The New India Foundation has announced the shortlist of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2021, paring down the 12-strong longlist to six non-fiction titles on modern and contemporary India. The books – a combination of semi-academic and popular writing – have been chosen by a jury comprising political scientist Niraja Gopal Jayal, entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani, historian Nayanjot Lahiri, entrepreneur Manish Sabharwal, and historian Srinath Raghavan. The winner will be announced on December 1, 2021.

The Death Script: Dreams and Delusions in Naxal Country, Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Fourth Estate, HarperCollins

My Madam. That’s what I called her. I wanted to have a baby with her. I’m a dead man now. Whom will she have a baby with, I don’t know. My name was Korsa Joga. It still is. Your name doesn’t change after you’ve been murdered. The police register says: Korsa Jogaram, alias Ranjit Madkam, alias Shivaji. Notorious Maoist. Age thirty-five years. Gond tribe.

I was murdered fourteen days ago. The first day of the year 2015. In district Bijapur, division Bastar, Chhattisgarh state. The police people got my post-mortem done. On a piece of paper, they wrote about how I was murdered, how many wounds I received, and all the spots where daggers had pierced me. I had been…

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