BRICS by people’s BRICS: A message for Modi et al

Social movements from 10 countries bring out a declaration for ‘social, economic and environmental justice’

GN Bureau | October 15, 2016


#environment   #justice   #Russia   #China   #South Africa   #Brazil   #Narendra Modi   #BRICS Summit 2016   #BRICS   #civil society   #economy  
PM Narendra Modi with the Russian president Vladimir Putin ahead of the restricted talks between the two nations, in Goa on October 15
PM Narendra Modi with the Russian president Vladimir Putin ahead of the restricted talks between the two nations, in Goa on October 15

Ahead of the BRICS Summit, underway in Goa from Saturday, a clutch of civil society movements from 10 countries came together in Panaji under the banner of ‘The People’s Forum on BRICS’ and brought out a declaration of their demands.

They have urged upon the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – “to look at issues of social, economic and environmental justice” and “reminded the BRICS leadership of a time of an unprecedented crisis facing humanity and nature”.

The forum, which met on October 13-14, has emphasised “the threat that several democracies across the world are facing from reactionary and imperialist forces and has in particular drawn attention to the coup in Brazil that has overthrown a people’s government. The representatives also noticed with great concern the state repression of people’s movements and student’s protests in countries including India and South Africa”, according to a statement.

The declaration also points out the massive ecological destruction taking place around the world, “led by corporations and in collusion with the state”. Goa, the site of the, summit is ironically at the receiving end of this destruction, it said.

Excerpts from the statement:

 
* The teetering world economy 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 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.

 
* On the social front, 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.

 
* Everywhere that people’s movements have made countervailing demands – such as democracy, peace, poverty eradication, sustainable development, equality, fair trade – the elites have co-opted our language and distorted our visions beyond recognition. Many of our leaders are hopelessly corrupt, and so when BRICS spin doctors claim that their work in Goa will “build responsive, inclusive and collective solutions”, we have spent two days looking beyond the pleasing rhetoric and have found a very different, harsh reality.

 
* In short, whereas we criticise the way world power is created and exercised, the BRICS leaders appear to simply want power sharing. To illustrate, the BRICS New Development Bank 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.


*As a result, the Forum has raised constructive critiques of BRICS in our plenaries and workshops. But beyond the analysis, we understand that only people’s power, across borders, can make change. Some of our most successful struggles – such as access to life-savings medicines or ending apartheid – required international solidarity. This Forum found many routes forward for cross-cutting BRICS internationalism in various sectors.

Comments

 

Other News

Reopening: Old guidelines extended to November

As the Covid-19 situation continues to improve in India, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has decided to continue the Guidelines for Reopening, which have already done away with nearly all of Lockdown restrictions in areas outside the containment zones. The MHA issued an order Monday and e

India records lowest new cases in three months

After a scare in September with the number of daily fresh cases inching above 90,000, India seems to have gone down the peak, with several key parameters giving cause for relief just in time for the annual festive season. The new confirmed cases in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning have fallen below 36,500 (

India’s case fatality rate lowest since Janata curfew

The annual festive season has brought good news for India: the country’s case fatality ratio has gone down to touch 1.5 percent, and the number of deaths per day has dipped below 500 in the 24 hours to Monday morning – bringing the situation closer to the number before the lockdown was imposed

“Script is the real hero”

Basking in the success of the new web series, ‘Scam 1992: The Harshad  Mehta Story ’,on SonyLIV, the OTT platform from Sony stable where the lead actors are new faces, NP Singh, MD and CEO of Sony Pictures Networks, has said that the script is the new hero. He credited the s

India’s active cases below 10% of total cases for three days

India’s trend of steadily decreasing active cases continues unabated. The number of Active Cases has remained below 10% of the total cases for the last three days, suggesting only one in 10 cases is active Covid-19 patient. The active cases comprise merely 9.29% of the total positive c

Cabinet clears bonus for non-gazetted employees

The union cabinet chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval to pay productivity linked bonus (PLB) for 2019-20 to 16.97 lakh non-gazetted employees of commercial establishments like Railways, Posts, Defence, EPFO, and ESIC, with a financial implication of Rs.2,791 crore.

India Police Virtual Summit and Awards 2020

Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter