They are no crusaders. Going up the corporate ladder might still be their top priority. But, they do not think “politics” is something that should be relegated to drawing room conversations only.
Meet the young political interns — suave, well educated, some with high-flying corporate jobs — who have taken a break and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as volunteers to help in the campaigning process. They do research, analyse data, provide campaign logistics and handle content for the party’s website.
And they love the experience. “I thought that political parties are opaque and inaccessible. Working here has broken the myth,” said 29-year-old Chennai resident Bhanu Chander who is working in the BJP’s campaign office at 26 Tughlaq Crescent Road for the last four months as a volunteer.
Chander gave up his high paying job as a strategy consultant with a multinational company in Chennai to volunteer for party work. “In a very small way, I am contributing to a process that could influence people’s lives,” said Chander, an industrial engineering graduate from Purdue University, Indiana.
The same desire to be part of the democratic process made 23-year-old Mallika Noorani, an investment banker with a multinational bank in Mumbai, to take a sabbatical and work as a volunteer with the BJP. She handles the party’s web campaign and marketing.
“Till now, I was just listening to people talking about how there is a need to change the political system and how nothing is being done about it. I decided to be a part of the change,” she said.
They don’t have any political background but the desire to get involved in the system led them to volunteer for internship with political parties. “There is a lot of management skills to be learnt from politicians,” said Harsh Chhaparia, a 25-year-old graduate from IIM, Kolkata.
Their first real time political exposure might get over in a month from now but they are certain of one thing — that this experience will hold them in good stead in future. “It has made me politically more aware. For a democracy to succeed, it is very important that educated youngsters get involved in the democratic process,” said Chhaparia.