The 2022 Karwaan Book Award winners were announced on December 3. Karwaan: The Heritage Exploration Initiative is one of India’s leading student collectives that aims to make academic history popular reading through online platforms. The prize is awarded every year to book(s) that represent outstanding work of historical scholarship focused on the history of Indian subcontinent.
This year’s jury was chaired by historian Romila Thapar, along with public intellectuals Harbans Mukhia and Shivshankar Menon. The jury considered over 55 books, out of which 10 were longlisted and five were shortlisted.
The winners of the Karwaan Book Award 2022 are:
- From Dasarajna to Kuruksetra: Making of a Historical Tradition, Kanad Sinha, Oxford University Press.
- The Language of History: Sanskrit Narratives of Muslim Pasts, Audrey Truschke, Penguin Random House India.
- India’s First Dictatorship: The Emergency, 1975-55, Christophe Jaffrelot and Pratinav Anil, HarperCollins India.
The jury citation for From Dasarajna to Kuruksetra: Making of a Historical Tradition said, “the scholarship and reach of Kanad Sinha’s book...presents an enviable familiarity with the essentials of the texts, an awareness of the critical analyses to which they have been subjected, as well as varied opinions on possible interpolations, not to mention the range of interpretations that feature in the explanations.”
The Language of History: Sanskrit Narratives of Muslim Pasts has been praised for breaking “several age-old moulds that have constricted the study of Indian history, [such as] the tying down of early Indian history to the essential requirement of Sanskrit language and of medieval history to Persian, for one.”
India’s First Dictatorship: The Emergency, 1975-55 won the award for being “a rigorous and meticulous work of contemporary history that combines empirical and theoretical strengths in its analysis of one of the seminal events in the Indian republic’s political development.”