August 21, 2011 was a phenomenal day. A massive crowd turned up at Delhi’s historic India Gate to stage a rally in support of veteran activist Anna Hazare’s hunger strike for the Jan Lokpal Bill. The ongoing fight against corruption has certainly brought masses from different classes and strata of the Indian society together. Over the last seven days, similar protest rallies have been held across the world. The Internet has played a crucial role in bringing a unison in people's psyche. The medium provided a larger platform to discuss the ongoing logjam and share a range of sentiments. The Internet has been arguably the most harnessed mediium among all kinds and has seen the largest audience participation. It helped propagate the word outside India and drew much-needed global attention. People across the globe joined the movement through the Internet and vented their emotions.
Social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have also done their bit. Facebook, already a massive hit in the country, has let people express their sentiments the way they want. A number of Facebook Pages have been created dedicated to Anna Hazare's movement. India Against Corruption (IAC), an NGO supporting the anti-graft campaign, owns a Facebook page and has more than 454,000 likes. And many other groups and communities have been created in the name of fight against corruption. People are tagging their friends in images and texts related to the cause. The democratic set-up has let everybody keep their views, whether one agrees or contradicts. Facebook tools such as “poll” are also being extensively used for garnering more public opinion. The dynamics of Facebook is such that one cannot simply ignore what others are doing.
Twitter, the popular microblogging site, has also pushed the movement further. Some of the recent hot trends in Twitter have been #isupportannahazare, #annahazare #kiranbedi #DelhiPolice #janlokpal. People are keenly following the updates on Anna Hazare's fast and how the political drama in Delhi is unfolding.
Apart from all that, people are tweeting their experiences of the protests they have participated in. They are also sharing images of the protests and making their views count.
The blogging world is also abuzz with Anna Hazare and his campaign. A range of opinions are expressed while many heated discussions are taking place. Just do a random check on Internet,a number of blogs will appear discussing the same issue. This is apart from several websites have been created dedicated to the cause. At the IAC website you find the latest updates on the movement, details on the coming events and a missed call campaign. Check out a detailed view on the 2011 movement on Wikipedia. The Wikipedia page gives you a timeline on how 'India's anti-graft movement' is spreading. Also check out Wikipedia: Jan Lokpal Bill.
Having said that, Google News (India) has been trending Anna Hazare on top over the past few days, showing the extensive coverage of the ongoing event. And that's not all, a smartphone app has also been created to push the movement and garner more support for it. Through that IAC app, one can access news feeds, videos and events related to the movement.
Thanks to the technology at hand, there's no dearth of awareness on the issue. The virtual world is gradually finding its social relevance and people notwithstanding their geographical location are able to view/review/analyse events across the world. The ongoing Anna Hazare campaign is the finest example of where people across the world have harnessed the Internet to express their views and communicate. Whether it has been in the US or Europe, the word has spread across the globe and that too quickly, and effectively.
The massive turnout in the virtual world certainly indicates at the growing power of this media and its impact on the masses, especially the youth. The Internet is set to make the globe more coherent with its ever-increasing reach out to the nook and corners of the world.
Have you also participated in the anti-graft campaign? Are you also using the Internet to express your views? Facebook, Twitter or blog forums, which medium you have chosen? Let us know how you are contributing for the cause: