• Saturday, February 04, 2023

Winner of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay New India Foundation Book Prize for 2022 has been named

Several publications that were based on research and showed how modern India was changing were on the shortlist for the prize's fifth iteration since it was first awarded.
on Dec 02, 2022
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay New India Foundation Book Prize

On December 1, historian and author Shekhar Pathak presented The Chipko Movement: A People's History with the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay New India Foundation (NIF) Book Prize 2022. Manisha Chaudhry, a bilingual editor, writer, and translator, translated it from Hindi, and Permanent Black and Ashoka University released it.

Beyond the movement's founding members Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Gaura Devi, and Sunderlal Bahuguna, the Chipko Movement conducts research, analyses, and data. It discusses how this environmental movement, which had a significant impact on the removal of trees, never had a single guiding philosophy but rather was a synthesis of several philosophies and involved the general public.

Several publications that were based on research and showed how modern India was changing were on the shortlist for the prize's fifth iteration since it was first awarded. The Chipko Movement: A People's History by Shekhar Pathak, translated by Manisha Chaudhry, Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India by Rukmini S, Midnight's Borders: A People's History of Modern India by Suchitra Vijayan, and Born a Muslim: Some Truths about Islam in India by Ghalib were on the shortlist for 2022.

The award, which recognises the influence of nonfiction writing in contemporary India, was previously given to Milan Vaishnav in 2018 for his book When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics; Amit Ahuja for Mobilizing the Marginalized: Ethnic Parties Without Ethnic Movements in 2019, Ornit Shani for How India Became Democratic in 2020, Jairam Ramesh for A Chequered Brilliance in 2021, and Dinyar Patel for Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism.

Entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal, historian Srinath Raghavan, historian Nayanjot Lahiri, former diplomat and author Navtej Sarna, and lawyer and author Rahul Matthan served as members of this year's jury, which was presided over by political scientist and novelist Niraja Gopal Jayal.

The jury's official declaration reads, "This is the complete history of the Chipko movement from a scholar who literally lived it. A book that narrates the history of a movement from the perspectives of the local populations, particularly women, should be as readable as this one is, which is only fitting. Manisha Chaudhry's translation of Shekhar Pathak's book from Hindi serves as a salutary reminder of the transformational power of group action. It is also an important work of history that relates to the current time and its twin ecological and democratic challenges.

The winning author received a trophy, citation, and a monetary award of Rs. 15 lakh.

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