Tribute to Praful Bidwai (1949 - 2015)

24 June 2015
Article

Tributes to the late Praful Bidwai from scholars, activists and friends from around the world. Please send your own tribute to prafultribute@tni.org

Praful Bidwai June 2012
Photo credit Sue Cowell
Our dear friend Praful died unexpectedly on June 23, 2015. We feel such sorrow.  We have collected tributes on this page to honour his kind personality and impressive legacy. You can send your own to prafultribute@tni.org 

 

 

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Perry Anderson remembers Praful Bidwai

On publication of 'The Indian Ideology', I was asked by Praful Bidwai if he could interview me about it for 'Outlook'. I was then in France, and our exchange was conducted by email.

Before this I had met Praful just once, at a conference in Delhi in 2010, at which I remember him gently reproaching me for being uncritical of India's intervention in East Bengal in 1971. After the interview, however, he would unfailingly send me his articles on political and social developments in the Subcontinent. From these I formed a great admiration for him as a writer and an activist. To my knowledge, few journalists anywhere in the world possessed the combination of human and intellectual qualities that was his: clarity of expression, independence of mind, balance of judgement, warmth of feeling, in the service of solidarity with the poor and the oppressed, not only in India, but anywhere in the world. He was extraordinarily productive, and completely unsectarian, in both sympathy and outlook. His sudden death in July of this year has deprived India of one of its finest spirits of the contemporary period.

Excerpted from 'The Indian Ideology'. Note to the Second Edition.

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TNI Amsterdam says Good Bye to Praful Bidwai
July 2, 2015

Most of us heard the dreadful news in various sms messages and telephone calls throughout the 12 hours after our dear Praful passed away so tragically and prematurely on the evening of Tuesday June 30th. On Tuesday afternoon, we had hugged and wished Bon Voyage to TNI Fellows at the end of our combined Strategy Meeting on TNI’s Future. It was quite unusual for us to have five days together with Fellows (TNI Fellows Meeting 26-28 was held immediately ahead of TNI’s strategic planning June 29-30th) where Praful had participated in the debates with his usual verve and insights.

All of us recall those warm hugs as we saw Praful put his bag in the taxi and head for Amsterdam and New Delhi. None of us could have foreseen that we would see him again in such changed circumstances at the small Mortuary at Schipol Airport. As we gathered there, only words from Arundhati Roy, India’s great woman writer could fill the void:

...“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.” (The Cost of Living)

Praful was steadfast in watching, acting and seeking to understand the contradictions of our world and the jeopardy of our planet...in words impossible to forget.

“...the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in.  Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t.  In the way that although you know that one day you will die,  you live as though you won’t.  In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love,  who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again. That is their mystery and their magic...

The mystery and magic of Praful was that though we knew him for a long time and had been inspired and challenged by his analysis of many of the burning issues of today and tomorrow, we realised as we stood there around his coffin, that his story is yet to be told.

All of us at TNI – some of us throughout his last night in Amsterdam and some of us at the small Mortuary at Schipol Airport – were comforted by the presence of Praful’s Indian friends Amrita Chhachhi and Jogendra Panghaal  who shared those last precious hours with him.

As we laid white roses in his coffin, we were only sure of one thing - that Praful will be included in TNI’s Great Stories...even as he will be remembered as one of India’s celebrated critical voices.

For all...and those of us at Schipol: Amira, Daniel Chavez, Daniel Gomez, Fons, Jenny, Lyda, Nick, Sol, Tessa, Pietje, Brid, Amrita Chhachhi and Jogendra Panghaal

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Praful Bidwai first came to the Transnational Institute 25 years ago along with his close friend and comrade Achin Vanaik. Dan Smith, now Director of the Swedish Peace Research Institute SIPRI and for many years a TNI Fellow and Associate Director brought us this double gift of two brilliant Indians at once--he knew them from their work as peace and anti-nuclear campaigners. Everyone took to them both immediately. The fit perfectly the TNI model of the “scholar-activist” to which we all try to conform, but rarely with the same success as Achin and Praful. And it turned out that their scholarly and activism range went far beyond what we knew when we first met them. As you all know, Achin is thankfully still very much with us, as Praful ought to have been, and for many years more.

I have learned better over the past few days, reading tributes from his countrymen and women, hearing of the great and the good in India who attended his cremation, how important—indeed how celebrated--Praful was in his own country. We loved him at TNI not just because he was famous among Indian intellectuals but for his sharp mind and his luminous, beautifully argued presentations around our big seminar table, sharing his knowledge of Indian affairs, the impact of climate change or the nefarious activities of this or that corrupt or wrong-headed politician. We were all quite proud when, like Achin, he got on Modi’s list of subversives. I still hear him, sometimes launching a new idea with a startlingly booming voice, just to accent the first sentence and tell you it was important.

We also loved Praful because he was such damned good company. Our director Fiona Dove just sent me a picture of Praful and me dancing strenuously at the Fellows meeting Saturday night party a few years ago. He was an infatigable researcher, got his facts right as a good, prolific and professional journalist, a fierce but highly respected critic and a man who never minced words—and who, unfortunately for those he criticised, always found the right words. Praful silent and gone, Praful not laughing or excoriating something or somebody is hard to imagine. What a model he was for the ideal “scholar activist” we all try to be at TNI. Good-bye, Praful—I hope there are lots of good comrades, lots of good conversation and a broad choice of good single-malt whiskeys wherever you are now.

Susan George,
President of the Transnational Institute, on behalf of the Board, the Executive Director, the Fellows and Staff

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I met Praful some years ago in Delhi. My friend Amrita Basu put us in touch. He joined a few of us for dinner at the beautiful home of Rasil Basu on Amrita Shirgil. it was just about his book on climate change had come out. He had it with him. I remember Praful because a bridge was built that night. There was a picture of a family member embracing Fidel Castro in a corner, while maids serving us delicious meals. The conversation praised the arrival of the left to various governments across Latin America. I disagreed. I was from a different generation, lived in Ecuador. The only person in the room who understood what I was getting at was Praful.

He was indeed a champion of climate action, as many noted, but he was also a 'bon vivant' who inspired in intimate ways beyond his political activism. A life to be celebrated in the queer spirit that there is no 'right' time/space to live, that a good life is a life filled with joy, determination and clarity ... with all the loses that come with it.

I met Praful over whisky that night. We met other times for more drinks or a conference, in other contexts, kept laughing and telling the different south we knew to each other. We got lost trying to understand where the Left was going and how to face the criminalization of protests against extractive industries in India and Ecuador.

Praful and I kept dreaming about going to the hills to write and talk in nature. Someday, we said. If I ever reach the hills, I'll look like a fool talking to our gone friend.

