Skip to main content

Why eyebrows were raised on Modi meeting Xi during Johannesburg BRICS summit

By NS Venkataraman* 

With the United Nations Organisation steadily losing it’s relevance and no more enjoying the confidence of the world community that it can ensure world peace and international cooperation there is widespread view that UNO General Assembly is now only a discussion forum. 
In such circumstances, several international forums have been formed over the years such as NATO, G 20, G7 QUAD, SAARC, ASEAN, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation ( OIC), African Union ( A U ) Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, OPEC and so on. All these bodies meet periodically and discuss various issues without any reference to UNO.
BRICS is one such forum and the five member countries meet at regular intervals like every other above mentioned forums and the recent meeting took place at Johannesburg. What is particularly surprising is that while BRICS over the last several years is not known to have achieved anything tangible, it is reported that a few other countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS.
A few of the interested countries have been shortlisted to join BRICS. It is not clear as to what is the criteria for admitting a few countries in BRICS and not enlisting other interested countries.
Further, existing and new member countries of BRICS are also involved in several other world forums where deliberations take place on any particular matter that may not be palatable to one or other member countries of BRICS.
If one would carefully look into the discussions in the recent BRICS meeting at Johannesburg, it would become clear that the tone of speeches made by the leaders were cosmetic and concealed more than what they revealed. The proceedings appear to be a routine exercise with usual handshakes and bordering on boredom for the onlookers.
India and China are two members of BRICS and both these countries have really hostile relationships these days and the military of both these countries are facing each other on the border and bloody military conflicts have taken place several times resulting in loss of lives and injuries on both the sides.
India says that China is occupying thousands of kilometres of Indian territory. China is claiming Arunachal Pradesh in India as Chinese territory. In several international forums, China has opposed India on several counts. It is certainly farcical to think that both these countries can cooperate in the BRICS forum.
Tone of speeches by leaders at BRICS meet were cosmetic and concealed more than what they revealed
As a matter of fact, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi in Johannesburg in person for discussions, eyebrows were raised in India and many in India thought that Modi should have avoided this meeting with Chinese President. Further, after this meeting, there is a controversy as to who sought this meeting whether India or China. China says that the meeting was sought by India and India disagrees.
Russia is another member of BRICS and Russian President has avoided visiting Johannesburg, probably thinking that attending BRICS meeting was not a matter of priority. It is widely known that Russia and China, two member countries of BRICS are forming sort of axis to confront the NATO countries and USA in several ways. Other member countries of BRICS namely India Brazil and South Africa certainly would not be comfortable with such axis.
In such circumstances, what sort of cooperation that can take place between the member countries of BRICS? Obviously, leaders of member countries of BRICS go through the formality of meeting to keep the BRICS alive for whatever it is worth.
Member countries will take decisions on various matters depending upon their own self interests and will not be influenced by the stand of the other BRICS nations. This Johannesburg meeting of BRICS has achieved nothing worthwhile and it would not have mattered if Johannesburg meeting have not taken place at all.
*Trustee, Nandini Voice For The Deprived, Chennai



IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Insider plot to kill Deendayal Upadhyay? What RSS pracharak Balraj Madhok said

By Shamsul Islam*  Balraj Madhok's died on May 2, 2016 ending an era of old guards of Hindutva politics. A senior RSS pracharak till his death was paid handsome tributes by the RSS leaders including PM Modi, himself a senior pracharak, for being a "stalwart leader of Jan Sangh. Balraj Madhok ji's ideological commitment was strong and clarity of thought immense. He was selflessly devoted to the nation and society. I had the good fortune of interacting with Balraj Madhok ji on many occasions". The RSS also issued a formal condolence message signed by the Supremo Mohan Bhagwat on behalf of all swayamsevaks, referring to his contribution of commitment to nation and society. He was a leading RSS pracharak on whom his organization relied for initiating prominent Hindutva projects. But today nobody in the RSS-BJP top hierarchy remembers/talks about Madhok as he was an insider chronicler of the immense degeneration which was spreading as an epidemic in the high echelons of th

India 'neglecting' air, water, vegetation as its world air quality index ranking decelerates

By Dr Gurinder Kaur* The World Air Quality Report 2023 , prepared by a Swiss technology company IQAir, was released on 19 March 2024. According to this report, India is the third most polluted country in the world after Bangladesh and Pakistan, and the capital of India, New Delhi, is the most polluted capital in the world.