India’s Farmer Laws Repealed But Deeper Issue Remains

Today, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi repealed controversial farmer laws after a year of continuous protests. The government repealed reforms that were passed in September 2020 to the country’s agricultural department. The backlash sometimes resulted in clashes with police and government officials. Many experts say this move is unexpected, but will most likely help Modi’s case ahead of the next election. 

Modi said in his address to the nation, “[T]oday I have come to tell you, the whole country, that we have decided to withdraw all three agricultural laws […] I urge farmers to return to their homes, their farm and their families, and I also request them to start afresh.” Despite insisting that the laws were brought with “good intentions,” according to CNN, Modi acknowledged the challenges farmers later faced as a result. According to the same article, National VP of the Jai Kisan Andolan farmers’ group, Deepak Lamba described the announcement as a “huge victory for farmers,” despite acknowledging that political purposes were involved for the repeal. 

One of the laws dictated that Indian farmers sell their produce at market price directly to private players rather than government-authorized agents. The farmers protested on the issue that the laws would weaken them and allow private players to be corrupt and dictate prices, according to the BBC. Without autonomy, farmers would struggle to survive. It’s also important to note that this move was orchestrated with the intent to suppress civil unrest in time for the upcoming elections. If Modi was truly in acknowledgement of the effects these crimes had on the farmer, he would’ve repealed these laws much earlier. Thus, it’s imperative to note the political motive behind these acts rather than true remorse. 

Modi was also in controversy due to his backing of a law in 2019 that granted a pathway to citizenship for people of several religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, but not Islam. This initiated nationwide protests but the law was not repealed. Modi has a history of backing these controversial laws that affect many, but rarely apologizes or repeals them. That’s why this move was surprising, though it has a logical basis due to the upcoming election. 

In conclusion, it’s important for reports to keep track of these laws and how they affect citizens in India. Many of these regulations might be changed for political purposes, so it’s imperative to hold leaders like Modi responsible for those who suffer from them. It’s unknown whether this repeal will stay for long, but it’s crucial that these farmers get the justice they deserve sooner rather than later.