We shall drink some whisky and go kick some police barricades in his honor.

Manuela L Picq

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In our tributes to one of India’s very best journalists, to an outstanding and committed writer, to a tireless campaigner against nuclear madness, the fouling of our habitat and all manner of social injustice, and in our celebration of a left critic of the left, we are consoling ourselves. We are all shocked and saddened by this premature waste of friendship, of talent, of his life. We express resolve to continue to fight his good fights. Thinking in solidarity with the multitude of people who grieve, I can do no better than post the poem on death by Brian Patten - after Pablo Neruda.

So Many Different Lengths of Time

Cuanto vive el hombre por fin? Vive mil dias o uno solo?
Una semana o varios siglos? Por cuanto tiempo muere el hombre?
Que quiere decir 'para siempre'?

Preocupado per este asunto me dedique a aclarar las cosas.

- Pablo Neruda

How long is a man's life, finally?
Is it a thousand days, or only one?
One week, or a few centuries?
How long does a man's death last?
And what do we mean when we say, 'gone forever'?

Adrift in such preoccupations, we seek clarification.
We can go to the philosophers,
but they will grow tired of our questions.
We can go to the priests and the rabbis
but they might be too busy with administrations.

* * *

So, how long does a man live, finally?
And how much does he live while he lives?
We fret, and ask so many questions -
then when it comes to us
the answer is so simple.

A man lives for as long as we carry him inside us.
For as long as we carry the harvest of his dreams,
for as long as we ourselves live
holding memories in common, a man lives.

His lover will carry his man's scent, his touch;
his children will carry the weight of his love.
One friend will carry his arguments,
another will hum his favourite tunes.
Another will still share his terrors.

And the days will pass with baffled faces,
then the weeks then the months,
then there will be a day when no question is asked,
and the knots of grief will loosen in the stomach,
and the puffed faces will calm.
And on that day he will not have ceased,
but will have ceased to be separated by death.
How long does a man live after all?

A man lives so many different lengths of time.

 

Because of the huge hole he leaves, Praful is destined to live for a great length of time.

Barbara Harriss-White, Oxford

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Remembering a crusader

It is difficult to believe that Praful is no more with us. His deeply concerned and infectious enthusiasm about anything happening around us will be missed by all who had occasion to interact with him. In matters of public interest he had inexhaustible energy- writing, speaking and participating in discussions. When we met in Trivandrum last year we spoke about the emerging political scenario when he clearly envisioned the possibility of a turn to the right wing in Indian politics, in the wake of the unprecedented unpopularity of the Congress and the decline of the Left.

He was very keen that the Left and liberal intelligentsia devise methods of interventions to checkmate this menace. We planned a get together of all like-minded people in Delhi, so that a coherent plan of action could be drawn up.

Praful was a scholar- journalist or a journalist-scholar. On subjects he chose to write he acquired very deep knowledge which he combined with his remarkable analytical ability. His involvement with anti- nuclear campaign and his uncompromising stand on communalism amply demonstrates his commitment to the interests of the nation.

Praful was concerned about the future of the Left in India, particularly in the context of its decline during the last two decades. His last, yet unpublished, book is on the Left which he titled as The Phoenix Moment, is a constructive criticism of the theory and practices of the Left. He was, however, hopeful that the Left would reinvent itself through ruthless self-criticism and critical introspection.

KN Panikkar

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We are so sad to hear the demise of Proful Bidwai. It is a great loss for the movement on climate change globally.

Badrul Alam
President, Bangladesh Krishok Federation

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The message that Praful passed away made the WISE office turn into a place of silence, sadness and compassionate grief. We know how important he was - and always will be - for those fighting for Peace and Justice in a troubled world. The last time we talked was at the AEPF in Vietnam, years ago. We wish the TNI clan the strength to deal with the sudden death of one of their long-time inspirators.

May the good spirits be with him, for always, and ever.

Peer de Rijk, director WISE international, Amsterdam

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We are saddened to hear of the tragic death of Praful Bidwai, a committed journalist and activist. While he was active on many fronts, he was abova ll a dedicated campaigners for a nuclear free world. He worked tirelessly for his cause, using his skills and talents as a journalist to alert the world of the dangers of nuclear power. His untimely death is a great loss to this great cause. We in Third World Network would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.

Chee Yoke Ling, Director of Porgrammes, Third World Network

T. Rajamoorthy, Editor, Third World Resurgence

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Reading all the tributes to Praful has been immensely moving - hearing how the sharpness of his writing exposed injustice so brilliantly, how the clarity of his analysis armed social movements, but most of all how his humanity and kindness touched all those he met.

They all affirm my time with him. I first worked with him at the Durban UN climate conference - and was in awe of his capacity to speak with such clarity and spontaneity to the media. I also admired how he cut through the blame-games so typical of climate negotiations by demanding that all nations including countries like India act with urgency - saying that too often the elites of the South hide behind their poor but that it will be the poor everywhere that will suffer from inaction.

But what I most loved about Praful was his joyful greeting after we had not seen each for a long time, his kind words said quietly after a presentation, his chuckle as he talked of the absurdity of greed and injustice. His last words to me were asking for the source for a reference I had mentioned as he wanted to use it in an article. Praful as ever the communicator, seeking to use his pen as a sword against injustice.

Nick Buxton

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We, in Focus on the Global South, are deeply saddened by the unexpected demise of a dear friend and committed activist Praful Bidwai. He was a close friend of Focus and was always part of our campaigns and programmes on challenging the development paradigm of the State, militarisation and nuclear build-up. We shared his views on communalism, nuclear disarmament and climate change and often allied with him in raising the issue of peace in south asia, climate justice and environmental sustainability. With Praful’s untimely passing, we have lost a courageous and indefatigable voice during a time it is most required.

Focus on the Global South

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I first met Praful when he and Achin came to Geneva in 1994-5 and worked closely with both of them, supporting each other's work on banning nuclear testing and disarmament, bouncing analyses and ideas back and forth. I learnt a great deal from both of them, and joined them when they launched the Indian Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace following the 1998 nuclear tests. He even found space for me on a camp bed in his study when I needed somewhere to stay unexpectedly.

I shall always remember Praful as a committed activist and powerful thought-provoking campaigner, wielding his pen/keyboard with wit and brilliance; and as a kind, staunch friend for more than two decades.

The last time I had the pleasure of seeing him was January 2013, when he and Achin hosted meetings in Delhi so that I could engage with academics, students and diplomats on the humanitarian strategies for nuclear disarmament that we were taking forward with ICAN. He was so full of life and arguments!

