New Delhi: From constantly creating news events for live TV and relaying Anna's message through Twitter and Facebook, Team Anna has set the news agenda, with the government trying desperately to catch up.
Kisan Baburao Hazare or Anna Hazare, the 74-year-old anti-corruption crusader has become a media phenomenon. A highly successful media campaign on social networking sites has built the image of the 21st century Gandhi for the media age.
When TV cameras could not reach him in jail, Team Anna released a YouTube video, showing just how well Team Anna had learnt to manage 24x7 media's thirst for constant information.
Anna's campaign has been among the top ten trending topics in India over the past few days. At one point three crore people have rung up and left missed calls. The "India against Corruption" page on Facebook clocked more than three lakh supporters. Their website presents Anna's stand versus the government in simple terms.
Now special widgets show you the latest Anna news in your web browser. There are even online games you can play. And developers across India are releasing applications for Android and Nokia phones. They let you keep track of the movement, even on the move.
"We wanted every Indian to carry Anna in their pocket," said IT professional Nishant Kumar Dean.
Arvind Kejriwal is a former student of IIT Kharagpur and it was students at IIT Kharagpur who kicked off this mass movement.
"I always wanted to shake up the corridors of power. Unfortunately, Indian democracy is such that the poorest and weakest people seldom have a chance to make their voice heard," said Ritesh Singh, an IIT Kharagpur student.
Apart from social media, a team of former TV journalists have managed Anna's television coverage. Former journalists Shazia Ilmi, Manish Sisodia and Abhinandan Sekri have created the perfect media plan.
They don't kick off protests on Sundays and avoid live briefings at 2.30 when Saas Bahu serials are on. They never start press meets at 7.30 when channels play sports shows. They even do not neglect Hindi channels and are constantly accessible to the media.
This year, Anna meditating at Raj Ghat became the defining image of 15 August.
As the UPA struggles with a communication deficit, Team Anna is on TV, on the net, on the mobile phone, on T-shirts and in blanket coverage in newspapers. No wonder that today Anna Hazare is the Mahatma of mass media.