Talk:Slavery in India

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I have added a great deal of information about the period 1000-the present. However It would be good to have someone who is more familiar with this subject clean up the page. 09:44, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Medieval Period[edit]

When I started the page, I had specifically tried to bring to the attention of the reader, the fact that there is a huge controversy about anything being said about slavery under rulers professing Islam. The medieval period has to be seen much more carefully, and with a much greater detail in supporting evidence not only just from so-called contemporary texts, but also from modern interpretations of textual representations or claims. Since there appears to exist two extreme schools of opinion, one which associates any mention of slavery under Islam as a right wing attack, and the other which associates any absence of such notions as a left wing attack, we need to put in a lot more concrete and balanced representation for this period. Dikgaj 12:00, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Added more material on the Turko-Afghan period. Edited the introduction, to point out that prior to the modern age, our assessments of slavery in India depend on interpreting textual claims on all sides. Added factors explaining both economic and religious motivations to enslave non-Muslim populations of India by Arab, Turko-Afghans and the Mughals. Will add Mughal period next.Dikgaj 12:25, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

user edit[edit]

Dear user, You have added one phrase at the end of the main body of the article, "no more slavery in India". It is not clear if it is an opinion, or a question, or a conclusion. As this is an incomplete phrase, and at the moment appears to be not self-explanatory. Did you mean that "slavery no longer exists in India" or that "slavery should not exist in India"? I would be happy to get your feedback on this line, pending which I am editing this out, as it does not read well with the previous material.

Regards, Dikga —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dikgaj (talkcontribs) 17:05, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Gypsies/ rom/dom[edit]

Anyone had any thoughts of including gypsies as early muslim owned slaves? That's a major theory for their migration.Domsta333 (talk) 10:54, 29 April 2008 (UTC)


There is some material (relevant for slavery) connected to the supposed origins of the Gypsies. The major obstacle to the theory of their originating from enslaved Punjabi/Multani populations is the absence of any obvious remnants of Islamic beliefs/practices. The historical records for Islamic slave owners show that if they manumitted their slaves they typically did so only as converted Muslims. Similarly children born of enslaved non-muslim women resulting from cohabitation with their owners were typically freed as Muslims. There has rarely been reports of reconversion from Islam into previous faiths. Various factors, such as inherent suspicion by remnant non-converted populations, real or perceived atrocities committed while still muslims, or punitive dictats of capital punishment by various branches of Sharia for apostates, could perhaps be behind such non-reversion. A prime case study would be that of the post-Ummayid-Caliphate phase of reconversion in Spain, and its connections to the phenomenon of the Inquisition. I have collected material on this (about Gypsies), but as yet do not feel that the subject is ready for putting up on wiki. Dikgaj (talk) 23:30, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

What about European contribution towards Indian slavery?[edit]

After writing up most of the original material dealing with the pre-modern period, I had hoped others might feel interested in exapanding on the role of Europe in the Indian Ocean slave trade. Or are we still deferent to the myth of the Great European Liberator? There is significant recent work on this topic, especially about the activities of the Dutch and the Portuguese.

Dikgaj (talk) 23:30, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

British rule resulted in the ending of slavery - one of the many benefits of British, rather than Moghul, colonial rule. What does the title "Possible British colonial reconstruction of dependency relations into slavery and debt bondage" mean? It must be one of the longest title in Wikipedia. (talk) 00:49, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Slavery under early European colonial powers[edit]

Most of this section deals with the fromer princely state of Chitral. This region remained an independent kingdom until 1895 when it became a princely tate of the Indian Empire. Prior to that Chitral had nominal ties to both Afghanistan and after 1873, Kashmir. Chitral did not come under direct European influence until the 1880's, and the scope of this article is about the Chitrali slave trade, the references for which have been provided all deal with incidents which occured before this period. This this section must be either re-titled or merged with another section as the Chitrali slave trade was a mere continuation of the medieval Central Asian slave trade and had nothing to do with any European Colonial Power. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:11, 20 March 2009 (UTC)


I added a POV tag to the section on the Mughals. The whole section seemed to be POV, and I became sure of that when I read "The peasants were carried off to various markets and fairs to be sold with their poor unhappy wives carrying their small children crying and lamenting." Obvious POV issue there. Ummonk (talk) 07:37, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Ridiculous POV on POV from historiographical POV[edit]

