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'Anna Hazare IS the movement'

August 23, 2011 17:45 IST

Akhil Gogoi, an RTI activist from Assam, has been part of activist Anna Hazare's inner circle since the last two years. In an interview with rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore, he explains how the core members of Team Anna swung into action and carried the movement forward when Hazare and his aides Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia were arrested by the Delhi police on August 16. Akhil is one of the 22 members who form the core group of Team Anna.

The movement not only moved ahead but blossomed after Anna Hazare's arrest. How did that happen?

Anna doesn't work for the propagation of the movement. He is the movement. There are 22 members in the core committee who swung into action once Annaji and others were arrested.

This core team communicates with the media and it is this team that ran the movement from behind the scenes after Anna's arrest.

What did you actually do? Could you tell us the sequence of steps you undertook to take the movement forward?

Firstly, we contacted the various mass movements in progress across the country and asked them to lend us their support. Then the core committee took a policy decision to methodically implement our plan of action in Annaji's, Arvindji's, Kiranji's and Manish's absence. All the decision-making power was then in the hands of the core committee.

India Against Corruption volunteers are collecting donations from the people who have gathered here. How much money do you think you will collect in the next few days?

The collection is on in full swing now. In the next few days, I think we should be able to collect at least Rs 1 crore from all over the country.

The IAC's website lists out the expenses and collection statement only till April 13, 2011. By when do you think will you be able to give the public the full picture of your expense and collection statement?

I think within a week of the successful completion of this movement against corruption we should be able to update our website with (information about) all the money collected and how and where we spent it during the agitation.