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The New India Foundation is delighted to announce the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2023 Shortlist

The New India Foundation is delighted to announce the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2023 Shortlist

Bangalore, Monday, November 20th 2023: Five books have been shortlisted for the 6th annual Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize in recognition of the finest non-fiction writing about the history of Independent India. From a longlist of 10 which pointed to the diversity of scholarship about the modern history of India, these 5 books have been chosen for the insights they are able to provide in a thoughtful synthesis of history and contemporary relevance. 

One of the most prestigious literary awards in the country, the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Book Prize celebrates excellence in non-fiction about India published in the previous calendar year by writers of all nationalities. Established in 2018, the Book Prize carries a cash award of INR 15 lakhs and a citation. 

The 2023 KCBP Shortlist was selected by an eminent Jury, including political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal (Chair of the Book Prize), historian Srinath Raghavan, columnist-writer Navtej Sarna, lawyer Rahul Matthan, columnist-writer Yamini Aiyar, and entrepreneur  Manish Sabharwal

The Jury said, “Each book on the Longlist presented important insights on the India in which we live, and deciding on a final selection was a difficult task. The five books finally selected in the Shortlist illuminate our understanding of how the nation and its citizens have come to be.” 

The Shortlist for the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2023 is: 

  1. Achyut Chetan — Founding Mothers of the Indian Republic 

(Cambridge University Press) 

  1. Rotem Geva — Delhi Reborn: Partition and Nation Building in India’s Capital (Stanford University Press) 
  2. Akshaya Mukul — Writer, Rebel, Soldier, Lover: The Many Lives of Agyeya (Penguin) 
  3. Gita Ramaswamy — Land, Guns, Caste, Woman: Memoirs of a Lapsed Revolutionary (Navayana) 
  4. Taylor C. Sherman — Nehru’s India: A History in Seven Myths 

(Princeton University Press) 

The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize builds on the New India Foundation’s mission of sponsoring research and writing on all aspects of the world’s largest democracy. Works written

originally in English or translated into English are eligible across a range of genres. The Prize was named to honour the legacy of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay: the great patriot and institution builder who contributed significantly to the freedom struggle, to the women’s movement, to refugee rehabilitation and to the renewal of Indian theatre and handicrafts. 

Shekhar Pathak was last year’s winner of the KCBP for his environmental history The Chipko Movement: A People’s History, translated from Hindi by Manisha Chaudhry (Permanent Black). Dinyar Patel won the 4th edition of the Prize for his definitive biography Naroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism (Harvard University Press). In 2020, the KCBP was jointly awarded to Amit Ahuja for his debut Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties without Ethnic Movements (Oxford University Press) and Jairam Ramesh for his biography A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of V.K. Krishna Menon (Penguin Random House). Ornit Shani was recognised for her scholarly work, How India Became Democratic: Citizenship and the Making of the Universal Franchise (Penguin Random House) in 2019 and Milan Vaishnav for his remarkable debut When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics (HarperCollins Publishers) in 2018. 

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