This is a quote from a contemporary source, who is also a primary source handed down in preserved documented narrative. If this is raised as a POV issue, every historical narrative sources of first observer type, is a POV. Even if it is a POV, what is the dispute here? User Ummonk wants to dispute what? does he think that peasant families didnt cry/or were happy to be led into slavery?! If this logic is allowed to prevail then no narrative contemporary first observer versions can be used as historical sources! A lot of history then falls flat, including lots of hagiographical claims on Mughals supposedly doing humane/just acts, as they too are simply then POV's possibly suspect as their authors were in conflict of interest situations (employed by Mughals for example)! dikgaj — Preceding undated comment added 21:01, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

You're correct that the specific sentences Ummonk mentioned are a quote, and this is extremely relevant and means that (seeing as the quote isn't from a fringe source) it is not POV for those sentences to be included. However, two major points should be noted.
First, the sentences were not in quote marks when Ummonk raised them as POV, and indeed remained without quote marks until I added them today after reading your comment. Quotes in Wikipedia should always be within quote marks or presented as block quotes, otherwise using them in articles constitutes plagiarism and possibly violations of copyright.
Second, material in Wikipedia's own voice (rather than quotes included within Wikipedia and marked as being quotes) should be presented in a very neutral and encyclopedic tone. Neutrality does not mean shying away from information that might make slave-traders look bad; instead, it means just presenting that information (as well as all other relevant information) in a non-judgemental tone. The horrific nature of things like slavery are readily apparent from just the basic facts, presented flatly; emotional terms are not necessary to capture them. I think that WP:PEACOCK captures a specific case of this general principle well when it says: "Instead of making unprovable proclamations about a subject's importance, use facts and attribution to demonstrate that importance."
I went to the article on Adolf Hitler (a featured article) for a good example of this principle of NPOV in use in a case where something is definitely atrocious: "Under Hitler's leadership and racially motivated ideology, the regime was responsible for the genocide of at least 5.5 million Jews, and millions of other victims whom he and his followers deemed racially inferior." The article could instead say "Under Hitler's tyrannical leadership and disgusting, racially motivated ideology, the evil regime was responsible for the systematic slaughter of at least 5.5 million Jews, and that's not even counting those millions of other massacred victims whom he and his followers thought themselves justified in deeming 'racially inferior'." I think that that second phrasing would also be fair enough and doesn't distort the facts, but I also think that its emotionally charged phrasing just isn't necessary; the first phrasing, emotionally flat as it is, already makes it clear that incredibly horrific atrocities were committed at a grand scale.
The best policy for Wikipedia to follow is one of a general lack of POV even in cases (such as slavery and the Holocaust) where it's clear that certain things were terribly morally reprehensible. The bare facts will be enough to give people the right ideas about those cases. Allowing emotionally charged presentations in those cases opens the door to that kind of presentation in other cases. Slavery and colonial oppression can be made to seem like morally good things with the right presentation without even needing any direct lies; just a cherry-picking of facts and a biased phrasing of them. A policy of NPOV in all cases will never prevent genuinely bad things from appearing bad (or genuinely good things from appearing good, or whatever) and will ensure genuinely bad things can't be presented as good.
(Incidentally, I know that things are never or almost never quite so simple as just "good" or just "bad", and that it would be arrogant of anyone to think that they can be certain of the exact moral value of anything, although it does at least seem safe to say that the people overall would probably be happier without slavery than with it.) BreakfastJr (talk) 04:03, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Paragraphs include 4-8 lines of personal opinion, and they cite a primary/unreliable source for the last one liner. Section needs better citations, it can be removed too because these are after all speculations. Bladesmulti (talk) 04:03, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Move to history of slavery in India[edit]


I suggest that this article should be moved to history of slavery in India as nearly the entire article is written about the history of slavery.Sarcelles (talk) 20:16, 14 July 2014 (UTC)


This article is full of unreferenced claims ie.

1 - slavery declined under Mughals 2 - that indentured servitude was for "crushing and usorious debt" 3 - that indentured servants were unpaid.

it's just typical indojingoist racism without basis in fact. It's not just not NPOV its a hate crime — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:11, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

Debt Bondage[edit]

There is no discussion of debt bondage in the article, although it is considered by notable and reputable sources to be a form of slavery. If there are no reasoned objections, I may add a section about it. Panoramalama (talk) 09:06, 7 August 2016 (UTC)