Slavery in Ancient India

Topics: Slavery, Slavery in the United States, Agriculture Pages: 4 (1228 words) Published: February 27, 2013
Slavery was a universal social evil and had its origin even from the early period of history. In India, its origin is closely associated with the caste system. It is believed that Sudras might have been reduced to slaves. A.L.Basham considers the Aryan conversion of the nativs into slaves as the origin of slavery in India. In ancient India slaves were well treated and their right well protected. Sarat Patil use in his book “Dasa, Sudra, Slavery” that the Sanskrit term- Dasa which refers to was slave, was derived from the root word das which means one who perform menial service. According to Arnold J. Taynbee, slavery was a non voluntary system of personal relation, resting totally upon force. Encyclopaedia Britannica states that slave is a condition in which one human being is owned by another. Slaves can be inherited moved or sold without regarding of their feelings and may be ill treated. In India the law caste communities were made slaves by the higher caste and their appear always to have been enslaved condition. However there was no caste of slaves, although most slaves belonged to law caste. In other words people belonging to socially and economically law section were easily reduced to the position of slaves. Men have enslaved one another for two main reasons. The first as the form of punishments and the second was a sort of response to demand for cheap and expensive labour force. But there were several other classes of slaves in later time- 1. Children born of a slave normally became slaves for their slave master. 2. A free man might sell himself and his family members into slavery in times of sufferings or distress, 3. Some people also be reduced to slave for crime 4. Many people became slaves of hereditary factors 5. Some people were always slaves, for they were tied down to the temple slaves. Megasthenes states that all the Indians are free and not one of them is slave. But A.L.Basham in his book “the wonder that was india”...
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