If you have followed the Internet and social media in India, you would think there is nothing that awes us Indians more than Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his campaigns like Swachh Bharat and Digital India.
However, you don’t need to go beyond a Google search to find the truth: that we Indians have more, amorous, interests to pursue. For the third year in running, Sunny Leone is the most searched person on Google in India and she is also the most searched Indian globally. Modi, who was the second most searched in India last year thanks to his rise to power in the general elections, is placed 10th this time, separated from Leone by a list of mostly Bollywood names. Even someone like Kajal Aggarwal (yes, I can visualise you searching her name on Google as you read this line) is placed above our Prime Minister.
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)
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Yes, we Indians are taking our fascination for Bollywood and its wonder of stars to a whole new level.
The only saving grace, the sort of detail we would like to stress with headline like “A P J Kalam third most searched person in India this year”, is that the death of our beloved “People’s President” did invoke some interest in the country. Always remember, however, that Salman Khan and his year in court made him the second most searched in India.
If there is something that comes close to Bollywood in terms of follower value, and search traffic, it is Cricket. And one interesting trivia here it is: Sachin Tendulkar is still the third most searched sportsperson in India, two years after he retired. He is placed below Virat Kohli (no surprises there) and Lionel Messi (all surprises there) and above M S Dhoni (really!!). It is almost as if India is still seeking (or searching for) God.
Sadly, the most searched topic in India is a farce, given that most of the country still types website names on Google instead of typing it directly on the address bar. So popular sites like Flipkart, IRCTC and SBI dominate this list — but, you can’t help but note that Flipkart is now ahead of IRCTC. In trending searches, the ICC World Cup was on top followed by Bahubali and two movies by Salman Khan.
Globally, former US basketball player Lamar Joseph Odom (yes, the result of another Google search) was the most searched globally. Charlie Hebdo was the second most searched.