When I heard the shocking news of his sudden death in Amsterdam, I heard his voice echoing in my head, saying that if he has to go, then let it be whilst enjoying himself with good food and good company!

That's not easy for any of your friends left behind, Praful, as you've been taken far too early and far from home, but it brought some comfort to know you were surrounded by friends.

I will miss your commitment, passionate arguments about life, politics and disarmament, and above all the twinkle in your eye and (sometimes wicked) sense of humour!

My heart goes out to all of Praful's friends and colleagues...

Rebecca Johnson

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It is hard to imagine that my dear friend, Praful, is no more. In my mind, I still expect that the next time I visit Delhi, he will be there to greet me, as he did every time we met, with a big hug saying Hello Comrade. And we would have a drink and a meal together as always.

I first saw Praful in 1993, when he came to give a talk at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA, under the auspices of an organization called the Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia that some of us had formed in response to the Babri Masjid being taken down. I still remember his precise and incisive replies to the questions from the audience, especially a small coterie of Hindutva supporters that tried to heckle him, and his analysis of the situation in India influenced me greatly.

Some years later, in 1996, after I made my decision to stop pursuing a career in theoretical physics and start worrying about nuclear matters, I crossed paths with Praful again, and once again it was a talk at MIT, but this time on India and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, that brought him my way. In the days preceding and following the talk, we spent a significant amount of time together and he gave me a lot of sage advice, which was really critical for a beginner in the field. That mentoring has continued ever since, till 23 June 2015, i.e., and I owe Praful a huge debt of gratitude.

Once one got to know him, it is hard not to be friends with Praful. He was generous to a fault, knew a great deal about many different topics, was passionate about a number of causes, and could offer a clear and cogent analysis of whatever important was happening. But he also loved good food and music, and was extremely knowledgeable about both.

In the last few months, we had two lengthy email exchanges: the first, not surprisingly, on the “nuclear deal” between Modi and Obama, and the second, somewhat more unexpectedly, on what music to play at a memorial meeting for the writer and political activist Mike Marqusee, who was very fond of Carnatic (south Indian classical) music. After several emails, we settled on a composition by Tyagaraja called Vararagalaya in Chenchukamboji, which was then followed by some more emails on whose rendition of the song should be played.

Praful listened to a few versions and then agreed with my suggestion of a recording by the late musician G N Balasubramaniam. That was Praful, comfortable discussing both the intricacies of the nuclear liability law and the differences between Maharajapuram Santhanam and G N Balasubramaniam.

Praful’s death is a profound loss for the global nuclear disarmament movement, for the struggles against nuclear power plant construction, for the environmental movement, for human rights, and for left politics at large. As we keep on with all these struggles, let us remember and salute Praful for his numerous contributions.

M. V. Ramana

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I first met Praful Bidwai in the Seventies of the last century at JNU where I had been invited to lecture two years in a row by a group of anti-Stalinist leftists organised by Jairus Banaji, who I had known in Britain in the 60s. Praful was a leading militant of this group together with Dilip Simeon and others. They were gifted intellectuals, read vast amounts and always better informed than their sparring opponents of the CPM and the Naxalites. Heady days.

Praful's repartees at these debates were usually witty and devastating. Made us laugh a lot if not our political opponents. We never lost contact though meetings became rare, limited to when he was in London or when I was in Delhi. I kept in touch through his journalism, always precise, well-researched and challenging the verities of the day. They stood out in an Indian print media that was already in decline.

As globalisation spread and countries large and small became more and more provincialised, Praful's essays remained staunchly internationalist.

Only a few weeks ago we were discussing a manuscript which he was rushing to complete. It was a balance-sheet of the Indian Left, the Communist Parties that had been virtually drowned by the Modi wave. Could they recover? Should they recover? Was a left alternative possible? What form could it take? In the middle of all this he died.

A huge personal tragedy for his friends and those close to him, but also for Indian political culture and intellectual life.

Tariq Ali

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Message of Condolence on the Death of Mr. Praful Bidwai

We in Japan Gensuikyo are deeply shocked and saddened by the news of the sudden death of Mr. Praful Bidwai. We would like to offer our deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the deceased and to our friends in the CNDP.

Praful stood in the forefront of the movement which grew nationwide in India against nuclearization and for peace, triggered by the 1998 nuclear tests in the region. The birth of the CNDP in 2000, which he co-founded with Mr. Achin Vanaik, gave a great encouragement to the anti-nuclear peace movements around the world. Many of the Japanese peace workers vividly remember the important role Praful played in the 2002 World Conference against A and H Bombs held in Hiroshima, in which he represented the CNDP.

Not only as an activist, but as a prominent journalist, Praful made tremendous contribution from the theoretical front to the global anti-nuclear movement through many books and articles, confronting the pro-nuclear forces with his sharp analysis and arguments. Always with warm and friendly smiles on his face and having a good sense of humor, he was loved by many people.

It is our sincere hope that our friends in the CNDP will carry on Praful’s will and work even harder to achieve a nuclear-free and peaceful South Asia and the world. We will long remember the appeal he made from the podium of the Hiroshima Day rally on August 6, 2002: “You inspire us to fight harder -- and to win. And WE SHALL ALL WIN.” Responding to his words, we pledge before you to work in solidarity with our friends in India to defend Japan’s peace Constitution and continue to strive to achieve a nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world.

Sincerely,

Hiroshi Taka, Representative Director
Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo)

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Way back in the year 1983, a unique group of journalists, scientists and management professionals had started Movement in India for Nuclear Disarmament (MIND) at Mumbai. Praful Bidwai, Achin Vanaik, Sanjay Jain (then with TIFR Bombay and now Professor with Delhi University), Kajal Basu (now Editor of Tehelka), Sudheendra Kulkarni (Advisor to Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee when he was PM) and I were part of it, apart from a host of others.

This group had organised a number of vibrant activities at Mumbai for two years involving awareness about the benefits of nuclear disarmament, protesting against nuclear proliferation, etc. including a demonstration at Oval Maidan of Mumbai. Later, because of some technical issues, this group was renamed Group for Nuclear Disarmament (GROUND).

Immediately after Bhopal Gas disaster in December 1984, the above group had also organised demonstrations at Churchgate in Mumbai against Union Carbide.

A true son of the soil, Praful Bidwai was a valiant fighter for the various burning issues affecting our nation and its citizens, in particular and the humanity at large. We will all miss his presence. May his noble soul rest in peace.

Varun Arya

 

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This is a total shock; it is hard to believe that Praful is no more. An unstoppable dreamer and striver for a more just world. A true comrade and friend. There are few people who could have been more full of conviction, optimism, energy and, above all, openness to debate. For Praful knew how to listen with respect even as he was capable of persuasive eloquence.

