CHENNAI: Praful Bidwai, the celebrated journalist, who passed away in Amsterdam on June 23, was remembered by People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) here on Sunday.
Bidwai was known widely for not just issue-based journalism, but also for his non-nuclear stance and left-wing principles, that fashioned great many pieces of analytical writing. Brevity and ‘economy of words’, as journalist and non-nuclear proliferation activist Ramesh G called it, was the soul of his writing.
Bidwai spearheaded the movement that questioned the need for nuclear armament, which started with the Tarapur Atomic Plant in Maharashtra. He left his mark even down South questioning the Kalpakkam Atomic Energy Centre and the Kudankulam Nuclear plant, among others.
His books South Asia on a Short Fuse and New Nukes: India, Pakistan and Global Nuclear Disarmament are used as major reference points to understand the subject.
Having worked for a substantial time in Business India and Times of India, he wrote with ‘reckless courage’, as Ramesh phrased it.
He had recently been invited to the Transnational Institute of Amsterdam this month, which is an organisation for scholar-activists.
“ We can’t just call him a journalist. He was a historian, sociologist, an eminent researcher, a voice for the nuclear disarmament and the environment, a fighter and above all, a great human being,” said general secretary of PUCL Suresh.