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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to help farmers has sparked concerns about higher inflation and deeper inequality. (© Nikkei montage/Source photos by Reuters)
Asia Insight

India's Modi on dangerous ground with big giveaways to farmers

Drive to rescue debt-ridden growers risks destabilizing the economy

KIRAN SHARMA, Nikkei staff writer | India

NEW DELHI -- Their numbers attested to their desperation: Tens of thousands of Indian farmers streamed into Mumbai on March 12.

They had walked for six days, braving blisters and blazing heat to cover the 180km from the city of Nashik to the country's financial hub. They came to demand unconditional, complete loan waivers from the state of Maharashtra and higher prices for their produce. More than 90% were landless tribal farmers who wanted rights to the forest plots they and their forebears had been tilling for generations. 

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