On the internet, Anna has created, brewed, stirred, and let loose a storm. By Tuesday afternoon, there were more than 500 pages at last count dedicated to the 74-year-old mass leader and his anti-corruption campaign on the social networking site Facebook.
By noon, one Anna Hazare page was liked by 2,11,084 individuals while another was liked by 80,089. Not all pages have such huge numbers but put together, we are witnessing one of the most remarkable net-based social media activities over a single political event in the country.
Even as the anti-corruption crusader and other campaign leaders were arrested by the police and reports of protests supporting Anna started pouring in from across the country, internet conversations and chats inevitably veered towards the Gandhian.
All leading TV news channels were airing Anna's youtube message which he had pre-recorded anticipating an arrest even as social media site Twitter was abuzz with tweets about the anti-corruption crusader.
Not surprisingly, a random Google search on Anna Hazare returned 13,800,000 results (in 0.09 second), more than Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's 11,700,000 results (0.08 seconds), than Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's 1,170,000 results (0.08 seconds) or that of Congress president Sonia Gandhi's 1,160,000 results (0.08 seconds). BJP president Nitin Gadkari returned a poor 793,000 results (0.06 seconds).
Anna however continues to be overshadowed by the international figure and father of the nation Mahatma's Gandhi's 18,600,000 results (0.09 seconds) or by the likes of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan with 14,900,000 results (0.08 seconds), actor Katrina Kaif, one of the country's most googled individuals, with 30,400,000 results (in 0.07 seconds), or by the nation's heart-throb and cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar who returned 20,900,000 results (in 0.06 seconds).
Of course, these figures are variable ones that keep on changing but they are indicative of the impact the small and frail man in white is creating even as the feeling is rampant that Anna's numbers might conquer new frontiers on the internet in the days to come.