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21 September 2021

King's academic longlisted for prestigious book prize in India

Professor Jaffrelot has been longlisted for his book exploring one of the darkest periods in India’s history.

Indian flag in breeze

Professor Christophe Jaffrelot, from the King’s India Institute, and co-author Pratinav Anil have been longlisted for the 2021 Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay New India Foundation Book Prize.

Their book, India's First Dictatorship: The Emergency, 1975–1977, sheds light on “one of the darkest moments in India’s history.”

It focuses on the period during 1975 when Prime Minister Indira Ghandi called a state of emergency, resulting in a 21-month suspension of democracy. Drawing on multiple new sources, they explore this chapter of India’s history: a constitutional dictatorship of unequal impact, with South India largely spared thanks to the resilience of Indian federalism.

Beginning in 2018, the prize is given in recognition of non-fiction literature on modern and contemporary India. This includes books that showcase a "compelling picture of the diverse narratives which embody independent India’s cultural, political, and social milieu."

I feel honored and so happy for my young co-author, Pratinav Anil, as well as for my publisher, Hurst.

Professor Christophe Jaffrelot