sweat Shops.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  162. Sid

    Its a bad thing. Period. It doesn't matter what name you give it.

    However, there are ground realities in India, triggered by poverty and caste system, that are hard to fathom by an average person living in the western society. I won't critique the reasons of why it started and still happening. Getting rid of it should be a noble goal and undertaken ASAP. I hope thats what the indian government focuses on.

    March 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  163. vijay

    Capitalism is other name or corruption, So is Communism, In Any case Absolute powers always dominate the least powerfull. where you draw the line.
    Western countries can criticize developing world. but they are the one who indirectly support the forced and bonded labor, I would say if there is no bonded Labor than you would not be able to buy a shirt for 10-15 bucks @ walmart, or a carat of Diamond for few hundred bucks , or your plastic bins @ 99 cents stores.

    and what about millions of South American illegals who work in cash @ 2 or 3 $ an hour in United States,

    March 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • YouKnow

      You are absolutely correct Vijay. Those of us who are "successful" in this world have some contribution (directly or indirectly) to the majority's suffering. If you are Hindu, and I am Christian, we know where to draw the line. Our God teaches us to love and take care of each other, especially if w're in a powerful, wealthy position. But how often do those in power operate with a pure heart. Furthermore, IIndia is not a developing country. The people of India were "developed" long before the white man in his land, so don't degrade your people or your land using the term "developing" as if you were previously undeveloped.

      Yes, Americans do buy over-priced goods produced for pennies from your country of no tax laws; ignorance of the American consumer I suppose. But many of us are not ignorant, and try to buy from Fair Trade or American-made companies and enlighten others to do so. It's a struggle to stay clean in a dirty world, but the most success and happiness in the after life is awarded to those who tried their best to stay clean from the evil actions/decisions of this world.

      April 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  164. Larry

    So am I correct in understanding that EVERYONE in India does not work in a call center for a credit card company or bill collector? - OK, SOME of them work in technical assistance for Dell....and then?

    March 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Sid

      And Larry some of them are developing next generation software for Microsoft and IBM..

      Your condescending attitude is not helping this discussion.

      March 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • Raj

      Yeah, the rest of us steal what little jobs are left in your semi-banckrupt distopia while plotting in the weekends how to take the remaining jobs that you lazy burger muchers still hold. Don't worry, whatever you are doing now, we will be doing in India pretty soon and your coroporations are going to be falling all over themselves to hand us these jobs. Yeah, so keep mouthing off we don't mind, we'll collect your paycheck instead.

      March 11, 2011 at 1:30 am | Reply
      • Youknow

        Yes, the few educated in India are highly intelligent people. But the vast majority of Indians, Bangladeshis, and Sri Lankans are suffering below poverty as labor slaves, sex slaves, and unemployment.

        Now you have your success, probably granted through your family's association with a ruling class. The caste system STILL operating in your country prevents opportunity and education to the poor. If given the opportunity, those poor in your country would most likely rise above and exceed your intelligence. That's what you're afraid of and trying to prevent.

        So you can put aside your petty, self-serving pride and realize that if you really believed in God the way Hinduism calls for, you would care about the poor in your country and try to help them rise with you and even above you.

        April 7, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  165. vijay

    Millions of illegal Mexicans are working as slaves, if you call it slavery in USA.
    If USA is so concerned why it does not close the border for these slave workers.

    March 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  166. vijay

    I feel slave right here in USA when
    The Government interfere in my family and take control of how i should raise my children
    When i am sent to jail just because i neglected a small parking ticket
    when they pat down me at the Airport and search me and my Junk
    when they tell me what food should i eat or what food should not be sold at supermarket
    when i am forced to take prescribed drugs, but sent to jail for smoking a pot
    when because of small legal probation i am told what job i can do or what job i cant
    when government tells me that i can not consume alcohol at all.

    This is USA , Modern Day Slavery

    March 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • Naresh

      @Vijay, You are just making fool of yourself. National pride is understandable but you are so blind in defending the corrupt Indian officials. I know we have lot of educated fools in our country and you are definitely one of them.