Our friendship goes back to 1970 when we both came to the left movement as students. Just last week I received a letter from him telling me how excited he was about his forthcoming book on the crisis of the Indian Left. He also gave me the sad news about the sudden passing of a common friend from our student days, a person I had regrettably lost touch with. How very tragic that the next piece of news is of his own unexpected passing.

I replied to him promising to come for the book launch and support its dissemination, and also commenting on his remarkable gift of keeping in touch with every one of the old friends. He wrote back to say that his friends had always been a precious part of his inner life and politics. Many of the tributes on this site have (rightly) focused on his journalism, scholarship and activism. I would like here to salute him as a friend.

Rest in peace, dear friend. You will be greatly missed.

Radhika Ramasubban

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I first came across Praful Bidwai's writings 17 years ago, in Frontline magazine. He had a regular column then.

I immediately realized here is a guy who can be trusted. He was scholarly, fearless, acerbic and he never wavered in his opposition to Hindutva right wing which is the biggest threat to this society.

I never missed reading his columns in Frontline. I don't remember even a week passed without me searching Google News for his articles. For me, he was the greatest journalist of this country along with P Sainath.

He was like an anchor, a lighthouse in a raging sea who always guided us toward sensible, humane and away from the jingoism, chauvinism, aggression and other unpleasantness so ubiquitous now and which will surely lead this country to destruction. There were so many times when I changed my mind after reading his take on an issue. He always argued his case based on reason and justice.

Solidarity for him was never an empty word. He never sold out. There is no one who can replace him. 65 is too early an age for him to go. I will always regret I never met the man in person.

Ajit Hegde,
Bangalore, India

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I have known and admired Praful Bidwai since the 1990's. He was an indefatigable fighter for peace and justice not only in India but internationally.

He was a shining example of the engaged intellectual of the left: a brilliant mind wedded to progressive ethics and the imperative of action. It is hard to believe he is gone and that my wife and I had just been engaged in a passionate dialogue on global issues with him in Amsterdam less than a week ago.

This friend and comrade will be sorely missed.

Walden Bello

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Praful was long a dear friend, source of joy, hope, and belief in the transformative capacities of people mobilized on behalf of just struggles. His vivid presence makes the prospect of his absence from our lives a particularly sad occasion of grief and mourning.

Richard Falk

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I met Praful when he was still a student at IIT Bombay (Powai).

He was a powerful presence even then - intellectually and as a vibrant human being. I was looking for revolutionary fellow travellers on the Maoist path. We came together to work and share our views and lives closely. Then, when he parted from the Naxal/Maoist path I cut off from him and although he was pained by this he never held it against me, as I learned when we met again, many years later and became close friends again.

The news of his sudden and untimely death is a blow and I will miss him, his presence in our mad, bad world where people like him make a difference.

Dear Praful, rest in peace now.

Primila

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Remembering and Honoring Praful Bidwai

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Praful Bidwai on June 24, 2015. Praful was truly an intellectual person with warmth and a great sense of humor working tirelessly for peace and a world without nuclear weapons. We will remember his smile, eloquence, and kindness. His spirit will always be with us. We will continue our struggle with his memory in our mind working with the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), India of which he was a founding member.

On behalf of GENSUIKIN (Japan Congress Against A-& H-Bombs)
Koichi Kawano (Hibakusha from Nagasaki), Chair

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Praful Bidwai's passing is a deep loss.
Such a great soul, who gave so much to our country and to all of us.
Truth-telling is enriched by pathfinders; he was surely among the most courageous.

We should re-visit and re-publish what he wrote, and contribute to keeping ourselves reminded.

Razia,
India Alliance for Child Rights

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Tribute to Praful Bidwai from India’s fishing community

26 June 2015, Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala

In Praful’s untimely death, India’s fishing community has lost a valuable friend and co-traveller. He was one of those rare scholar activists who recognised and strongly believed in the power of peoples movements in the struggle for social transformation.

We fondly remember his inspirational presence in several meetings organised by the fishworkers in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra in support of the struggles against the Kudankulam and Jaitapur nuclear projects.

The fishing community and several other social movements in India are poorer by his absence. But as we continue our struggle, his spirit of justice and activism will stay with us

In solidarity

T Peter
Kerala Independent Fishworkers Federation (KSMTF) and National Fishworkers Forum (NFF)

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As a colleague and comrade in the CNDP right from its very inception, in fact from the preparatory days, the sudden news of Praful's untimely death came as a severe shock - a veritable bolt from the blue. Praful was of course a person of many parts, but, above all, a dedicated and extremely knowledgeable leading anti-nuclear campaigner and activist. He was one of the two main props of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP), Achin Vanaik being the other one.

It's a terrible loss.

Sukla Sen
Mumbai, India

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I first met Praful when I was an activist with the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Praful took a keen interest in the Narmada dam issue, and made it a point to follow it regularly over the years. Often, he would write incisive pieces on the issue, at other times, even if he did not write anything, he would like to know what was happening. He was a big support to the movement, through his writings and otherwise. Not just the Narmada struggle, but the entire movement for justice, equity and human rights will greatly miss Praful. RIP, Praful.

Shripad Dharmadhikary

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It is shocking and sad to hear that Praful is no more. Such an untiring fighter for peace and public interest, brilliant in analysis and articulation, unconventional and unassuming … So many of us have benefited from his frank and clear advice on public interest oriented work in energy.

He asked Prayas not to do some things and take up some - I am afraid we have not done justice to all that he asked us to do. In these troubled times, when we need many people like Praful to stand with us, his tragic death is an unfair foul! We shall miss him and so will so many others.

Sreekumar N

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Praful has long been an inspiration for being fearless in saying what needs to be said, on a range of issues. He could always be relied upon to support and write about people's struggles, and was also a strong voice for climate sanity. He will be badly missed, but also remembered with fondness and gratitude for what he gave us all.

Ashish Kothari

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I was indeed shocked and devastated to hear of the passing away of our beloved friend Praful Bidwai in Amsterdam.

I have known Praful for more than two decades and was honoured to have met and had meetings with him on several key environmental and defence issues. Praful was also a prolific writer and i had great admiration for his work.

Praful’s passing will certainly leave a vacuum in the social movements he was so committed to and may the Almighty bless his soul to be rested in eternal peace.

SM Mohamed Idris

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My last conversation with Praful.

A sane voice I respected, and most importantly, a man whose politics I could trust in these terrible times has gone. We are all much the poorer. I spoke to Praful for a long time a few weeks ago on the phone, in the last week of May. Well over an hour, I think.  Though I would invariably bump into him at gatherings and events that represented our shared political impulse, life pulled in different directions. And this was the longest we had chatted one-on-one in more than a year.

