Brics continuation of neoliberal machine – the daily vox

The Brics Summit is taking place from July 25 to 27 in Johannesburg, South Africa. BRICS is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The Summit is the Brics countries meeting with each other to discuss policies and developments. The grouping has been hailed as an alternative to international institutions like the G20. It has been called revolutionary in some circles. But is that the only way we should be looking at the Brics grouping? FATIMA MOOSA takes a closer look.

Many in the South African government, academia and the media have been hailing the summit as an important event on the South African calendar. It is an important event. The fact that South Africa is even a part of the grouping is significant given the country doesn’t even have the largest economy on the African continent.

It is an important platform.

However, that is not the only lens we should be using to examine the summit and the grouping through. A group of workers, feminists and activists have gathered at the Wits School of Governance to discuss the Brics summit and how it does not represent an alternative world order but rather a continuation of more of the same. The teach-in will be a platform to debate on the need for the internal problems with Brics to be fixed before it can be portrayed as an alternative.

There was the workers who worked on the stadiums being treated terribly. Then there was Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov, who is one of the most renown human rights violations being given a platform during the World Cup. Russia has notorious anti-gay laws which all seemed to disappear during the duration of the World Cup. yet, queer people continue to discriminated, jailed and killed for their identity.

While in Russia, there are the anti-queer laws and human rights violations, in India there is rampant Islamophobia which is on the rise. Muslims are victims of violence almost on a daily basis and it is the government institutions who are failing them the most. The laws of the country favour the perpetrators of the violence while the politicians especially those from the Hindu far-right continue to support them as well. As of this has happened and is being partly supported by Narendra Modi’s government.

Additionally there is the response from the Indian government to Kashmir. There has been a huge crackdown on people and activists in Indian-controlled Kashmir. The United Nations have called for an enquiry into the disparate use of violence in the area. The Indian security forces have been accused of using excessive violence against civilians in Kashmir.

The other members countries Brazil and China don’t fare much better in dealing with their citizens in a just and fair manner. In China, human rights violations are high and the media freedom to report on these happenings is severely curtailed. In July 2010, a Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo died surrounded by state security. There is an international blindness and normalisation of the human rights violations that are taking place in China.

Brazil’s Temer who became the president after Dilma Rousseff was removed on impeachment charges. While Temer was the one who pursued the corruption charges against Rousseff to get her removed, he was later implicated on corruption chargesas well. While he denied any of the charges against him which were posed, there have remained a huge stain on his presidency. Temer had record low popularity ratings from the Brazilian population.

The Brics is meant to be a resistance against the global hegemony that exists and present an alternative global order. However, if the leaders and institutions involved with it continue to reinforce the same behaviours and injustices, there is really no cause to celebrate. There needs to be louder calls for internal reforms and changes in leadership if the Brics is truly to be called an alternative. Featured image via Kremlin.