In a surprise announcement on Friday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he would repeal agriculture laws that farmers have been protesting against for more than a year, sparking celebrations for what farmers called a hard-fought victory.
Farmers, fearing the reform would cut the prices they get for their crops, staged nationwide protests that drew in activists and celebrities from India and beyond, including climate activist Greta Thunberg and pop singer Rihanna.
Modi’s decision is a significant climb-down for the combative leader and comes as state elections in politically important grain-belt states loom.
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had said last year there was no question of repealing the laws. It attempted to break the impasse by offering to water down the legislation but protracted negotiations failed.