Skip to main content

BRICS civil society declaration refers to human rights violations in Brazil, India, South Africa, ignores China

By Our Representative
The People's Forum on BRICS, which took place in Goa on October 13-14 in Goa, ahead of the high profile summit meeting Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has urged in a declaration that the BRICS nations should “look at issues of social, economic and environmental justice”, something they have been consistently ignoring.
The summit meeting, says the declaration, is taking place at “an unprecedented crisis facing humanity and nature”, pointing towards “the threat that several democracies across the world”, as seen in the “coup in Brazil that has overthrown a people's government.” The summit began on Saturday, and will end on Sunday.
Expressing “great concern the state repression of people's movements and student’s protests in countries including India and South Africa”, the declaration, however, ignores coming up with any strong words regarding human rights violations in China and Russia.
The list of participants, submitted by the People’s Forum on BRICS, intriguingly, does not have any dissident or human rights activists from the mainland China and Russia, or their representatives. In all, representatives from 10 countries participated. China has been under watch for attack on civil rights, while Russia is showing signs of authoritarianism under Vladimir Putin.
The declaration talks “massive levels of ecological destruction that is taking place around the world, led by corporations and in collusion with the state”, even as pointing towards “the teetering world economy that is on the verge of another financial meltdown resulting in stocks and currency market crisis in many of the BRICS countries.”
“The longer-term crisis of capitalism is evident in the marked slowdown in international trade, in declining global profit rates, and in business disinvestment, especially evident in the three BRICS which have negative or negligible GDP growth”, the declaration says.
“The world’s workers are losing rights, farmers are suffering to the point of suicide, and labour casualisation is rampant in all our countries, with the result that BRICS workers are engaged in regular protest and wildcat strikes, of which the strike by 180 million Indian workers inspired the world on September 2”, it adds.
“On the social front”, states the declaration, “The threat to our already-inadequate welfare policies is serious, especially in Brazil’s coup regime but more generally across the BRICS where inadequate social policies are not providing adequate safety nets.”
“The commodification of public services is causing misery, such as in South Africa where university students are fighting hard for a fee-free, decolonised tertiary education”, it says, adding, “Everywhere that people’s movements have made countervailing demands – such as democracy, peace, poverty eradication, sustainable development, equality, fair trade.”
Sharply criticizing the BRICS-sponsored New Development Bank, the declaration says, it is “working hand-in-glove with the World Bank; the Contingent Reserve Arrangement empowers the International Monetary Fund; and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank serves mainly corporate interests – and all these financial institutions lack opportunities for adequate civil society monitoring and participation.”
Coming to Syria, the declaration says, there is a need for a “just solution” the Syrian crisis “in accordance with the principles of international law”, even as condemning “the US-backed aggression and the Pentagon/NATO doctrine of regime change.”
Standing in “solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against colonialism and occupation”, the declaration says, “We endorse boycotts, divestment and Sanctions against apartheid Israel, including opposition to Israel’s attempted export of its unsustainable water and agricultural technologies to BRICS countries.”

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.