This is inarguably India’s biggest online social revolution. Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement has taken over all communication technology, with the campaign’s initiators and supporters flooding Facebook, Twitter, mail servers, web fora and phone lines with a unity never before witnessed on the web.
The campaign, India Against Corruption (IAC), has more than three lakh ‘likes’ on its Facebook page and 1.3 crore missed calls in support. The IAC website also has its own mobile and android applications.
Team Anna’s Twitter handle, Janlokpal, has over 35,000 followers, and remains buzzing with a minimum of three tweets per minute. Campaigner Kiran Bedi tweeted till minutes before her arrest.
An international social activism website, Avaaz.org, which started a campaign on Tuesday, garnered support from over a lakh within a day. Anna’s YouTube videos were viewed by over a lakh.
“We believe communication is the key in every aspect of management and leadership,” says Kiran Bedi. Other social networking regulars who have been constantly tweeting in support also feel the same. “Using the online medium instead of hiring crowds for rallying is a quicker route to reaching out to new India,” says filmmaker Pritish Nandy. “Putting something online is the fastest way of spreading a message, and Team Anna is making the best use of it,” says filmmaker Kunal Kohli. Meanwhile, major events in Delhi — a promotional tour for Ram Gopal Varma’s Not A Love Story and a PETA event, have been called off because the entire media is busy covering Anna..
Anna Hazare’s arrest has let loose a social media movement on a scale India has never seen before
There are over 500 Facebook groups and 25 Twitter handles in Anna’s support
The Twitter hash tag #isupportannahazare was the top trending topic in India all of Tuesday and Wednesday
The India Against Corruption website has created micro-sites for eight Indian cities and one for non-resident Indians
The Wall Street Journal calls it a previously unseen ‘social media-fuelled revolution’ in India.