Skip to main content

Critical of BRICS nations' authoritarian tendencies, India's civil rights groups soft on China at Delhi panel discussion

By Our Representative
A panel discussion in New Delhi by a network of people’s movements, trade unions and NGOs under the banner of Peoples' Forum on BRICS (acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), appeared to have gone soft on China, even as opposing “authoritarian” tendencies in three other countries – Brazil, Russia and India.
The discussion was organized by the Peoples' Forum on BRICS, a collective effort of several people’s movements, networks and civil society organisations from across India and BRICS countries (click HERE), to raise “critical voices from below on social, ecological, political and economic concerns that are often ignored at big summits such as BRICS.”
BRICS summit is proposed to be held in Goa on October 15-16.
While it was also critical of South Africa for what some panelists described “neo-liberal policies” and “land grab”, one of the top participants, Prabir Purkayastha, editor, newsclick.in, emphasised what he called “the importance of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative to create an alternative to the current control of maritime trade by the West.”
The discussion took place a week ahead of the Government of India-sponsored Civil BRICS meet, where civil society groups are said to have been asked to participate. To be held next from October 3-4 in New Delhi, panelists said, Civil BRICS is “unlikely” to discuss critical issues such as the attack on human rights in India or implications of the coup in Brazil, and raise of “corporate land grabs” in various BRICS countries.
Called to discuss foreign policy issues to be discussed at the BRICS summit,  panelists did not once recalling human rights violations in China, even as expressing “lack of coherence in BRICS” countries, pointing out they were working “at cross purposes.”
Critical of India's record, senior journalist Seema Mustafa, editor, thecitizen.in, said that the Modi government's “domestic posturing around nationalism, attacking Pakistan for terrorism and increased collaboration with the US through initiatives such as the Logistics Exchange Memorandum Agreement (LEMOA)” would isolate India from “groups such as Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and Group of 77 countries.”
Achin Vanaik from the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) said that foreign policy is “an extension of national policies and priorities”, adding, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy is mostly about self-projection and masculinity. He warned against what he considered “a reductive policy, caught in the discourse of nationalism and terrorism.”
Prof Ajay Patnaik from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) argued that that Russia has a keen interest in a multi-polar world and, therefore, is intent on preserving BRICS.
Speaking on Brazil, Prof Sonya Gupta from Jamia Millia Islamia said that the progressive role of Brazil in establishing a post-hegemonic regional order in Latin America is being “undermined by interim President Temer who has already initiated measures to further privatize key sectors of the Brazilian economy.”
A day before the panel discussion took place on September 27, all central trade unions, except the BJP-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), boycotted the high profile BRICS Labour Ministers' Meeting, held in New Delhi, citing “lack of due process and attempts to restrict meaningful participation.”

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”