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Independent India and 'slave trade'

Monday August 15, 2011 11:30:19 PM, Aamir Qutub

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64 years of Independence, and  we still  celebrate our independence day with full enthusiasm and vigor. The day marks the freedom of our country from the atrocities of British rules. But after 64 years of Independence can we really sense freedom in air we breathe.  The chains of restriction of so called costume practices of contemporary India still play a major role in our society.

While everyone is busy celebrating independence day in their own manner, Raheem, a 65 years old labor, is sweating hard to earn a little money to add to his daughter’s marriage which is scheduled for next month. He has been doing this for the past  30 years. He has been collecting money so that he can offer a bike and a handsome amount of cash to satisfy the greed of his future son-in-law and his family members. 

58 years old Shambhu has been working on fields day and night so that he can recover from a huge debt which he took to get his daughter married and get back his mortgaged house. How can he sense freedom in a country run by a society led by such practices?

The problem is not only with the weaker sections of society. A middle class person suffers the worst. Satishjii, a 52  years old clerk at a small IT firm, looks much older than his age and is already taking anti-depressant pills. Her two daughters, one electronics engineer from a private college and another a M. Com. are to be married to a Jr Engineer at a private firm and a teacher at primary school respectively. He has already spent all his savings to get his daughters a good degree so that they can get married. Now he is visiting banks for loans so that he can he can purchase the two son-in-laws with a lavish car and a flat at a posh locality in Noida. 

This is the story of each and every father of a daughter in India. People sacrifice their lives and start saving money as soon as a daughter is born in their family. On the other hand a son’s parents feel proud to attach a ridiculous Price tag and auction him in the market. The scenario is no different to the time when people used to auction their slaves in the market and the price used to vary depending on their beauty, body etc.

Parents educate their sons, invest on them insanely, so that they get good degree and as such a higher market value. The higher the degree, higher the price. A teacher costs you 30 Lacs, whereas an engineer 60 Lacs and if you want to purchase a doctor for your laadli you might have to pay upto a crore (prices are not recession flexible) India is the only country in the world which socially accepts the practice of selling their children. Yet we dare to call it  an independent country.


The saddening part is that the sons of such parents feel proud in getting sold. In the world of commercialization where dignity and self-respect have lost their meaning, people feel a sense of achievement in getting sold by their parents for some lacs. Even the daughter feels satisfied after getting such Gifts (as they camouflage it ) which their parents were never able to afford in their whole life. It is pathetic, and it makes me wonder that how can a son and a daughter feel the joy of independence after being sold by their parents to a family or by leaving their parents indebted for life?

We, the Indians have so naturally accepted this fact in our social lives that we don’t feel the shame and offence such practices bring with them. Not surprisingly, we still believe that India is an independent country. 



The writer is the Hon. Secretary of Aligarh Muslim University Students' Union (AMUSU). He can be reached at 



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