INDIA: Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize, which debuted in April 2018 in New Delhi, India has been founded as a platform for World Peace, Literature, Art, Education and Human Rights. It has two-fold purposes: as an honorable legacy to Rabindranath Tagore Literature Prize for the finest in Indian literature, and to recognize the positive and lasting impact on society and its change with Social Achievement Prize.
The Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020 winner is entitled to USD 5000 (unfortunately, due to COVID-19 global economic crisis the prize money has been temporarily decreased from USD10,000), and a Rabindranath Tagore statuette. The Social Achievement Prize winner will receive a Rabindranath Tagore statuette.
Last year Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019 in Literature was awarded to Rana Dasgupta for the literary novel “Solo’’. Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019. for Social Achievement was awarded to Yohei Sasakawa, for his incredible efforts to uproot leprosy and his great contribution to world peace, and to Madame President of Taiwan, Ms. Tsai Ing-Wen and Taiwanese people, as being a Beacon of Democracy, Human Rights and Freedom.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tagore Prize 2020 award distribution ceremony has been canceled, and the winners announcement had to be postponed, thus Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2020 winners will be revealed on December 7th, 2020 on website www.tagoreprize.com and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @tagoreprize and via press release.
The chair of the Awarding Committee and Founder of Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize – Peter Bundalo said,’’ It is an immense pleasure to announce Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize Shortlist for 2020. 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.’’
He further added, ‘‘We have started initial 10,000 book donation to schools throughout India of our first winner Kabir “One Hundred Poems of Kabir”, translated from Hindi to English by Rabindranath Tagore.’’
Diversity is the one word that describes Tagore Prize finalists best, from Varun Thomas Mathew’s dystopian debut, set in a society whose seemingly perfect congruity is kept in check by memory and identity altering technology, Amitav Ghosh’s take on myth and folklore superimposed on the repercussions of globalization, a distressing retelling of the Nirbhaya tragedy by Raj Kamal Jha, Nirmala Govindarajan’s allegory of modern-day slavery, to the account of a murder during tribal unrest in Shillong by Bijoya Sawian – the relevance is on point. But so is the beauty of language. In Sachin Kundalkar’s haunting fiction, translated from the Marathi by Jerry Pinto, longing, and betrayal of siblings seduced by the same man are resonant like chords of a musical instrument. The language in Ranjit Hoskote’s masterpiece of lyrical and semantic associations are nothing less than an object of wonder.
Sudeep Sen is selected for his series of innovative pieces that are exploring in part desire and illness, Rochelle Potkar for her elegant haibun tackling subtly the intimacy of everyday womanhood.
The mature poetry of Sonnet Mondal is savory, pensive and aesthetically compelling.
Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize Shortlist for 2020
- Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh, literary fiction (John Murray)
- Taboo by Nirmala Govindarajan, literary fiction (Pan Macmillan India)
- Jonahwhale by Ranjit Hoskote, poetry (Penguin Random House India)
- The City and the Sea by Raj Kamal Jha, literary fiction (Penguin Random House India)
- Cobalt Blue by Sachin Kundalkar translated from Marathi into English by Jerry Pinto, literary fiction (Penguin Books)
- The Black Dwarves of the Good Little Bay by Varun Thomas Mathew, literary fiction (Hachette India)
- Karmic Chanting by Sonnet Mondal, poetry (Copper Coin)
- Paper Asylum by Rochelle Potkar, haibun (Copper Coin)
- Shadow Men by Bijoya Sawian, literary fiction (Speaking Tigers Books)
- EroText by Sudeep Sen, literary fiction, experimental fiction (Penguin Books Limited)