Massive research, penetrating analysis, strong and clear arguments and a sparkling narrative had always characterised Praful Bidwai’s writings, from weekly columns to scholarly monographs. The qualities are more than evident in his last and posthumously published history of the Indian Parliamentary Left, from its inception in 1925, to the present. The first half covers colonial and immediate post-colonial times, and the second explores Kerala and West Bengal, both ruled by the Left for long stretches of time.
India has long been a social-political oddity: a country with widespread poverty and wretched deprivation, but where the underprivileged find no voice in most political parties; one of the world’s fastest growing economies, where less than a tenth of the population has regular jobs and where a quarter-million farmers have recently committed suicide; a democracy with largely free and fair elections, which has failed to establish the rule of law and where human-rights violations are rampant amidst caste- and religion- driven hatred and vicious discrimination against women.
The Indian government's demonisation of NGOs opposed to coal mining marks a backwards step in climate commitments. India is heading towards being the number two leading world emitter of carbon dioxide, missing out on a renewable energy (RE) revolution worldwide.
Prime Minister Modi's government has frozen the bank accounts of Greenpeace India, part of a wider campaign against 'anti-national' movements that challenge India's development policies based on the aggressive exploitation of coal, minerals, big hydro and nuclear power.
A distinguishing mark of the Narendra Modi government is the determined and methodical manner in which it is diluting, even scuttling, India’s already weak environmental regulation system in the name of promoting “fast-track clearances” and rapid industrial development.
The BASIC bloc of countries in UN negotiations have too often ended up collaborating and colluding with the inaction of industrialised countries, undermining the future of the poor in their own countries and throughout the South.
Muzzling NGOs is unbecoming of a democracy. Self-confident democracies encourage, indeed applaud, the involvement of citizens’ associations, including NGOs, in social and political decision-making and development planning. Instead, our paranoid government bullies and terrorises them
It’s a sign of the pathology of much of India’s mainstream media that it displays the rise of the speculative-trader-industrialist Hinduja brothers to the top of Britain’s (not India’s) billionaire list on the front page, as many papers did on May 12, while blacking out the shamefully persistent phenomena of grinding poverty and rapidly growing income inequalities in this country.
TNI fellow Praful Bidwai warns that a BJP-led regime in India is likely to fuel communalism, discontinue pro-poor social programmes, and follow a brazenly pro-corporate policy which further widens social, economic and regional inequalities.
Praful Bidwai, How rising inequality threatens our democracy
11 February 2014
India is becoming an increasingly inequitable, “rich-take-all”, pathological, society marked by exclusion and immobility, where an individual’s circumstances of birth, and class and caste privileges, matter more than his/her effort.
The Human Development Report 2013 highlights the rise of the Global South as the main drivers of the world economy, but rapid economic growth does not always equate to improvements in human development as India's experience shows.
He was called a "socialist showman" and "elected autocrat", derided as a blind hater of the United States, and ridiculed as a demagogue who splurged his country's great oil wealth on ill-conceived populist schemes, distributed largesse to undeserving regimes in the neighbourhood, ran the nation's economy into the ground, and sharply polarised its society.
India’s neighbourhood is in great turmoil, but New Delhi seems unable to fashion a coherent, balanced, mature and self-confident response to it. In particular, India has dealt with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar and Nepal in confused and indecisive, if not wholly inept, ways.
The Indian Ideology, is a scathing critique of the dominant celebratory discourse of the Idea of India, or the lionising of the democratic stability, multi-cultural unity and impartial secularity of the Indian state as a miracle. In an e-mail interview with columnist and writer Praful Bidwai, Anderson discusses his book at length.
Praful Bidwai in an interview explains the main issues at play in current UN climate negotiations, the role of emerging economies, and suggests ideas on how to create political will for effective action in North and South.
The killing of 20 civilian men, women and children by Indian military police is morally impermissible and a political triumph for the Maoist argument that the Indian state is structurally and irredeemably anti-people, anti-Adivasi and brutal.