NIF Book Prize longlist announced

NIF Book Prize longlist announced
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Bengaluru: Books on gender parity, the Chipko movement, the Tata group and iconic painter Syed Haider Raza are among 10 works named in the longlist of the 2022 Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize on Thursday.

The longlisted books for the fifth edition of the prize include "Accidental Feminism: Gender Parity and Selective Mobility Among India's Professional Elite (Swethaa S Ballakrishnen), "The Truths and Lies of Nationalism as Narrated by Charvak" (Partha Chatterjee), "Syed Haider Raza: The Journey of an Iconic Artist" (Yashodhara Dalmia), "Governance by Stealth: The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Making of the Indian State" (Subrata Mitra), and "The Chipko Movement: A People's History" (Shekhar Pathak).

"Tata: The Global Corporation That Built Indian Capitalism" (Mircea Raianu), "Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India" (Rukmini S), "Congress Radio: Usha Mehta and the Underground Radio Station of 1942" (Usha Thakkar), "Midnight's Borders: A People's History of Modern India" (Suchitra Vijayan) and Ghazala Wahab's "Born a Muslim: Some Truths about Islam in India" complete the list.

This year's longlist covers a variety of themes in combining keen research with scholarly writing, the New India Foundation said, adding each offers valuable insight into different aspects of the country's history.

"Ranging from biography and art history to analysis of environmental, industrial, and governmental shifts, the books selected this year represent the ways in which India has come to be shaped in this 75th year of independence. In theorizing the past and present, the longlisted titles offer a new way of interpreting paths towards an aspirational future," the NIF said in a statement.

Named after one of India's foremost nation-builders, the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize celebrates the finest non-fiction literature on modern and contemporary India published in the previous calendar year by writers of all nationalities. Instituted in 2018, it carries an award of Rs 15 lakh and a citation.

The shortlist will be announced on November 8 and the winner on December 1.

This year's jury was headed by political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal and also included entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal, historians Srinath Raghavan and Nayanjot Lahiri, former diplomat Navtej Sarna, and attorney Rahul Matthan.

The jury termed the longlist "wonderfully diverse".

"The many themes in modern Indian history that it covers have great relevance today: 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. Deeply researched and engagingly written, these works of history reflect on the contemporary Indian condition," it said.

Previous winners of the prize are Milan Vaishnav (2018), Ornit Shani (2019), Amit Ahuja and Jairam Ramesh (2020 jointly) and Dinyar Patel (2021).