Prime Minister Narendra Modi stunned the nation on November 19 when he revoked three farm laws that had led to sustained protests during the past year. A government at the zenith of power, with a strong majority, had listened to the people. It was a victory for India’s democracy. But it was a defeat for the farmer, crushing his hopes of freedom from trader cartels, state functionaries and a peasant’s life. How does one reconcile a victory for democracy with the defeat of the economy? What does this mean for the future of reforms? There are seven sobering lessons from this fiasco. Together, they form a toolkit for the future reformer.