The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize celebrates high-quality non-fiction literature published in the previous calendar year by emerging writers of all nationalities. Instituted in 2018, the prize carries a cash award of Rs 15 lakh and a citation.
The longlisted books cover decades of modern Indian history, nourish creative and conscious conversations around the Indian polity, and display a diversity of approaches and themes. Many of these works mirror India’s heterogeneity and intricately blend the country’s complex past with aspirations for its future.
This year’s longlist was selected by an eminent Jury including political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal, entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani; historian Nayanjot Lahiri; entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal; and historian Srinath Raghavan.
The 2021 Longlist is:
Muscular India: Masculinity, Mobility & the New Middle Class by Michiel Baas (Context, Westland)
The Death Script: Dreams and Delusions in Naxal Country by Ashutosh Bhardwaj (Fourth Estate, HarperCollins Publishers)
India’s First Dictatorship: The Emergency, 1975-77 by Christophe Jaffrelot & Pratinav Anil (HarperCollins Publishers)
Brand New Nation: Capitalist Dreams and Nationalist Designs in Twenty-First-Century India by Ravinder Kaur (Stanford University Press)
India’s Founding Moment: The Constitution of a Most Surprising Democracy by Madhav Khosla (Harvard University Press)
Sebastian & Sons: A Brief History of Mrdangam Makers by TM Krishna (Context, Westland)
The Greater India Experiment: Hindutva and the Northeast by Arkotong Longkumer (Stanford University Press)
I Could Not Be Hindu: The Story of a Dalit in the RSS by Bhanwar Meghwanshi; Trans. Nivedita Menon (Navayana)
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)
Jugalbandi: The BJP Before Modi by Vinay Sitapati (Penguin Random House)
The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize builds on the New India Foundation’s mission of sponsoring high-quality research and writing on all aspects of the world’s largest democracy.
Last year, the prize 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 VK Krishna Menon (Penguin Random House).
The shortlist of six titles will be announced in the last week of October.