He had called, out of the blue, to know what I thought of the Misbah Qadri case – a young woman thrown out of her apartment in Mumbai because she was Muslim. The event had exercised him and he wanted to write his next column on it. He wanted my views. I said the prejudice was old; only the brazen impunity was new. What else did we expect under our present political cloud? At length I shared with him the distillate of years of my thinking about the many forms of communalism we have haboured in India over decades if not centuries, from everyday prejudice to violent hate. He agreed.

We talked about the many discussions that had taken place around an anti-discrimination law. I had been a member of the Kundu Committee (set up by the UPA as a belated follow up to Sachar), and Praful said that is why he had called. He wanted to know about our key recommendations. He said he had tried without success to look for a soft copy of the report online. I laughed, somewhat sadly, and said the present government was unlikely to have put it online. They probably wanted it to sink without trace. He urgently wanted a hard copy. He said he didn’t want to write on the basis of just second hand information. I respected the researcher in his brand of journalism, and a few days later couriered to Jangpura my last surviving copy.

Praful had chuckled about how he was sometimes called Mullah Bidwai by the army of on-line Hindutva trolls when he touched on the knotty communal issue in his pieces. I smiled back and said long live Mullah Bidwai! Not knowing what lay ahead. Together we bemoaned the state of the nation. We cursed the bull and bullock ban in Maharashtra – after I clarified that cow had been off the table (i.e banned) since 1976, and this latest ban had merely expanded the list of banned animals to include ‘bail’ (bullock) and ‘saand’ (bull). He said he didn’t know that, but said he should write about that too! We said, one issue at a time… and promised to meet up soon for a cup of coffee or chai or a drink. He loved his drink. We said bye.

Some days later on May 29 he sent me his article about ghettoization among Muslims and the need for an anti-discrimination law. I was happy. He had even managed a swipe at the bull/bullock ban. I circulated his piece to other members of the Kundu Committee, since few senior journalists, despite the battering that Muslims are getting, had bothered to really engage with the contents or the recommendations of that report. Praful had. That is why he was different and special. And I so deeply regret not following up on that promise of a shared chai.

Farah Naqvi

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What a loss. Prafful we will continue with ideas & insights that you championed. Salute & Respect.

Saurabh Singh
Varanasi, U P, India

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It is shocking and sad to hear that Praful is no more. He was an untiring fighter for peace and public interest, brilliant in analysis and articulation, unconventional and unassuming … So many of us have benefited from his frank and clear advice on public interest oriented work in energy. In these troubled times, we need many people like Praful to stand with us. His tragic death seems such an unfair foul! We shall miss him and so will so many others.

Sreekumar N, Prayas (Energy Group), Pune India

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Remembering and Honoring Praful Bidwai

Our hearts were broken to learn of the sudden, untimely demise of our dear friend and colleague Praful Bidwai. Praful was a courageous truth teller, a fearless advocate, and a kind and funny man. Some of us were fortunate to be present at the founding conference of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) in Delhi, and to be graciously hosted by Praful in his home. He was a tremendous intellectual resource for nuclear disarmament, peace and justice and environmental movements in his home country and internationally. His articles and books informed and enriched our understanding of the complex nuclear dynamics in South Asia. Praful was a member of the Abolition 2000 Global Council – our international family. We will miss him dearly, but we will never forget him. In his honor, we look forward to renewing and strengthening our relationship with CNDP.

Praful Bidwai, presente!

On behalf of the Abolition 2000 Coordinating Committee and Global Council:

Jackie Cabasso, USA
Andrew Lichterman, USA
Joseph Gerson, USA
Hiro Umebayashi, Japan
John Hallam, Australia
Alice Slater, USA
Akira Kawasaki, Japan
Lisa Clark, Italy
Kathleen Sullivan, USA
Dave Webb, UK
Dominique Lalanne, France
Aaron Tovish, Sweden
Alyn Ware, Aotearea/New Zealand
Regina Hagen, Germany
John Burroughs, USA
Steve Leeper, Japan/USA
Rick Wayman, USA
David Krieger, USA
Colin Archer

 

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Praful Bidwai: the giant intellect riding a small car

The news of Praful Bidwai's sudden passing away comes as a shattering shock to not only his friends but to all forces of peace and freedom in India. He was in the peak of his writing career, presenting challenging perspectives on most critical issues of our time, influencing public discourse in India, advancing the cause of democratic rights.

My last meeting with Praful was at a dinner of the contributors to the volume Building a Just World: Essays in Honour of Muchkund Dubey at the India International Centre on 17 May. This volume carries his important contribution on the course of global negotiations on climate change on which subject his book had already made a major impact.

At the Council for Social Development when Praful Bidwai joined as the first full-time Durgabai Deshmukh Chair we all were greatly excited. He added not only excellent intellectual company to the colleagues, he made the discussions at the Social Development Forum lively. He took the initiative to organize a number of events on environment issues. He completed his much-awaited study of the Left in India during his tenure at CSD and submitted his report.

I had the privilege to discuss many of his ideas whenever he wished to get my reactions. We both shared our concerns about the issues that had weakened the left, especially the mode of integrating class perspective with social factors such as caste, gender, religion, tribe as well as the practice of democracy. He was finalizing the manuscript for publication at the time of his sad demise. Hopefully, it will come out soon and rekindle our hopes for renewing the left movement to emerge as the prominent force to realize the rights of the oppressed people of India.

Praful and I worked together in the Pakistan India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy from the inception of the Forum. At the Lahore Convention in 1996 he was the star attraction, mobilizing the Pakistani friends for nuclear disarmament and consolidating the united efforts of journalist of the Subcontinent for human rights and press freedom. Till the very end he was an asset to the PIPFPD and friends in both countries will miss him very much.

Praful drove a small electric car to prove that he practiced what he preached. Not only the famous journalist with a sharp pen in his columns will be missed but also a wonderful human being, always a delightful conversationalist and a brilliant intellectual will be remembered for ever.

Manoranjan Mohanty

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----

At Karel Koster's memorial this morning I heard about the death of Praful.

In the '90s, when I was travelling a lot through India, I always bought the biweekly Frontline, with Praful having a column in it. Poverty, religious fanaticism, military and nuclear issues: Praful always had a sharp and well-thought opinion.

Then when India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons in 1998 I first met him when we invited Praful, I.A. Rehman of the Pakistan's Human Rights Commission and Karel Koster to talk at a seminar about nuclear weapons and South Asia. Every couple of years I met him since, at fellows meetings and conferences, the last time I believe in Durban in 2011 for another TNI project on climate change, and for his book launch at Ike's bookshop. It always was a pleasure listening to him.

