Updated: December 29, 2019 7:52:25 am
If Google searches are any indication of Indian online users’ interests, “Article 370” was one of the most political topics on their minds in 2019.
A state-wise breakdown shows that people in most states Google-searched for “CAB”, or the Citizenship Amendment Bill, more than “370” between December 27, 2018 and December 28 this year.
More Indians asked “What is Article 370?” than any other “what is…?” question on Google, and it was the sixth most searched phrase on Google in the country this year up until December 21, the company’s “Year in Trends” report shows.
The 10th-most searched phrase was “PM Kisan Yojana”.
CAB, CAA queries on a high since Dec 10
CAB-related queries began faring in the top Google search results since December 10, a day after the citizenship Bill was passed in Lok Sabha - it was passed in Rajya Sabha on December 11. “CAB” is currently peaking at 100 in India. Google gives a search term popularity number determined by percentage of all searches in that location, not by absolute query count.
Article 370 was in news after the Union government withdrew key provisions of it to scrap special status granted under it to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in August.
According to Google’s Trends report, “CAB” was searched more than “370” in all states except Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Bihar for a year up to December 27 this year.
A breakdown of Google searches in 2019 for “370”, “CAB”, “NRC”, and “Ayodhya” shows that people in almost half the states searched for “CAB” more than any other term this year. People in only Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar searched more for “Ayodhya” than any of the other terms. Jammu & Kashmir searched for “370” significantly more than “CAB”. People in West Bengal, Assam and several states in the Northeast searched Google for “NRC”, or the National Register of Citizens, more than any other term. In all other states, “370” and “CAB” ran neck and neck.
However, if “Pulwama”, where a terror attack in February killed 40 CRPF personnel, is added to this list, almost all states barring those in the Northeast and Kerala showcased more interest in that search query than any of the other four terms. “Balakot”, in Pakistan where the IAF retaliated to the Pulwama attack to target terror facilities, did not have the same effect and was not as popularly searched.
The five analysed search terms were picked from Google’s trends report, which found “What is Article 370” as the most searched “What is…” question, followed by other “what is..” queries: “exit poll”, “black hole”, “howdy Modi”, “e-cigarette”, “ DLS method in cricket”, “Ayodhya case”, “Article 15”, “surgical strike”, and “National Register of Citizens of India”. The question “What is Ayodhya case?” was most popular in Karnataka.
The term “slowdown” was negligent, until rising starting July 14, peaking at 100 in the week of September 1.
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