The Senior journalist and well-known columnist Praful Bidwai has died, on Wednesday in Amsterdam on 23rd June evening . He was 65.
Pamela Philipose , senior fellow at the Indian Council of Social Science Research, Delhi and a renowned journalist paid tribute in the following words “ Bidwai was a concerned human being...concerned journalist who worked for voiceless in the country" and had a "great mind".
"He understood politics of the world very well, and was a realistic journalist. His work with various media organisations speaks for itself," she said, adding that Bidwai also had a solid academic background which worked in his favour as a journalist.
Bidwai was a social science researcher and an activist on issues of human rights, environment, global justice and peace.
Lokayat. Puna paying tribute said," Praful's first notable work as a journalist was as a columnist for the Economic and Political Weekly in 1972. In a career spanning four decades, he worked for several magazines and newspapers including Business India, Financial Express and Times of India, eventually becoming the senior editor for TOI. He was also a well-known author and wrote several books on a wide range of issues, including a recent book on climate change and another on the Indian Left that was due to go to print very soon.
He was staunchly anti-communal, and a strong advocate of human rights. Any meeting in support of working people's struggles in Delhi, and Praful was sure to be there. He was deeply interested in and passionate about the politics of development. Another issue that he was extremely interested in and concerned about was nuclear disarmament. In 1999, he wrote a very well-acclaimed book on India's nuclearisation together with Achin Vinayak, and the next year, founded the Coalition of Nuclear Disarmament and Peace. Praful Bidwai was also an active supporter of the various people's struggles against uranium mining and nuclear power plants, and visited both Jaitapur and Koodankulam to express his solidarity with the anti-nuclear struggles there."
One of South Asia's most widely published columnists, his articles appeared regularly in prominent publications such as The Times of India, Frontline, rediff.com, The Kashmir Times, The Assam Tribune and the Lokmat Times in India, The News International in Pakistan, and The Daily Star in Bangladesh. He also contributed to The Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique and Il Manifesto.
A former senior fellow of the Centre for Contemporary Studies, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Bidwai was also a member of the Indian Council for Social Science Research, the Central Advisory Board on Education, and the National Book Trust.
He had co-authored or contributed to several books on political economy, the environment, sustainable development, science and technology, ethnicity and politics, North-South relations, and security and nuclear issues. His last book, The Politics of Climate Change and the Global Crisis: Mortgaging Our Future came out in 2012.
Bidwai was also a founder-member of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, an umbrella organisation of Indian peace groups founded in 2000.
He received the Sean MacBride International Peace Prize, 2000, of International Peace Bureau, Geneva and London, one of the world's oldest peace organisations.