I'll remember Praful as a great analyst and a warm personality.

He will be greatly missed in many movements in India and around the world.

Frank Slijper

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Praful a very dear and close friend. It's so hard for me to believe he will not be around any more citing reasons after reasons why India should not have nuclear program, why the govt. of the day is coming hard on the NGO s and the ways the left parties in India to reemerge . Well it will take a long time to reconcile with this sudden and untimely passing on of a great and prolific writer ,thinker and an activists besides being a great human being who completely believed in the dignity and respectability of every human being ,

Alaka. Madhok
Director, Madhok. Foundation
New Delhi

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Dearest Praful

I began typing the address for this tribute as instructed: prafultribute.org--and after I typed the first letters, the computer automatically filled in the  customary address: prafulbidwai@gmail.com. If only.... if only, Praful, you weren't far from your computer and could open this message--along with the countless other tributes sent to the tni address.

JFK got it right: who ever said life is fair? How unfair that you're not still with us, downing another peg, chortling at your own and others' humor, enlightening and inspiring us by your words, your deeds, your commitment, love, courage, erudition, and more...

How grateful I am for the times we shared, and especially grateful that I read an early draft of your forthcoming book--The Phoenix Moment: Challenges Confronting the Indian Left. It's one of your last gifts to the world--and a very worthy tribute to you.

My mother used to say: if only I was a believer: I could eventually meet all my departed friends.  You're right, mom--if only.  So, Praful, we'll have to make do with what we had in the past, not what we'll have in the future... Alas, that's not enough--but it's divine in its own way.

Mark Kesselman

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I am shocked to hear of the sudden and tragic death of Praful Bidwai.

Just a few weeks back we exchanged emails and promised to meet soon.

Through his incisive analysis, prolific writing and activism, Praful inspired countless young scholars, activists and journalists in India and abroad.

Despite his academic background, Praful never maintained a scholarly 'distance' between his intellectual work and activism. He belonged to a rare generation of scholars who would directly engage with social movements.

His tremendous contribution in promoting peace, equality and justice will be always be remembered.

Kavaljit Singh,
New Delhi

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The untimely death of Praful bidwai has left us speechless and we pay our tribute with heartfelt condolence and commit ourself to continue the work which Praful has left behind

Ramesh Pimple
People's media initiative

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I knew him well. We had discussed his work on climate change, energy issues at various times that I attended Fellows meetings. You must be in shock, in spite of the days that have passed. My deepest condolences and my warmest solidarity to you. Close your eyes and feel my warm embraces.

Much solidarity and love to all that have suffered a great shock and trauma

Brian Ashley

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While I did not know Praful well, I spent some time with him at the event I believe he co-organized: The South Asia and Southeast Asia Peace Activists Conference, "Peace Builds, Bombs Destroy: Let’s Make Asia Nuclear Free," Dhaka, Bangladesh, 18-20 February 2000.

That the event took place, bringing together Indians and Pakistanis soon after the 1998 nuclear tests, was itself a demonstration of the dedication of Praful, Achin Vanaik, and others. And I have been in touch with him occasionally since then.

We will miss Praful. A kind, gentle and wise man. And now more than ever, we could have used his passion and intelligence and commitment in the cause of nuclear disarmament – but his many contributions will live on.

John Burroughs,
Executive Director, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy

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We learn with shock and disbelief about the sudden passing away of Praful Bidwai. As courageous public intellectual he advocated the true meaning and values of humanity, international soliarity and social justice. As a board member of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation during the first decade of this century he represented civil society at its best.

We mourn the loss of a global citizen.

Henrik Hammargren
Executive Director, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation

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We lost a great friend of climate justice in global as well in South Asia,

Red salute comrade Praful.

Reza
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury

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Dear friends,

It is indeed a great loss for all of us. He was a tremendous radical teacher, activist, writer, journalist, columnist and a fine Marxist.

I learns a lot from him at AEPF event in Delhi three year back. His talk on climate change was very educative.

It was a shocking news.

Rest in peace comrade Praful Bidwai

Farooq Tariq
General Secretary, Awami Workers Party

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He was one of the most learned scholar and orator I met. His commitment and struggle would be remembered. may he rests in peace

regards,

Nizamuddin Nizamani

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Please have my deepest sympathy for him. It's a huge loss.

Regards.

Geetha Lakmini

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We are deeply shocked by the news of sudden death of Praful Bidwai, one of the most eminent thinker and writer of our time. With a sharp mind and frankness he has always remained very integrated with the movement of the dispossessed people, in their pursuit to reclaim their lost space. For us he was always a true friend and specially in difficult time in our struggle against anti-people regime.

At a time when most of the intellectual class is either submitting to the pressure from the neo-liberal regime or quitting the scene Praful stood firmly on the premise of justice and liberation of oppressed people. With his untimely demise there will be a void in linking intellectual action with the people's movement, be it political, social or environmental .

We pay our sincere homage to that indomitable spirit, Praful Bidwai.

Ashok Choudhary, General Secretary
Roma, Dy. General Secretary
All India Union of Forest Working People AIUFWP

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Dear Praful,

I came to journalism later than most of my journalist colleagues did. But when I did, it was you whom I looked up to and drew inspiration from. Your clear, forthright and meticulous journalism set the bar high for me, and it's one that I keep hoping I will reach someday.

And when we got the chance to travel together and chat, I found that a man of humour and passion was behind those clear-thinking articles. I still remember the warm greeting and smile you had for me when we last met, and you saying "Hey! It's been too long!"

It had indeed been too long, and now it's going to be a whole lot longer. Thank you for being the journalist you were, the friend you were.

Always,

Dilip D'Souza

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As so many others noted already, Praful untimely death is a real loss and he will be very much missed by all of us who learnt from his writings, vision and knowledge, from his rare combination of professional journalism and activist engagement – very much missed also for his good nature.

In solidarity with his TNI, CNDP, peace and anti-nuclear activists, AEPF comrades and friends;

Pierre Rousset
Europe solidaire sans frontières (ESSF)

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A tribute to Praful Bidwai, a committed fighter against injustice and inequality

In Praful Bidwai’ s passing away, India's poor and marginalised citizens, and the earth’s fragile and beleaguered environment have lost a compassionate, fearless, and powerful voice of reason.

Praful's constant and persistent efforts to engage with democratic institutions, and his active efforts to change systemic injustice, have been a support for the millions whose concerns are brushed aside by the ruling elite.

