First they ignore you,then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win – Mahatma Gandhi
Arvind Kejriwal personifies this quote. Arvind Kejriwal, an Indian social activist working under the banner India Against Corruption is reaching every household of this country via conventional and unconventional media. After being awarded Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership in 2006, for activating India’s Right to Information movement at grassroots and fearlessly working with Team Anna, he truly came up as a hero in recent times.
After his separation from Team Anna, his movements have taken an unstoppable boost. He has emerged as Julian Assange of a nation which doesn’t have transparency at all in governance. He is making headlines since his press conference exposing a nexus between realty firm DLF and Robert Vadra (son in law of Sonia Gandhi). He accused Vadra of taking an interest-free loan of Rs. 65 crores and heavy bargains on land from DLF Limited in exchange for political favors.
He also exposed Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid over financial irregularities in functioning of Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust. He didn’t stop there, after exposing key people in UPA, he targeted NDA. He alleged that Nitin Gadkari’s, President of BJP, factories have robbed the farmers of Vidarbha in Maharashtra of their land and water.
He didn’t stop again, he has unbelievable courage to target the richest and probably the most powerful man in the country. He alleged that it was Mukesh Ambani whose intervention resulted in removal of Jaipal Reddy as petroleum minister to satisfy his corporate motive of a rise in LPG price. He also said, “This country is run by Mukesh Ambani and not congress, both BJP and Congress are in Mukesh Ambani’s pockets.” It requires a lot of conviction and courage to say something like this fearlessly in public.
An activist turned politician knows how to use new age media to reach people at a place where majority of them spend their productive time. He has left no stone unturned when it comes to using social media to spread awareness. His style of spreadig awarness is completely different. He is not as calm as Anna nor he is as humble is Gandhi, he is ruthless, he exposed the key people and provokes country to think on it.
In a country like India where votes have been withdrawn using monetary and religious views, it is very important to provoke intellectual population to vote. Yes, it’s a matter of fact that in India, politicians have been cashing on illiterate, poor and ignorant vote banks as educated people are less likely to vote. It’s very essential to make this educated population realize importance of their votes. That’s what exactly Mr. Kejriwal is doing.
One of the most active profiles on Facebook run in the name of India Against Corruption is one of the most powerful medium used by Kejriwal and team to reach social media enthusiasts. They have used the power of Facebook to the fullest, they have also organized many campaigns and rallies planning of which was communicated to people via this profile.
This fan page of IAC has more than 7,33,000 followers. According to Facebook data, an average person on Facebook has 130 friends, if we calculate the viral effect of this fan page, they have been able to reach minimum 9,52,90,000 people. They don’t have to spend any amount to reach these fans again and again, once they like the page, they are permanent members of this community. Especially when such sensitive issues are most talked about in news papers and news channels, posts uploaded by such social community online are most likely to be shared by people. Power of a “share” is unbelievable. If a person with 1,000 friends on Facebook shares an update of your page, that update will be visible to those 1,000 friends. Now likelihood of these 1,000 people sharing and liking this update is also high in such sensitive scenario. That way the post updated by a page reaches to millions of people whether they have liked the page or not. This is the power of Viral Marketing.
Now come to twitter: Mr. Kejriwal has always been one of the most discussed topics on twitter in India.
Every second, lakhs of tweets having a hashtag #Kejriwal are being tweeted. This keyword is really earning high value on social media. He enjoys 1,38,500+ followers on twitter but that matters the least if you look at the no. of tweets concerning Mr. Kejriwal are being tweeted. Today, when I logged on to twitter, out of 10 most discussed topics, 5 were somewhere related to Kejriwal. 1. Kejriwal 2. RIL 3. Prashant Bhushan 4. IAC 5. Mukesh Ambani.
Yes, all these topics came up only after Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations on Mukesh Ambani. Indirectly all the tweets having above 5 hashtags were talking about Arvind Kejriwal’s message. All these tweets were directly or indirectly talking about UPA’s inefficiency, corrupt political system, corrupt parties and corporates taking undue advantage of power. The message is conveyed. He uses Social Media very wisely. You just need to kick-start a movement on social media and then it goes viral like anything.
Twitter and Facebook are not enough, you name it and Kejriwal is there. I recently visited QUORA where I saw questions and answers regarding Kejriwal and IAC. Millions of articles are written on thousands of websites about Kejriwal everyday. These articles are also shared on social media platforms. These articles also go viral on social media. The game is completely in Kejriwal’s favor when it comes to communicating through online media.
In nutshell, Mr. Kejriwal rules social media as a social activist.