The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize, which is in its fifth year now, has announced its long list. The award, instituted by the Bengaluru-based New India Foundation to recognise book-length works of nonfiction, has 10 titles on its long list this time, as opposed to the usual 12 from the last couple of years. The shortlist will be expected in November.
The jury this year — chaired by political scientist and author Niraja Gopal Jayal, and members included entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal, historian and author Srinath Raghavan, historian and author Nayanjot Lahiri, former diplomat and author Navtej Sarna, and attorney and author Rahul Matthan — picked a diverse range of books for the long list. These include one about the Chikpo Movement, titles on nationalism, gender issues in professional India, and a biography of the artist SH Raza.
“…if the histories of nationalism, business, the environment and state institutions offer a sobering historical lens on the present, the more contemporary works on feminism and data give reasons for optimism about the future,” a statement from the jury reads.
The Book Prize is named after Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, one of India’s famous freedom fighters and social reformers. Last year, Dinyar Patel won the prize for his book Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism.
Read our review of it here: What India’s first nationalist would think of the country today
In 2020, the Prize had two joint winners: Jairam Ramesh for A Chequered Brilliance, a biography of politician and diplomat VK Menon, and Amit Ahuja, for Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties Without Ethnic Movements.
Here is the complete long list.
Tata: The Global Corporation That Built Indian Capitalism by Mircea Raianu. Read our review here: Does the Tata group really give capitalism a good name?
Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India by Rukmini S. Read our review here: The story of modern India through data
Born a Muslim: Some Truths about Islam in India by Ghazala Wahab Read our review here: What lies at the root of the insecurities of Indian Muslims
Accidental Feminism: Gender Parity and Selective Mobility Among India’s Professional Elite by Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen
The Truths and Lies of Nationalism as Narrated by Charvak by Partha Chatterjee
Syed Haider Raza: The Journey of an Iconic Artist by Yashodhara Dalmia
Governance by Stealth: The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Making of the Indian State by Subrata Mitra
The Chipko Movement: A People’s History by Shekhar Pathak
Congress Radio: Usha Mehta and the Underground Radio Station of 1942 by Usha Thakkar
Midnight’s Borders: A People’s History of Modern India by Suchitra Vijayan