HomePoliticsCorruptionThe Red Market: Scott Carney’s Book on the Flesh Exchange in India

The Red Market: Scott Carney’s Book on the Flesh Exchange in India

The Red Market, a brilliant book written by Scott Carney talks about the illegal trading of the human body and its parts carried out for commercial purposes.
Carney, a journalist, researched the ‘Global Body Bazaar’ for the purpose of writing this book and he stayed in India for over a decade, which is one of the main place he talks about for these activities, after Brazil and Philippines.

The book is filled with stories of people selling their organs for making a few dollars, and by the end of it, he makes us realize the side effects of medical advances and the morality of the trade.

The book mainly focuses on 4 things that are happening in India, which fall under the red market:

Grave Robbers

In their very literal meaning, grave robbers are people who steal bodies from the graves when it is going through its various stages of decomposition.

Even though this concept is known worldwide, Carney discovered that the world’s primary source of bones to be used in the medical study comes from a grave robbing ring in West Bengal who employed a number of people to steal corpses from funeral houses, morgues and cemetery’s and then shepherd the bones and sell them.

Blood Thieves

Think that does not sound as barbaric as grave snatchers? A normal person is medically only allowed to donate blood once in three weeks, whereas blood thieves have been keeping people captive for about 2 years, ‘milking’ their blood three times a week!

The Town named Kidneyville

Its no joke, on the border of India and Bangladesh, there is an actual town that goes by the name of KidneyVille or Kidneyvakkam, where survivors of the 2004 Tsunami took refuge and were given a good amount of cash for selling their kidneys.

This video shot by HBO is a small clipping showing what goes on in this town :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrBm9JAPL1Q

Hair Donations in Temples

India, being a country with a large number of religions, has a lot of disciples performing a lot of rituals for their deities. One of the commonly practiced rituals is donating hair, but these devotees don’t know where this donated hair actually goes.

It is all given to large companies who make wigs out of the hair and the religious places earn a huge profit on such transactions!

The video in this link gives you an insight on one such temple:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pixB3itwtMw

These practices, as disgusting as they sound, are still carried out in India, and the only way they will be put to a stop, is by creating more awareness for people not to indulge in such activities.

For reading more in detail about such transactions, you can get the book here!

As critics of this book have said, this prevailing system of flesh exchange needs to be put to a stop!

Photo Credit: Red Markets

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  • Anchal

    It’s scary how such a big issue does not receive much media attention since, the “red market” has grown enough to accumulate cities specialized in the selling of organs. I’ve heard of organs being sold illegaly, but never about blood thieves or grave robbers in this day and age. It is truly appalling and I agree more awareness must be raised.

  • Ananya Walhekar

    The “red market” is a heinous occurrence, which definitely does not get enough attention. It is inhumane, and, in my opinion, the least discussed, yet most disgusting issue in India today. It’s absolutely terrifying that people are having their body parts sold without their consent, and the bodies of the dead stolen, sold, and disrespected. This is a dangerous, inhumane act that should be stopped through awareness. When people mysteriously disappear, the fact that this could be happening to them is horrifying. This is not even regressive behaviour, it’s barbaric. People avert their eyes at topic like this, but it must be addressed, however unpleasant. We must save lives, livelihood, and the dead.