The MKSS and I have lost a friend of many decades. He was a pleasure to meet, to dialogue and work with. We all gained from his challenges his disagreements, and endorsements. He has been a sounding board and helped with the various campaigns the MKSS and the NCPRI organised for democratic justice. He was always there to listen and argue.

Praful was at his best when he faced the most powerful and seemingly indomitable opposition. He perhaps qualifies more than most others, to represent an intelligent, fearless, argumentative Indian'. He has left a legacy that must continue, to strengthen the fast disappearing tribe of independent journalists.

Praful had a wonderful sense of humour even as we faced difficulty and conflict. He wore his burdens lightly.

The MKSS, and the NCPRI have lost a great comrade. India has lost one of the few rare voices of candid critique it now so sorely needs.

We celebrate a great and impactful life, as we mourn the loss of a very, very important comrade and a dear friend.

Aruna Roy
For the MKSS and the NCPRI

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He deserves much much more than this.

I knew him on and off for years even decades.

Vale, Praful. We salute you.

John Hallam

Veteran journalist Praful Bidwai dies in Amsterdam

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I am still trying to recover from the shock with the news of his death. And I can imagine how people like you who have been very close to him must be feeling.

In these crucial times we needed him more.

warm regards

Subhash Gatade

Just tried to pen down a small note remembering him: link

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Tribute to Praful Bidwai, a fearless comrade who always took pro-people stand

I got to know Praful in 1974 in Mumbai in a meeting organised by the New Left group of young revolutionaries to which he belonged, when Com. Ernest Mandel visited India for lecture series. At the time, all of us known as "the New Left" believed that revolution was round the corner. Praful had a convincing style of speaking. During 1975-1977, most of us met in the informal study circles as the Emergency Rule did not allow any public gatherings.

In 1977, when I moved to Mumbai and got active in the women's movement and trade union movement, Praful had become prolific in his journalistic career and was always, always politically correct whether he wrote on industrialization, sectarian forces, environmental issues, nuclear policy, national politics or arrest of a woman smuggler. He was never sensational or titillating in his writings.

The most crucial contribution Praful made was after 1992 riots throughout the country. He took head on confrontations with the cultural nationalists. He stared speaking from public platforms against TNC-MNC controlled economic globalisation, neoliberalism, capitalist crisis, nuclearisation of economy, communal tension, caste riots, so on and so forth.

I met him in May, 2014 at the Press Club to discuss the book he was planning to write on the Indian Left. He was calm, asking questions on trade union movement, women's movement, left movement, Dalit struggles

It is difficult to accept that Praful is no more. Now, who will spontaneously respond to right wing onslaught on the masses in these difficult times, both globally and within India ?

Vibhuti Patel (An activist of the New Left Movement since 1970)

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I share your shock over Praful Bidwai, who I never met, but who was a star in the alternative global firmament.

Please share my condolences wherever appropriate.

Best,
Peter Waterman

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I'm, sorry to hear about the loss of a remarkable activist and partner of TNI.

I wish those working with him and especially his family and those who where present during the accident all the strength in the world.

Best regards,
Gijs Verbraak

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The demise of Praful Bidwai is inconceivable loss to all who are fighting for peace, justice and rights. He passed away at a time when he was needed most to expose and counter the rise of right wing.

with deep condolences,

Dharmendra Kumar, India

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We learn with shock and disbelief about the sudden passing away of Praful Bidwai. As courageous public intellectual he advocated the true meaning and values of humanity, international solidarity and social justice. As a board member of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation during the first decade of this century he represented civil society at its best. We mourn the loss of a global citizen.

Henning Melber, Director emeritus and Senior Advisor, The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Uppsala/Sweden

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Now, sadly, I find myself emailing with condolences. I just heard about the death of Praful Bidwai in Amsterdam. I'm so so sorry and saddened to hear it. While I never met or spoke with him personally, I have attended many events at which he spoke with profoundness, passion, great intellectual and analytical clarity and sophistication, and also with so much compassion and concern for the world. Over the years I always read his writings with much enthusiasm, agreement and hope that he articulated things so beautifully, coherently and convincingly that no-one could possibly argue with him!

The world, and India, will be a different place without him and he will be hugely missed here in Delhi. I'm sure it must have been so shocking and hearbreaking for you all at TNI for this to happen, but there is some comfort in a strange way to know he died amongst friends and comrades, politically engaged and active as always¨

Thinking of you all and sending love, strength and solidarity,
Fleachta (Phelan) 

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Bangladesh High Commission has condoled the sudden sad demise of eminent journalist Praful Bidwai . In a message H.E. High Commissioner Syed Moazzem Ali and other diplomats of the mission expressed their deep sorrow at the untimely death of Bidwai and prayed for salvation of the departed soul.

Enamul Hoque Chowdhury

Minister (Press), Bangladesh High Commission

New Delhi

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Dear friend and brave comrade Praful, you did not spare your life on behalf of the best causes. You were a struggler for freedom and a believer in the evolutionary and revolutionary nature of Humankind. Your presence among us was a privilege for all those who enjoyed your friendship, and a constant example of solidarity, commitment and courage. Your skills as a journalist and writer enriched the political and cultural realms of India and the world - through TNI! Your departure leaves us with a feeling of loss and nostalgia. That you rest in peace!

Your proud and sorrowful friend and colleague,

Marcos Arruda
TNI associate
PACS - Rio de Janeiro
Jubilee South Network

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Dear friends,

I’m so sorry to hear about the untimely death of Praful. We lose a great academic mind, a powerful journalistic voice and a wonderful activist spirit. And we lose a friend. My thoughts are with his family, friends and especially with his colleagues who were there at the end.

I remember the first time Praful impressed me. It was in 1999 at the Hague Appeal for Peace conference in The Hague, where I was in the audience as an international relations student witnessing a very emotional and powerful session on the South Asian nuclear standoff. People were arguing, shouting, but also hugging and I wrote half a notebook full of all the interesting, inspiring and crazy things I heard in that session, including from someone who, according to my notes back then was called ‘Pravel Betwai’. With a question mark behind the name.

It was two years later, when I had just started to work at TNI, when I met a man called Praful Bidwai. And while listening to him arguing forcefully against the nuclear follies of India and Pakistan, I started to realise I was impressed by the same man all over again.

It was a pattern that Praful repeated over the years, in the many places we met. At World Social Forums, AEPF conferences, in India, in Amsterdam.

I learned a thing or two from Praful: To look beyond the rhetoric of a standoff for example. To look through the political propaganda and the scared one-sided analyses that come with deterrence and see the root of the problem. I learned another thing from Praful as well, by which I plan to remember him just as much: To dance with friends, like there is no tomorrow.

