Inside Story

How will Indian PM Narendra Modi deal with angry farmers?

Farmers demand the repeal of agricultural laws they say will benefit only private players as they protest in New Delhi.

More than 60 percent of India’s population rely on agriculture for a living.

But farmers, who have long been a crucial voting bloc, often complain of being ignored. And now they are worried they could be exploited by agriculture reforms.

The laws seek to loosen rules around the sale, pricing and storage of farm produce.

Farmers fear the new free-market system means they will lose government-backed minimum price guarantees.

They have tried to march on the capital, New Delhi, but were stopped by police using tear gas and batons.

So what are the political risks for the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi?

Presenter: Bernard Smith


Dipa Sinha – assistant professor of economics at Ambedkar University Delhi

Nikita Sud – associate professor of development studies at Oxford Department of International Development

RS Deshpande – agriculture policy specialist and the former director at the Institute for Social and Economic Change