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Anna ‘Gandhi’ Hazare, made by Facebook!

By Ridhima Mangal | Last Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 12:16
 
Ridhima Mangal
Retro Scientist
 

Anna Hazare fasted for 12 days in protest against the Central government for a strong Lokpal Bill. He had protested for the same cause in April this year as well, at Jantar Mantar, but this time around the movement was massive and much more determined.

Support was extended to him from Kollywood to Bollywood, from Ralegan Siddhi to New York, from streets to cyber space.

It wasn’t just the political groups that joined hands to support his movement which turned his initiative into a mass protest; but it was also the passionate youth of contemporary India.

In the past there have been protests that made it to news headlines because they happened on a mass scale. But Anna’s protest attracted so many followers due to the era it took place in, the era of Facebook and Twitter!

There are almost 2,11,084 likes for Anna Hazare page on social networking site Facebook. By the time Anna was arrested by the Delhi Police last Tuesday, over 500 pages had been dedicated to the Gandhian and his anti-corruption campaign.

In the beginning if there were protests and hunger strikes against the government, the campaign gained public interest by means of reaching common people through media coverage, distributing pamphlets and hand outs.

But Internet surely made it much easier for the protest to gain momentum and gain popularity. By Internet, I mean the emphasis being on social networking sites.

From the common youth to Bollywood celebrities, all extended support to Anna through social networking sites, which created more and more buzz around Anna’s movement.

The support extended to Anna at the Chhatrasal stadium, Jantar Mantar, Tihar Jail, Ramlila Grounds wasn’t all; people extended him support by changing their images to his pictures on Facebook. There was a flood of pages dedicated to the Gandhian and umpteen tweets floating all over Twitter in his name.

A random Google search on Anna Hazare returned 13,800,000 results (in 0.09 seconds), more than Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi - 11,700,000 results (0.08 seconds), Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi - 1,170,000 results (0.08 seconds), or Congress president Sonia Gandhi - 1,160,000 results (0.08 seconds). BJP president Nitin Gadkari returned a poor 793,000 results (0.06 seconds).

Well, the protest has led to victory now and the entire country is celebrating! Kudos to the big triumph! But we got to accept that has it not been for the social media, the revolution would not have been this “revolutionary”!

First Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 12:16

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