From Coronavirus to Big Boss, Google India's 2020 throwback: some usual, some unexpected
The year 2020 was like no other. For the first time in several decades, people across the world were experiencing something together - the coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly, despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, netizens in India had other things on their mind, at least according to Google India's Year in Search 2020 results.
Indeed, Indians' love and curiosity for cricket and Bollywood held in good stead, with search for the Indian Premier League (IPL) topping the list, and Sushant Singh Rajput's film Dil Bechara making it to the list of top 10 searches, overall.
Illustration courtesy: Daisy Mahadevan
Most searched - Overall
It’s no surprise that people searched about the pandemic and there was a surge in questions about the coronavirus. However, as per the Google India search trends, cricket continues to be treated as a religion in the country, and the IPL, made it to the top of the list.
Next came the US elections, which triggered a significant search activity. At the fourth position was the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi or the PM Kisan Scheme, which provides monetary support to farmers. It made it to the top trending chart as netizens looked for latest news, information, and and updates.
The fifth and sixth most searched terms were Bihar and Delhi election results, respectively.
Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's demise early this year triggered conversations about mental health and nepotism that earlier took place only behind closed doors. Thus, when the late-actor’s last movie ‘Dil Bechara’ was released, Indians watched the film as a tribute to Sushant, and the film became the seventh-most searched on Google.
Sushant Singh Rajput
In the eighth, ninth, and tenth positions were US President elect Joe Biden, leap day, and Indian journalist Arnab Goswami, who made headlines for most part of the year for the controversial coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput's death and its cause, and his arrest.
Most searched personalities
While Joe Biden and Arnab Goswami made it to the top of the list, other top searched personalities were Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor. Kanika made it to the headlines for all the wrong reasons. The voice behind famous Bollywood song ‘Baby Doll’ flouted COVID-19 norms in the early months of the nationwide lockdown.
Others in the list were actors Amitabh Bachchan, who was tested positive for COVID-19; Kangana Ranaut for her controversial statements; Rhea Chakraborty and Ankita Lokhande, for their associations with Sushant.
International personalities Kim Jong-Un, Afghan cricketing sensation Rashid Khan, and US Vice-President Kamala Harris also made it to the list of top 10 searched personalities.
Google India also listed the top 10 movies and TV/Web series that were most searched. The movie list was led by Dil Bechara, followed by Tamil action-drama Soorarai Pottru. Next were Bollywood biopics -- Ajay Devgan’s Tanhaji, Vidya Balan’s Shakuntala Devi, and Janhvi Kapoor’s Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.
Under the TV/Web Series section, Spanish crime-drama Money Heist made it to the top as the nation vibed on Bella Ciao, next came Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta story, the infamous ‘Bachchan of Bombay Stock Exchange.’ Next was reality show, Big Boss’ 14th season, followed by Mirzapur 2, and Paatal Lok.
Google India further listed top 10 ‘How to’ questions, sports events, news events, and ‘What is’ searches.
Indians also Googled for ‘How to make paneer’ and ‘How to increase immunity’ amidst the pandemic, and ‘How to make dalgona coffee’ took the third position. India also searched for ‘What is coronavirus’, ‘What is binod’ -- after the meme went viral, and ‘What is plasma therapy’.
Among the top sports events, India searched about IPL the most, followed by UEFA Champions League, and English Premier League. The top searched news events were again IPL, coronavirus, US Presidential election, Nirbhaya case (as Delhi Crime, the web series on the Delhi rape and murder case went on to win the Emmy), and the Beirut explosion.