Journalist Praful Bidwai dead


LONDON: Veteran journalist, author and anti-nuclear activist Praful Bidwai has died at the age of 64 during a visit to the Netherlands.

Delhi-based Bidwai was attending a conference in Amsterdam yesterday when he choked on his food and died of suspected cardiac arrest, a family friend told ‘The Wire’ website.

The Indian embassy in the Netherlands said its consular wing was assisting in the case.

Bidwai was a fellow at Transnational Institute at Amsterdam, an organisation of international scholar-activists.

He was a regular contributor to magazines and newspapers, besides being a leading anti-nuclear activist.

He also wrote a number of books, including the ‘1999 New Nukes: India, Pakistan and Global Nuclear Disarmament’.

His latest book on the crisis in the Indian Left was due to be released later this year.

After working as a senior editor for the ‘Times of India’ for a number of years, Bidwai became a freelance commentator, writing for publications in India and abroad.

He was a staunch critic of the Narendra Modi-led ruling NDA government and in an article in UK-based ‘The Guardian’ earlier this year he wrote that Modi’s “grandiose schemes including large-scale urban sanitation, cleaning up the Ganges, interlinking rivers or creating ‘smart cities’ smacks of gimmickry and empty sloganeering”.

He also wrote a regular column for ‘Frontline’ and ‘Hindustan Times’ for several years.

Born in Nagpur, Bidwai had been a Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Social Development, New Delhi, and also a Senior Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

He had also served as a member of the Indian Council for Social Science Research, the Central Advisory Board on Education, and the National Book Trust.

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