New Delhi: Senior journalist and well-known columnist Praful Bidwai has died, a family friend said on Wednesday. He was 65.
Bidwai died in Amsterdam on Tuesday evening while eating at a cafe there, family friend Pamela Philipose told IANS. Earlier reports said he suffered cardiac arrest. Bidwai was single and is survived by his two sisters.
"He was sitting at a cafe there when he choked on his food and died," she said.
Reminiscencing, Philipose said 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.
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.
Twitter paid its tribute to the senior journalist on Wednesday:
Praful Bidwai will be remembered for his courage, integrity &commitment. Indian journalism has lost a powerful voice (1/2)
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) June 24, 2015
One of the finest edit page writers from an earlier era: Praful Bidwai has passed away. Hard left: wrote with passion and commitment. RIP
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) June 24, 2015
Praful Bidwai used to write for my news paper Mahanagar. Gave exceptional insights on various issues. Never minced words. Great loss.
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) June 24, 2015
Very sorry to hear that journalist Praful Bidwai is no more. RIP
— Chitra Subramaniam (@chitraSD) June 24, 2015
With inputs from IANS
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Updated Date: Jun 24, 2015 19:55:07 IST