I will miss you Praful.

Wilbert van der Zeijden
Senior researcher, PAX

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Praful Bidwai has been an independent green spirit, full of engagement and clarity of argument; while, at the same time, he was such a gentle, wonderful person.

India has lost a great journalist, we have lost a dear friend. We'll miss him very much, at the IIC in Delhi and in Berlin alike.

 

Dr. Axel Harneit-Sievers
Director, India Office, Heinrich Böll Foundation

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In the passing away of Praful Bidwai, the sub-continent has lost a peace activist who worked tirelessly for the friendship between India & Pakistan and a world free from nuclear weapons. He passed away on the night of the 22nd of June 2015 in Amsterdam where he was attending a conference.

Praful Bidwai along with other anti-nuclear activists opposed the Indian and Pakistan's nuclear test of 1998. He was also a senior member of Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) which works for the promotion of enduring peace between the two nuclear states.

He was one of the most vocal voices of South Asia for nuclear weapons free world. He continued to write on the issue through various Indian and international newspapers.

Indians and Pakistanis have lost a true friend through the loss of Bidwai. PIPFPD along with peace loving people of India and Pakistan mourns the death of Praful Bidwai. It is an irreparable loss to the peace movement.

On behalf of the India Chapter of the Forum,

Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal & Asha Hans, co-chairpersons
Jatin Desai, General Secretary

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It is very shocking to know sad news of Praful Bidwai.I remember taking Praful to Jaitapur area and his interaction with Nate fisher folks and local activist.His contribution to anti nuclear movement will be always remembered by us.

Vaishali

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 Dear comrades and friends,


I just got to know from my Delhi-colleague Pragya of the terrible loss we all are facing – not having Praful any longer amongst us - unbelievable. Until March this year I was heading RLS-Delhi office and saw Praful not often, but frequently.

One of the most critical people he never got cynical I felt - and this is what we need so urgently.

He certainly was one of the most impressive comrades I ever met and his wonder- ful sense of humor will always be in my very best memories. May the earth he loved so much embrace him gently.

Wishing all of you the best in these days

Deeply disturbed and awfully sad

Carsten Krinn

Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

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We are so sad to hear the demise of Proful Bidwai. It is a great loss for the movement on climate change globally.

Badrul Alam
President Bangladesh Krishok Federation

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Fiona Dove, David Fig, Edgardo Lander and Praful Bidwai at the bench in tribute to Basker Vashee in Amsterdam, June 2015 --

Praful and Achin were so important to the Hague Appeal for Peace planning in 1999. I gave away so many copies of his/their books. I loved his columns, and admired his brilliance and dedication.

(about the foto) Praful still as handsome as ever. Praful was with his good friends and colleagues.
The world can't afford to lose its giants for peace and the end of nuclear weapons. Praful, Eqbal, Orlando and Basker...that's too many, too soon.

Praful brought history to the table which the younger generations lack and need, and also passion which is sorely missing.

Cora Weiss

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We are trying, as best we can, to believe the unbelievable. What an enormous loss! For decency, for the struggle, for the good in a world that is too often evil.And for you.

Cora joins me in sending you our deepest, most grievously felt, condolences.

Peter Weiss

-------

I was very sad to see the news that Praful passed away.

I know he had many friends at TNI who shall miss him greatly and we shall share memories of happier days spent with him.

Best regards,
Zia Mian

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For many years he was an incisive, clear voice for justice and peace, a careful reporter and analyst, and a reliable guide. He will be missed.

David Lelyveld
New York, USA

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Praful. We shared many thoughts together about the north east. You will be missed.

Ben
Monisha Behal
Executive Director, North East Network

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It is with deep sorrow we mourn the death of Praful Bidwai. He spent his life upholding human rights and strove for a world where everybody would live with dignity and respect. We must continue championing the causes he fought for.

Dr. Milind Bokil /डॉ. मिलिन्द बोकील
Pune, India

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Really sad and shocking news.
I didn't know him well but the few discussions I had with him will stay in mind for a long time.

Solidarity with all my TNI friends. Would like to be with you, folks, just to tell you "Courage !".

Maxime Combes

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Our Deepest Condolence.

K.Guna

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Praful Bidwai was a dear friend and comrade for over three decades. His death is a terrible and cruel blow. It is just so unfair that he has been snatched away like this.

A voice like him was needed all the more now. Praful and I became even closer friend in the last few years because we both moved independently to eco-socialist understanding and critique of modern capitalism. He wrote to me just a few days ago thanking me for greetings on his birthday and also about his forthcoming book on the India Left and its likely reprint in the UK. We discussed the possibilities of meeting soon and he said that he would be coming to Amsterdam and would try coming to Oxford and London.

It is unbelievable that we will never see him again. Praful my friend, you will be missed for ever.

Pritam Singh
Oxford

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South Asian Journalists Association of Australia (SAJAA), myself & family and South Asia Times (SAT) and staff pay homage to Praful Bidwai prominent journalist and activist who passed away on 24 June 2015. I was always inspired by his writings and activism which stood with the deprived sections. It's a big loss for the teeming exploited millions.

A very sad day but with a determination to stand by what Praful Bidwai stood for.

Neeraj Nanda

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Dear friends,

It is indeed a great loss for all of us. He was a tremendous radical teacher, activist, writer, journalist, columnist and a fine Marxist.

I learns a lot from him at AEPF event in Delhi three year back. His talk on climate change was very educative.

It was a shocking news.

Rest in peace comrade Praful Bidwai

Farooq Tariq
General Secretary, Awami Workers Party

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We are so sad to hear the demise of Proful Bidwai. It is a great loss for the movement on climate change globally.

Badrul Alam
President, Bangladesh Krishok Federation

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media

Praful Bidwai’s narrative on human liberation will live on The Tribune India

Senior journalist Praful Bidwai dies, hailed for his work Hindustan Times

Veteran journalist Praful Bidwai passes away Rediff News

Praful Bidwai, Noted Journalist and Activist, Dies at 66 Outlook magazine

Veteran Journalist Praful Bidwai Is No More The Wire India

Indian journalist Praful Bidwai dead BBC News

Veteran journalist Praful Bidwai dies in Amsterdam The times of India

Journalist Praful Bidwai Is No More Huffington Post

Senior Journalist Praful Bidwai Passes Away Focus News Bureau

Journalist Praful Bidwai passes away  The Hindu

Veteran journalist Praful Bidwai passed away, choked while eating India Samvat

Gilani grieved over death of journalist Praful Bidwai

 

Personal Blog of Praful

Profile of Praful Bidwai

Praful Bidwai on Wikipedia