      March 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  167. Charles Y. Huang (Taiwan)

    Indian official's denial is understanding but unacceptable. Denial is the worst enemy of self awakening and social injustice.Thanks to CNN for your courage and passion in exploring and speaking for the less fortunate majority, not minority.

    I read a book in 2008 titled "A Crime So Monstrous, Face-To-Face with Modern-Day Slavery" by E Benjamin Skinner wit foreword by Richard Holbrooke. The author shocked me with numerous, extensively research of lives of child labor and bonded labor in India, sex slaves in Tokyo, Paris, Amsterdam .....

    One must ask
    "Is this really happening today, and seemingly so widespread and rampant?"
    "How could human being be so cruel and senseless to other fellow human being?"
    "Where is our compassion for others?"
    "Who in their right mind would exploit others who simply are less fortunate?"
    "How can we eradicate this "monstrous crime"?".

    The sadness and suffrage of children in India, young girls from Eastern Europe is deserving of our attention.
    We, regardless where you reside, from near or afar ought
    to acknowledge
    "A Crime So Monstrous; Face-To-Face With Modern-Day Slavery" (By Skinner)
    and to embark on the journey to address
    "A Challenge So Monstrous; Step-By-Step to Eradicating Modern-Day Slavery" (By CNN?)

    In my opinion, CNN by focusing on the issue is championing the cause and is writing the first chapter of the book.
    Thank you CNN, a good beginning never too late to start.

    March 10, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  168. vijay

    When Govt takes your liberty away and tracks you down as the cattle you are slave, Thats what is Today's USA

    March 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  169. vijay

    It s legal for USA to get worked done my millions of illegal Mexicans, millions of eastern European girls working in go go bar, doing prostitution.
    those who have house made of glasses should not throw the rocks on others

    March 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  170. Mel

    I have been to India and see these kind of people who are perpetually enslaved, this is nothing short of modern day slavery and the system in India is such that encourages this kind of anti-social societal norms because of their racist cast system, Indians are the worst racist in the world.

    March 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  171. Harmeet Singh

    Apart from denying the facts, basically this so-called official is a joke and made fool of himself. He said that the law can't be enforced because these people are poor. That's almost like saying the law can't enforced to help someone because someone happens to be poor?

    That's what the government of India is: a flawed caste-ridden democracy.

    What this high caste Indian official is eviscerating is that these Slaves have been an essential part of Hindu society since centuries and are known as "Shudhras" – that literallly means Slaves in Sanskrit. So ofcourse, Hindus have owned slaves since centuries. This special class of slaves -the Shudhras are repressed and opressed into poverty. Poverty is the consequence of the Indian slavery not the cause.

    Of course, laws can't be enforced for poor they are only to protect vested high-caste interests who enslave Indians.

    March 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  172. SUNI

    I am tired of seeing how folks here are trying to judge India and Indians. You folks have problem with everyone else but in honesty you are the ones who have most problems! India has its own problems but have not asked America or any other Country for help – did they?? Americans like to stir up stuff.. mind your own business- this is what we Indian would like to tell you folks who have no clue what India is and how it has survived for Centuries. Yes, There is poverty, and with poverty comes all kinds of social issues, so what? US have not half the population that India has and yet there is poverty, joblessness, homelessness, lawlessness etc...Why you charitable folks not put your energy and money where your mouth is?? Help your country USA before you preach others. don't pretend to be PhD in world issues when you really are not even 5th grader!! Raise the standard of education in US so the jobs don't go overseas to India or China!! American cry cheap labor, when in reality it is education that sucks in America, Students don't know the Geography or History of America let alone know the History of India.
    Point is solve your own mess first, Let India think for herself.

    March 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Reply
    • vijay

      So true, If Americans are so Humane tha stop buying your stuff at Wallmart

      March 10, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Reply
      • Sirius

        @ the jingoistic remarks made by some Indians lets get some fact's rt OK. My family funded the Independence movemene t of India you and the BJP esp raped us repeatedly since 1947 by continuing to occupy me families lands and calling us traitors bec we are not Hingu' so sodd off.In the long term we will defeat you!

