The longlist for the fourth edition of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize, that honours excellence in non-fiction writings on modern and contemporary India published in the previous year, was announced on September 16.
Selected by a panel of jury comprising political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal, entrepreneurs Nandan Nilekani and Manish Sabharwal and historians Nayanjot Lahiri and Srinath Raghavan, the 12 books on the longlist are Ashutosh Bhardwaj’s The Death Script: Dreams and Delusions in Naxal Country (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins Publishers); Muscular India: Masculinity, Mobility and the New Middle Class by Michiel Baas (Context, Westland); India’s First Dictatorship: The Emergency, 1975-77 by Christophe Jaffrelot and Pratinav Anil (HarperCollins Publishers); Ravinder Kaur’s Brand New Nation: Capitalist Dreams and Nationalist Designs in Twenty-First-Century India (Stanford University Press); India’s Founding Moment: The Constitution of a Most Surprising Democracy by Madhav Khosla (Harvard University Press); Carnatic musician TM Krishna’s Sebastian and Sons: A Brief History of Mrdangam Makers (Context, Westland); The Greater India Experiment: Hindutva and the Northeast by Arkotong Longkumer (Stanford University Press); Bhanwar Meghwanshi’s I Could Not Be Hindu: The Story of a Dalit in the RSS (Navayana, translated by Nivedita Menon); Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism by Dinyar Patel (Harvard University Press); Gandhi in the Gallery: The Art of Disobedience by Sumathi Ramaswamy (Roli Books); The Coolie’s Great War: Indian Labour in a Global Conflict 1914-1921 by Radhika Singha (HarperCollins Publishers) and Jugalbandi: The BJP Before Modi by Vinay Sitapati (Penguin Random House).
The shortlist of the award, which carries a cash award of Rs 15 lakh and a citation, will be announced in the last week of October.
Previous winners include Ornit Shani for her How India Became Democratic: Citizenship and the Making of the Universal Franchise (Penguin Random House) in 2019 and Milan Vaishnav for his debut book, When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics (HarperCollins Publishers) in 2018, the inaugural year of the award.
Last year, the prize went to Amit Ahuja for his Mobilising the Marginalised: Ethnic Parties without Ethnic Movements (Oxford University Press) and Jairam Ramesh for his A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of VK Krishna Menon (Penguin Random House).