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Mainstream, VOL LIII No 27 New Delhi June 27, 2015

Praful Bidwai Is No More

Monday 29 June 2015

As we go to press, we have received the sad news that independent Left activist-intellectual and noted journalist Praful Bidwai, 66, has suddenly passed away on June 23 in Amsterdam where he had gone for the Transnational Institute Fellows’ Meeting (he was a Fellow there).

For sometime in the recent past he was working on a project on the Indian Left at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi. The work has been completed and the book is due soon.

He worked in The Times of India for several years as a fulltime journalist. Thereafter he was an independent columnist and wrote on diverse issues but his focus was on human rights, environment, nuclear disarmament, global justice and peace. As his close friend and colleague, Achin Vanaik, wrote in The Indian Express, 

“Praful was a strong voice of the Left in India.... He was incredibly anti-communal and championed civil liberty and secularism... in 2000, Praful and I were co-awarded the International Peace Bureau’s Sean MacBride Peace Prize.”

A bachelor, he was a founder-member of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP).

The dastardly murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare in Maharashtra deeply affected him and he wrote passionately in favour of secularism and rationalism.