        March 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Excuses, excuses, excuses ………. Suni

      Excuses, excuses, excuses ………. That’s what you are sunny. Blame it on history, geography, population, size ……………. What else???. Looks like both you & cheturvedi are on the same page on the defensiveness.

      You fool accept the fact that we do have millions of dirt poor people and people who take advantage of them and inefficient & corrupt political system. The suffering is evident the moment you step outside of any Airport, you will see thousands of blue sheet covered small small huts and the huts are so small that they can’t even stand straight in them. And obviously the international media will write about it. National pride is understandable but it should not make you blind. Imagine if we use the 4000crores that 2G Raja stole to help these people ? ….. we have highly corrupt political system, doesn’t matter which party is ruling.

      Do you have any clue what are the steps government taking to help these people?, if you know write about it that may help enlighten others. But just stop the defensive rants.

      March 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • Youknow

      You've got to be out of your mind! Who are you? Were you one of the poor from India? America has problems of course, but nothing like the abuse, slavery, racism, poverty problems in India. India is now where the U.S. was in 1820. You show no sympathy towards the poor which means you're one of those pretentious punks that help facilitate the suffering in your country. Your backwards behind doesn't even care about how America helps to facilitate the poverty in your country. Be a man and stand up for those voiceless, poor people that you left behind to join the middle-class in the U.S. In American eyes, you're all the same anyway. So you might as well help your poor people back home.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
  173. Amusi peter

    plssssssss CNN check this out no matter what the officers say they are just covering it all up, pls seek out those that works on this farms and interview them pls blow this modern day salvary out.. freedom is what matters, everyone should be responsible for what they do their wages should be paid on time and on the rigth amount too. this project should be taking seriously because this trend most be stopped. indians the media has helped you this much why not help yourself come out n say what is happening around you so that the rest of the world will know and help u become better people with good wages and freedom. this also goes out to the rest of the world where ever you are this is the time you have to stand up and report any form of modern day slavery that is going on. thax again CNN for this project i pray God gives you people the strength to blow all this modern day slavery out

    March 10, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  174. lisa mullerauh

    this "slavery" enables poverty

    March 10, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
    • vijay

      and your buying habit at Wallmart enables Slavery

      March 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  175. SilentRio

    GREAT let's spend the day, week, months arguing over semantics! Hei those folks have GENERATIONS to wait for us to agree. Or why don't we / YOU / they try to find SOLUTIONS and THEN talk about what label to give these and OTHER peoples...
    For now can agree something is wrong / not right & NEEDS to change??If answer is yes WHAT & HOW?

    March 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  176. Sarah1

    that's slavery in these morden days.
    the man is very gud in politics but seems ignoring social aspect

    March 10, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  177. Fred

    If that's not slavery, why don't you have hom work, and feel in the flesh that inhuman treatment

    March 11, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
  178. Justina

    This is the reason Americans never got the correct picture of the world history. Non-Americans don't admit their own evil doings like Americans do.

    March 12, 2011 at 1:34 am | Reply
  179. nicky

    Of course its slavery. I have been to all parts of India. Once in some north Indian village they use to kill new born girls because they were born girls since parents had to pay dowry when they grew up to marry. man...messed up people. Then law and enforcement got invlolved and stopped that. India is messed up. No personal freedom also. even todays parents chose partners for their grown up children. Thats a messed up minds. Indians in this forum are sad and tryin to supress that by sayin its not slavery.
    I am from India, living abroad. I can say most parts of Indian people living in India they are 50 years backward in their way of thinkin.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
  180. Michael

    Thank you Sara for this interview. You exposed the typical arrogance of the Indian elite. Mr. Chaturvedi knows exactly what slavery is and what it means. Slavery has a bad reputation and he just does not want to admit that such a thing exists in India. Everyone of this elite speaks of human rights but enjoys of having one or more servants in his/her house. This elite does not find child labour wrong as children would contribute to the income of the family and, thus, end the poverty of this said family. Very interesting theory indeed. ...

    March 13, 2011 at 7:11 am | Reply
  181. joan

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck's a duck!

