19th November is a red letter day for India. Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had decided to repeal three controversial farm laws against which farmers have protested for more than a year.
“Today I have come to tell you, the whole country, that we have decided to withdraw all three agricultural laws,” Modi said while addressing the nation on the occasion of Guru Nayak Jayanti. “These laws were brought for welfare of farmers, in the interest of the agriculture sector, but we couldn’t explain such a sacred thing to some farmers,” Modi said in the televised address. He further added, “We worked to provide farmers with seeds at reasonable rates and facilities like micro-irrigation, 22 crore soil health cards. Such factors have contributed to increased agricultural production. However, we failed to make them understand about the benefits of the new laws and as such, we have decided to roll them back.”
Farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states have been dissenting at Delhi’s borders since November 2020 against the three legislations, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020. The protests have continued for over a year as deliberations between the government and farmers unions failed.