Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BRICS - India's Quandary

As Dr. Singh wraps up his Durban Trip in South Africa from the jamboree called BRICS, he needs to seriously think where all that 'tamasha' (farce in Marathi or Hindi) is going. Fight over 'bank capitalization' where China wants to throw its weight is just the starting point. And by the way, Dr. Singh needs to ask himself: what is easier - to deal with USA and Western bullying about due share in IMF or China overpowering in yet to materialize IMF rival? 

To start with, we need to understand the arbitrariness of BRICS. Next, India needs to understand how lopsided the grouping is considering overweight China. On top of if Durban invokes memories of gallant fights by Mahatma Gandhi against British Imperialism and Racism, precisely those same charges of 'imperialism' are hurled against BRICS and China with some validity. Does India want to be party to all that?

Of course, Indians will argue pointing a finger at USA and say "but where does USA establish its foreign relations based on Morality? Has USA not formed relations with dictator regimes and non-democratic countries for pure selfish reasons? American History is littered with marriages of convenience.  Then why India should be singled out?" There is a merit in that rebuttal.

But if the whole purpose of BRICS, an arbitrary grouping with not much basis, is to create an alternative power structure to USA and West and to challenge the relative hegemony of Dollar in international finance; the right course is to fight within IMF and UN. The right course is to work with many more authentic democracies of the world, starting from Chile, Mexico, Canada, Scandinavian countries which are not part of EU, Poland, even Germany, Israel,  Turkey, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan and Australia. Why does India have to side with the 'thug regime of Putin'? Or Xi's China which can only claim superiority to India because of more money whereas India has a respectable record of democratic governance for decades? 

In other words, India needs to be guarded about which 'company' it keeps. Except Brazil and to some extend South Africa, you have got dubious regimes of China and Russian in this artificial club of BRICS; the grouping invented by an investment banker 'for profit' of Wall Street! Indians need to be aware that 'India and her foreign policy' is much more than 'pleasures of discredited Wall Street'. 

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