BY RAKESH BHANOT
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lavery was abolished (by, amongst others, William Wilberforce) in 1835, right? Wrong! Those schooled in the US may cite the passage of the 13 Amendment in 1865 as the landmark date in the abolition of the slave trade. Wrong again! By the way, one key aspect of the anti-slavery legislation passed in 19th century UK that has been consistently overlooked is that the territories of the East India Company that controlled much of present-day India at the time “were specifically excluded which allowed slavery to persist legally in India for many years” subsequently. Nowadays, it is generally agreed that, by comparison with other countries, India has the largest concentration of slavery in all its forms – from sexual exploitation to abuse as manual labour. This is explored more fully in a recent book by Siddharth Kara, Bonded Labor: Tackling the System of Slavery in South Asia.