3rd,December 2022: The New India Foundation announces the winner of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2022. The coveted book prize in its fifth edition has been awarded to The Chipko Movement: A People’s Movement by historian, activist, and writer Shekhar Pathak, translated from the Hindi by Manisha Chaudhry (Permanent Black & Ashoka University).

The winner was selected from a diverse shortlist of five deeply researched and engagingly written books covering a wide expanse of modern Indian history and encompassing distinct topics and perspectives. These included Accidental Feminism: Gender Parity and Selective Mobility Among India’s Professional Elite by Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen (Princeton University Press); 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 Ghazala Wahab.

The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize recognises and celebrates excellence in non-fiction writings on modern/ contemporary India by writers from all nationalities. The winner receives a cash award of INR 15 lakhs, a trophy and a citation.

The winner was selected by a six-member jury panel including political scientist and author Niraja Gopal Jayal (Chair); entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal; historian and author Srinath Raghavan; historian and author Nayanjot Lahiri; former diplomat and author Navtej Sarna; and attorney and author Rahul Matthan.

The Jury citation for the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2022 reads:

“This is the definitive history of the Chipko movement by a scholar who has practically lived it. It is fitting that a book that tells the story of a movement through the eyes of the local communities, especially women, should be as readable as this one is. Translated from the Hindi by Manisha Chaudhry, Shekhar Pathak’s book is a salutary reminder of the transformative, and not just an important work of history but one that speaks to the contemporary moment and its twin crises of ecology and democracy.”

By Mansi