"What does the BJP need that could put it ahead of other parties?" During a car ride to a campaign venue in Uttar Pradesh in 2007, BJP president Rajnath Singh tossed an unusual question at his media assistant Prodyut Bora. The 33-year-old was taken slightly by surprise. He had been a part of the party for less than three years and didn't belong to a political dynasty. But he took his chance. Remember, this was 2007, barely a year after Facebook and Twitter had been launched; the IT industry was booming and no party, Bora felt, had a narrative that could attract this new voting class of young professionals.
A few months later, the Bharatiya Janata Party's 'IT Cell' was born, with Bora as a national convenor. Eleven years later, Bora, now also an entrepreneur in clean air technologies with an office in Gurgaon, says his brainchild has mutated beyond recognition.
"It's like Frankenstein's monster," he said.
How did you end up joining BJP?
I come from a middle class family where the first option was to get a job, so I had never been part of student politics or anything before. I studied literature in St Stephen's College and then did my post graduate diploma in management from IIM Ahmedabad. I worked, got married, and then finally joined politics when I turned 30.
That happened purely out of a whim.
I was a management consultant advising companies how to change. So I thought, if I can tell companies how to change, why not go and work for the change of the country — just kind of making your canvas bigger. And you're 30 and you think you can change the world and all that.
It was just around the time BJP had lost power, September 2004.
I was a great admirer of Mr Vajpayee, so I felt that this is a man who deserves to get elected again and I would definitely want to contribute. Of course we couldn't have known that his health would deteriorate so quickly. Nonetheless, with all those ideals and idealism, I joined the BJP in 2004. Then I set up the IT cell in...