subramanian_ BRICSHandoutAnadolu Agency via Getty Images_modi brics BRICS/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

India Should Quit the BRICS

Following the BRICS’ recent announcement that it will add Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates, India faces a big strategic choice. Why should it belong to a China-centric club that will no longer share or serve its own interests?

WASHINGTON, DC – The world’s most powerful leaders will soon meet in New Delhi, heralding the culmination of India’s G20 presidency. While the G20 has delivered very little since its early successes following the 2008 global financial crisis, there are two reasons why the group’s coming summit still matters for India.

First, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has turned the G20 presidency into a major domestic issue by involving all of India in the preparations. G20 posters featuring Modi are plastered across the country, signaling his intention to present India as a key player on the global stage. The more that Indians are persuaded their country is a vishwaguru (teacher to the world), the greater the ruling party’s chances in upcoming state elections and next year’s national elections.

Second, India now faces a big strategic choice, following the BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) decision to add Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina, and the United Arab Emirates. Until recently, the BRICS was anomalous in design and ineffective (and thus harmless) in operation.

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