Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Commentary: India’s singular failings at BRICS

Joint photo session of BRICS leaders [Courtesy:Wikipedia]
As the BRICS summit in Goa came to an end, the last few days have seen a spate of comments and analysis of the outcomes and gains for India. There has been it now seems a near unanimity among a wide range of commentators that the Indian single-mindedness over its agenda of targeting Pakistan, hoping to have it declared the ‘mother-ship ‘of terrorism as the Indian side put it, has proved ineffective in the best case scenario and positively damaging for India according to more critical analysts. The damage could in fact prove a long-term one as any attempt to reduce a global platform like BRICS to a narrow agenda can only backfire and muddy the future conversations. While India may feel betrayed by Russia over its silence at a moment when support was badly needed, Russia proved to be the real gainer, quietly receiving endorsement from the BRICS members on its labelling of the chosen groups in Syria as terrorist. India has come out of this episode as a petty-minded nation and a quarrelsome neighbor with an axe of its own to grind while other members appear to raise more vital global issues. Exactly how stupid India has been made to look is something only time will tell.

Among all the articles in the aftermath of the BRICS Summit, this one seems the most focused as it puts down a clear-cut list of mistakes and lessons the Indian government should be looking at in its future engagements with BRICS and other international forums. There was a time when it was Pakistan that seemed monomaniacally obsessed with India its global engagements and policy orientations. The diplomatic seesaw at BRICS in Goa has only made India seem like a small nation with petty niggling obsessions.       

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