In the past day, I’ve been reading an e-mail trail about the brick kiln workers in the town of Mandal in Rajastan. Much of India’s brick industry is run on bonded and child labour which is illegal. In Mandal, the workers want to organise themselves into a union which is legal. But the police, instead of freeing the children and workers and questioning the owners, have moved against the workers warning them against starting a union. In another area altogether, reports came through from West Bengal of a 20-year-old woman being repeatedly raped on the orders of village elders who run an unofficial parish court. The police and government must have known about this practice. Yet village after village, state after state, the government either takes part in or ignores illegal activities that cause suffering to millions. There are mountains of evidence of institutional human rights abuse on a daily basis in India, yet under its fig-leaf of being the world’s biggest democracy, it seems to get away with it. Is it time to hold India to account?