Historian Shekhar Pathak's book The Chipko Movement: A People's History, has been announced as the winner of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2022.
The book was first published in 2019, in Hindi, as Hari Bhari Ummeed. The English translation was done by writer, editor and publisher Manisha Chaudhry, and published by Permanent Black.
The NIF Book Prize is annually announced by the Bengaluru-based New India Foundation, to recognise book-length works of non-fiction about modern or contemporary India. The prize includes a cash award of Rs. 15 lakhs, a trophy and a citation.
“This is the definitive history of the Chipko movement by a scholar who has practically lived it,” read the citation for The Chipko Movement: A People's History, from the NIF Book Prize jury. “It is fitting that a book that tells the story of a movement through the eyes of the local communities, especially women, should be as readable as this one is…the book is a salutary reminder of the transformative power of collective action, and not just an important work of history but one that speaks to the contemporary moment and its twin crises of ecology and democracy,” it added.
Also Read: On the NIF Book Prize 2022 shortlist
The six-member jury included political scientist and author Niraja Gopal Jayal (the chair); 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.
Jayal will be in conversation with Pathak and Chaudhry at the upcoming Bangalore Literature Festival – their session will take place on 3 December, the first day of the fest, at 3.30 p.m.
Last year's winner of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize was Dinyar Patel, who won for his book Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism. Previous winners have also included Milan Vaishnav in 2018 for his debut book When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics, Ornit Shani in 2019 for How India Became Democratic; and jointly, Amit Ahuja and Jairam Ramesh in 2020, for Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties Without Ethnic Movements and A Chequered Brilliance respectively.