Pulitzer Center Update

Kalpana Jain Wins Third Place in American Academy of Religion Awards

Kanwarias, worshippers of the Hindu god Shiva, sleep as they wait for their train before a ritual pilgrimage at a railway station in Allahabad, India, on July 29, 2018. Image by Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP. India, 2018.

Kanwarias, worshippers of the Hindu god Shiva, sleep as they wait for their train before a ritual pilgrimage at a railway station in Allahabad, India, on July 29, 2018. Image by Rajesh Kumar Singh / AP. India, 2018.

Pulitzer Center grantee Kalpana Jain was recognized by the American Academy of Religion for her in-depth reporting on religion, winning third place in the organization’s 2020 newswriting contest.

In her Pulitzer Center-supported project, “Hindu Nationalism, Its Toll, and India's Inter-Faith Resilience,” Jain explores the intersection between religion, spirituality, and political ideology through the lives of women and millennials. Her stories link together seemingly disparate facets of Indian society—Jain interviews the widows of religious violence and the women fighters of Durga Vahini, a Hindu nationalist organization; she reports on youth interested in a 15th century mystic and interreligious strength. The result, as stated by the jurors, is a “string of compelling, fresh approaches to the world of religion reporting.”

The American Academy of Religion is comprised of academics whose research or teaching centers around religion, and the organization’s 2020 newswriting contest recognizes journalists for critical reporting on religion.

Jain’s work “exemplifies exceptional investigative journalism,” said jurors.

For a full list of winners and additional information about this year’s award, please click here.