We don’t need heroes

October 2020

Authored by Roop Sen, Published in India Development Review


Everyone loves a hero. The popular imagination of this hero is a sword-brandishing saviour who fights the villain, bleeds in war, and wears their scars as a badge of honour. And when the war is one against slavery and trafficking, rescued survivors are brandished as trophies, and the slave-rescuing heroes are awarded for their altruism and courage.

The anti-trafficking or anti-slavery movements thrive off this popular imagination, because it capitalises on the collective memories of heroism that we have grown up on, through stories, films, mythology, and religion. We often look for that one voice, one face, one individual to laud for their courage and heroism that helped save the rest of humanity, and particularly survivors.

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