The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, has agreed to repeal laws to do with agriculture after the controversial new regulations have been protested against for more than a year.
The three laws passed last year caused a great deal of uproar, mostly from farmers or those involved in the agricultural lifestyle. These laws meant the decades-long system of Indian farming was relaxed. Previously, farmers and their produce were protected by the government from free markets, the controversy surrounding the changes was initiated because farmers became able to sell produce to anyone for any price without security.
In the summer of 2020, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha group, made up of more than 40 farmers’ unions, began protesting against the laws that would leave them vulnerable, and since farming is a very predominant political issue in India, the group took a stand which was followed by many other citizens.
The protests took a big toll on the country, the laws were temporarily suspended in January of this year by the Indian Supreme Court, but the protesting ensued. The repeal seems to be out of the ordinary for not only Modi but the Bharatiya Janata Party. However, the voting population of India is 58% farmers or agricultural communities, and Modi’s reluctance to repeal the laws sooner may have permanently damaged his relationship with voters.
Early next year, seven states in India will hold elections which will determine if the current congress will stay in power, even though the party governs six out of the seven states, it’s hard to estimate the outcome.
The Prime Minister announced the repeal on what’s celebrated as the birth of Gur Purab, the founder of Sikhism’s day of birth, the opposing party to the ruling party, actually governs the Sikh faith.
Since the announcement, resistance hasn’t come to a complete halt, with many still angry about Modi’s decision to change the laws in the first place, and the feeling that he is simply doing it to hold onto the majority of votes. After this incident, a lot of trust has been lost in Modi’s role as Prime Minister and in the Bharatiya Janata Party too. Narendra Modi has been India’s Prime Minister since 2014 and is the country’s 14th Prime Minister, so where does this leave him in terms of remaining in office?