The Bengaluru-based New India Foundation announced the recipients of the 11th edition of its Book Fellowships today. The winners include “academics, authors, journalists, and public intellectuals,” according to a release from the Foundation.
Considered their flagship programme, the NIF Book Fellowship aims to support scholarship and study about post-Independence India from proposal to publication – this includes editorial, editorial, legal, and administrative guidance through the course of a year. It also awards each recipient a stipend of Rs. 18 lakhs for the period of a year. The call for applications for this 11th edition was announced August 2022.
Nearly a year since, and about seven months after the deadline, the jury, consisting of emeritus trustee Nandan Nilekani, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize Chair Niraja Gopal Jayal, Book Fellowship Chair Srinath Raghavan, and Managing Trustee Manish Sabharwal have announced the following seven names as the awardees:
Pramit Bhattacharya, for Accounting For The Nation: The Story Behind India’s Growth Numbers
Syed Jaleel Hussain, for Ambivalent Allegiances: Shiism and Everyday Politics in Kashmir
Rachna Mehra, for Planning ‘New Towns’ in the Post-Independence Era: The Making of Faridabad City (1948-90)
Srijan Deshpande, for The Life and Music of Kumar Gandharva
Maya Mirchandani, for Fathers, Sons, and a Troubled Paradise: A History of the Abdullahs
Disha Mullick, for Love, Death and Compromise: Stories of a New Rural Public (A Collective Biography of Khabar Lahariya)
Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, for A Difficult Mind: An Intellectual Biography of Damodar Dharmanand Kosambi
“Each of the 7 selected proposals aims to tell a remarkable story, and I think they also cumulatively capture some of the most important and interesting aspects of India today,” noted Raghavan, adding that “these books delve into economy and culture, media and identity, rural and urban India, politics and biography, and of course the ways in which these histories can illuminate our common conversations about the country."
A total of 28 books have so far been published by the NIF Book Fellowship awardees. Recent ones include Abhishek Choudhary’s Vajpayee: The Ascent of the Hindu Right, Manoj Mitta’s Caste Pride: Battles for Equality in Hindu India, and Savithri Preetha Nair’s Chromosome Woman, Nomad Scientist: EK Janaki Ammal, A Life 1897-1984 .