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Team behind Team Anna

Anna Hazare’s “spontaneous” protests are managed by a structured team,with responsibilities clearly divided between them.

Writing Lokpal anthem,media coordination,social networking — they do it all

Anna Hazare’s “spontaneous” protests are managed by a structured team,with responsibilities clearly divided between them. Behind the “core team”,which is the face of Team Anna,is a 22-member team,further divided in sub-teams,to manage the spectacle.

Take the Lokpal “anthem” for instance,which has become an identity of sorts for Anna’s team. Nitin Davar (30),who is an MBA in finance and holds a degree in Indian classical music,is the man behind the song.

Written and composed in January,Davar said the song was composed before the start of the movement,as a “tool”,to inspire the youth. A former finance manager with Genpact,he quit his job a year ago and joined the Art of Living Foundation.

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“I had never performed on stage before I met Sri Sri Ravisankar. He is my all-time inspiration. After meeting Anna and Arvind (Kejriwal),I was inspired to write and compose my first song — the Lokpal anthem. I joined them on January 30,this year,” Davar said.

Davar is the official “performance in-charge” at Ramlila Maidan and sings all the “jan geets” in between the speeches. “Jan jan ki hai yehi pukar,baat baat par lagatar,Desh ko saaf karo dur karo ab bhrashtachar,Lokpal,Lokpal baat karo Jan Lokpal,” he breaks into the song he composed to “motivate people”.

Dr Kumar Vishwas,the official “compere” for Anna’s protest fasts,is a poet from Pilkuwa in Ghaziabad. A professor of Hindustani literature,Vishwas is the author of the university song for the Chaudhary Charan Singh University. Full of jibes at the government,the audience loves Dr Vishwas’s fun-filled commentary on Anna’s movement.

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Social media of the movement is handled by Gaurav Bakshi,an MBA from Georgia State University,in USA. After witnessing corruption “first hand” last year,30-year-old Bakshi decided to be part of the anti-corruption movement. “ I was asked for a bribe of Rs 6,000 at Noida registrar’s office,while trying to get the paper work done for my step daughter. My father,a retired air force officer,was assaulted when we protested,” said Bakshi.

Bakshi created a Facebook page for Anna Hazare and also started the website annahazare.org.

The media team is headed by 26-year-old Aswathi Murlidhara,a graduate from the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan. Arvind Kejriwal’s NGO Parivartan,an establishment of RTI activists,attracted Aswathi,who joined Kejriwal in 2009. Hazare’s movement provided her a distinct role as a media coordinator,with media advocacy being one of the key functions behind the protest.

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Ram Kumar Jha and Swati Malhiwal,who together handle the volunteers’ team,were also part of Kejriwal’s NGO. Neeraj Kumar,who was in-charge of the legal team,has since taken up “national coordination” for Hazare’s movement.

First published on: 20-08-2011 at 02:01:18 am
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