    March 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  182. kim

    One women was there because she was indebt of twenty two dollar she was there going on five year! It sad I just cant believe they are letting people suffer just for the basic needs food its cruel and mean.

    March 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Reply

    The restriction to the freedom of expression, good standard of living and movement of any human being can be termed slavery.

    March 17, 2011 at 8:36 am | Reply
  184. Sirius

    Hey these Indian bigot's.....go 2 hell . After my family spent all thier money for the Independence movement of India these bigoted Moslems and Hinu's raped us by occupying my families land inder the enemy property act so sod off!

    March 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  185. Sirius

    India is and will remain one of the most racisist/caste based countries in the world . Who the hell are u 2 preach when you have a caste system discriminate across states.....carry on numbskulls! and wish you the very worst!

    March 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  186. Gurinder

    Slavery in India is part of our culture & consciousness. Indians treat poor Indians like slaves. Every Indian middle class home has a young child working as servant. Employer in India is referred to as 'Ann-data', meaning God of food. Just drive on any highway, almost all the roadside eateries, called Dhabha, would have child labour . We indians need to change the way we treat each other by stopping taking advantage of poverty of millions of our countrymen. But sadly excruciating poverty has its fall out and people with money become God for others.

    March 23, 2011 at 10:29 am | Reply
  187. Binu Abraham

    Thank you American guys for your conern..
    Many of us are working hard to make change.. We will become a country without poor people..
    If NOT by today, tomorrow...

    March 24, 2011 at 7:49 am | Reply
  188. russianroullete2

    . There are two ways that debt slavery can be ended. Salaries of everyone working in brick kilns, or anywhere else, should be increased considerably so that the loan and the interest accrued on the them can be paid back. Those who have bonded labour should pay higher income tax and there should be bonded labour tax, since they are not paying salaries. Or the state should enforce bankruptcy laws – so that no one can ever become a bonded worker

    March 28, 2011 at 8:49 am | Reply
  189. Chizoba Okoro

    This indian minister should have a re-think. if his children were trafficked into slavery then he will have a different thing to say. India must do something about these horror stories coming out from its shores, it is really terrible that a country with such tremendous human capital can use poverty as an excuse. Indians should rise above culture, tradition and religion and speak out for those who are being victimised and call a spade a spade.

    May 6, 2011 at 5:42 am | Reply
  190. Musa

    This is NOT an issue that can reducecd to "poverty". Its a matter of economic and financial predation.

    There are over 300 million Dalits in India and many estimates show that 90% of all 'bonded laborers' are Dalits.
    These Dalits are also largely uneducated, and certainly not able to fend for themselves against predatory financiers.

    India has a corrupt democracy without the moral and ethical core by which people are expected to relate in a democratic, secular, civil society. Dalits have long been the victims of predation by whosoever lacks conscience. As of today, there are an estimated 15 million child slaves and 20 million prostitutes in India. And the bonded laborer numbers are as high as 200 million.

    This is NOT merely an issue of "poverty." India has the fastest rate of new billionaires. And yet, 200+ million bonded laborers? America seeks to develop India's nuclear capabilities. And yet, there is 40% illiteracy?

    June 7, 2011 at 2:12 am | Reply
  191. Min

    Honestly, scum!! if minister talks like this... so what to expect from ordinary people? discusting!!!!

    June 19, 2011 at 5:00 am | Reply
  192. Bharath

    I am from india and I agree that we have child labor in india. But India is a FREE country. Western perspective of SLAVE should not be confused with a maid or nanny in India, which almost all middle class indian's are used to. The Labor Secretary is RIGHT When he said he doesnt agree with the Word SLAVE.
    For all those brilliant Indians who left their country for a fat pay check. Posting comment from a distant land might seem the easiest to do for their own country. People in India are POOR and they need HELP. you heard that!!!!! OUR COUNTRY IS NOT KNOWN FOR SLAVERY. I see a lot of People commenting abt india. My question to you. Do u atleast Know what is the latitude or longitude of india. A simple one this time, atleast what percent of indians are POOR? If you dint know that i am afraid you have misrepresented knowledge in your brain

    July 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Reply
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