NEW DELHI: Historian Shekhar Pathak’s The Chipko Movement: A People’s History has won this year's Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize. Translated from the Hindi by Manisha Chaudhry, it has been jointly published by Permanent Black and Ashoka University.
The Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize recognises and celebrates excellence in non-fiction writing on modern/ contemporary India by writers from all nationalities. The winner receives a cash award of Rs 15 lakhs, a trophy and a citation.
The winner was selected by a six-member jury which included 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.”
Shekhar Pathak is the quintessential historian-as-fieldworker: he has lived in the many valleys where the Chipko protests took place, studied their landscapes, and talked at length to protesters and communities. Pathak established the People’s Association for Himalaya Area Research (PAHAR) in 1983 and is the author, with Uma Bhatt, of Asia ki Peeth Per (On Asia’s Back), a biography of the Himalayan explorer Pandit Nain Singh Rawat.