Renowned social activist Medha Patkar on 13 October said that BRICS had failed to challenge the "hegemony of imperialism" and was in fact falling into the trap of private corporations.
Speaking on the opening of the two-day meeting of People's Forum ahead of the BRICS summit at the Xavier's Centre for Historical Research in Goa, Medha asserted that BRICS had deviated from its original objective and has now been doing very little to advance social justice and equity.
"Private corporations are increasingly taking control of democratic institutions and overriding people's participation in crucial decision-making processes. BRICS has done little to advance social justice and equity in these countries," Medha, who represents National Alliance for People's Movements, said.
She added that in India, despite being the largest democracy in the world, the poor and the marginalized section of people continue to struggle for equality with no say in decisions taken on their behalf.
Patkar unleashed a scathing attack on BRICS by saying that it was turning into a "Free Market Ploy" serving the interests of the elite. She asserted that BRICS is hardly making any efforts for the welfare of the people.
"The question of gender equality and justice is not a priority for BRICS anymore. Even if the governments of BRICS nations have started co-opting the language of the civil society and social movements during Summits like these, they end up as just words and are never implemented once the summit is over. It is fast turning into an institution that serves the interests of the elites in developing countries," a press release quoted Patkar as saying.
The Eighth BRICS Summit will be held in Goa on 15 and 16 October, where leaders from all member countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - will participate. The main summit is scheduled to be held on 16 October.