Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2021-2022 announces 11 shortlists

Winners will be declared on 19 December at India International Centre

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Rabindranath Tagore
The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2021 winner is entitled to US$ 5,000 and a Rabindranath Tagore statuette. The Social Achievement Prize winner will receive a Rabindranath Tagore statuette.

From Jai Chakrabarti’s dazzling novel exploring the role of art in times of political upheaval to Jerry Pinto’s collection of unforgettable poetry of all types and for every situation, 11 titles names have been shortlisted for the 2021-2022 Rabindranath Tagore Literary and Social Achievement prizes.

Headquartered in Copenhagen Denmark, the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize debuted in April 2018 in New Delhi to promote world peace, literature, art, education, and human rights. It has two-fold purposes: the literature prize for the finest in Indian literature, and the social achievement prize to recognize the positive and lasting impact on society.

The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2021 winner is entitled to US$ 5,000 (approximately Rs 4.13 lakh) and a Rabindranath Tagore statuette. The Social Achievement Prize winner will receive a Rabindranath Tagore statuette.

Poetry and politics are the words that describe Tagore Prize finalists best this year, from Jai Chakrabarti’s dazzling novel exploring the role of art in times of political upheaval to Jerry Pinto’s collection of unforgettable poetry of all types and for every situation.

Kavita A Jindal’s Manual for a Decent Life takes you to a story of a principled and spirited woman who sets her sights on becoming a member of Parliament, Anirudh Kala’s Two-and-a-Half Rivers is set against the desolation of Punjab of the 1980s, while Shobhana Kumar’s A Sky Full of Bucket Lists, a collection of poems, beautifully expresses feelings and emotions about deep-rooted problems in our society.

Arundhati Subramaniam is selected for her poetry writing, which asks many questions about our morality and integrity to the key theme of complex transformation. Sudeep Sen’s collection of poetry talks about climate change, contagion, and consolation. Anuradha Roy’s The Earthspinner is an intricate, wrenching novel.

Shobhana Kumar‘s haibun collection named A Sky Full of Bucket Lists brings forth the reality of being a human in its raw and underrepresented form. Jagari Mukherjee’s The Elegant Nobody is poetry brimming with sensuality and the vitality of desire. And, Nikita Parik’s My City is a Murder of Crows is an impressive poetry collection.

Congratulating this year’s contenders, the chair of the Awarding Committee and founder of the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize Peter Bundalo said, “ Many congratulations to all shortlisted authors. We shall all meet in New Delhi in person for the upcoming award ceremony to announce the winner.”

This year’s committee has shortlisted 11 titles in contrast to 10 last year.  The winner will be announced at an awarding ceremony event in person. The event will be opened by Danish Ambassador Freddy Svane on 19 December at the India International Centre.

The winners will also be revealed on the website www.tagoreprize.com and on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @tagoreprize.

Bundalo said, “It is an immense pleasure to announce Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize Shortlist for 2021-22. What elevates our sense of enthusiasm about this award is the fantastic piece of work done by each nominee that has definitely in every possible sense pushed the bar up a notch. The result is a range between internationally renowned and emerging authors, whose flair, virtuosity and imagination we found mesmerizing.’’

To spread the word across the world and take the prestigious award to the next level, he added, “We have gifted our first winning book One hundred Poems of Kabir to many eminent influencers at the 1 Billion Followers Summit Event held at Atlantis, Dubai. It conducted some enthralling sessions with the biggest creators and industry experts from around the world, Nuseir Yassin of Nas Daily, and Agon Hare founder of Project Nightfall to name a few. I met some amazing people who created beautiful content while gifting a copy of #100PoemsofKabir translated from Hindi into English by Rabindranath Tagore.”

Last year Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020-21 in Literature was awarded to Raj Kamal Jha for his literary novel The City and the Sea.

The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020 for Social Achievement was awarded to Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, the late Sultan of Oman and The People of Oman, for his lifelong efforts and legacy as a peacemaker, and to dancer choreographer Sandip Soparrkar for his worldwide initiative ‘Dance for a Cause’ where he uses dance, music, and drama to highlight various world social issues. Soparrkar is also the chairperson of the India Fine Art Council (IFAC) and extensively promotes artists from all fields.

The shortlist for 2021-22

  1. A Play for the End of the World, Jai Chakrabarti (Knopf, 2021)
  2. Manual for a Decent Life, Kavita A. Jindal (Linen Press, 2020)
  3. Two and a Half Rivers, Anirudh Kala (Niyogi, 2021)
  4. A Sky Full of Bucket Lists, Shobhana Kumar (Red River, 2021)
  5. Osmosis, Debarshi Mitra (Hawakal Publishers, 2020)
  6. The Elegant Nobody, Jagari Mukherjee (Hawakal Publishers, 2020)
  7. My City is a Murder of Crows, Nikita Parik (Hawakal Publishers, 2022)
  8. I Want a Poem and Other Poem, Jerry Pinto (Speaking Tiger Books, 2021)
  9. The Earthspinner, Anuradha Roy (Mountain Leopard Press, 2021)
  10. Anthropocene: Climate Change, Contagion, Consolation, Sudeep Sen (Pippa Rann Books&Media, 2021)
  1. Love Without a Story, Arundhati Subramaniam (Bloodaxe Books, 2021)

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

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The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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