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".
Bidwai was a regular writer for Outlook. His writings can be found here and on the link given below.
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.
Colleagues and peers from media and others alike have paid their tributes to him on social media.
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
Well Praful Bidwai is no more, u will be remembered for the pieces u wrote.— Haamid Peerzada (@A123LAD) June 24, 2015
A fearless journalist & a dear friend Praful Bidwai is no more. He was a committed writer, paid price for his conviction. My tributes. RIP!— Bharat Kumar Raut (@BharatkumarRaut) June 24, 2015
Friend Praful Bidwai passed away in Amsterdam. His big book on Left Politics was to come out in October. RIP— Akshaya Mukul (@Akshayamukul) June 24, 2015
RIP Praful Bidwai. Another voice of sanity and reason gone.— EncyclopediaAxactica (@monadarling) June 24, 2015
[With inputs from PTI]
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