Praful Bidwai Passes Away

The well-known journalist and commentator Praful Bidwai – whose syndicated columns on politics, foreign policy, the environment and political economy provided a critical, left-wing perspective on national and international developments for over four decades – passed away in Amsterdam on Monday night.

Bidwai, who was 65, died after choking on his food, a close of friend of his said. He was in the Dutch capital for a conference.

He wrote regularly for magazines and newspapers across India and the world, besides being an anti-nuclear activist and campaigner. He was a founding member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Peace, the group set up after the 1998 Pokhran tests.

Praful Bidwai was the author of several books, including the 1999 New Nukes: India, Pakistan and Global Nuclear Disarmament , co-authored by Achin Vanaik. His latest book on the Indian Left was due to be released later this year. “Praful was a committed, courageous and articulate voice on the Left,” Vanaik told The Wire, and had “an extraordinary command over a vast range of subjects.”

Bidwai worked in the Times of India for many years as a Senior Assistant Editor before embarking on a freelance career that made his byline a household name across India. He wrote a regular column for Frontline and Hindustan Times for several years.

A bachelor, Bidwai had also worked as a Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Social Development, New Delhi, and as a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.