Even after the Hindu right had come to power in the BJP’s first innings, there was the question about its lack of intellectual heft. Ram Madhav has been instrumental in chipping away at that perception. Through his directorship of the think-tank India Foundation, Madhav led a concerted effort to bring thinkers and policymakers into the ambit of the Indian right. Born into a family associated with the RSS, he began working for the organisation as a child, a large part of it on the intellectual front, writing and publishing. For almost a decade in the new millennium, he was the face of the RSS as its national spokesperson, an ideologically committed but amiable presence that helped him negotiate a largely antagonistic media. In 2014, after being deputed to the BJP as a national general secretary, his stint in active politics has been marked by creating inroads in Kashmir and the Northeast for the party.