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Agnipath Scheme, The Kashmir Files, Nupur Sharma – topics that Indians searched the most in 2022 on Google

Two cocktail drinks 'Pornstar Martini' and 'Sex on the beach' also made it to the 'Year in Search 2022' Google list

On Wednesday, the search engine giant Google released a list of what Indians searched for the most in the year 2022. The list was released by Google in nine categories which included entertainment, stars, movies, recipes, and ‘what is’ and ‘how-to’ questions as well. Notably, the central government’s four-year recruiting program ‘Agnipath Scheme’ for the armed forces, which had sparked widespread protests, has climbed to the forefront of India’s most Googled phrases in the ‘what is’ category.

According to the Google trends list, Indians searched the most for the ‘What is Agnipath Scheme’ in the year 2022. The Agninpath scheme, also known as the Agnipath Yojana, is a central government initiative in which young soldiers known as ‘Agniveers’ are recruited to the Indian Army, Air Force, and Navy for four years, with just 25 percent of the total qualifying for permanent jobs. The scheme was launched by the government to encourage the youth to take part in the armed forces.

Thousands of individuals across the country demonstrated after the central government implemented the Agnipath Scheme, demanding that some clauses of the scheme be reversed. Protests were staged in states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana, among others. However, the central government made no changes to the scheme, which was introduced on June 14, 2022.

Indians searched most about Agnipath Scheme around June 14, when the scheme was launched

Apart from the Agnipath Scheme, Indians also seem to have searched for Article 370, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Non-Fungible Token (NFT), and Popular Front of India (PFI) in the ‘What is’ category. India probably searched for NATO during the Russia-Ukraine war and for PFI after the Indian government imposed a ban on the organization and its affiliates for five years citing its terror links and subversive activities across the country. The ban on the PFI on September 28, came after two rounds of searches by the NIA in a multi-agency investigation against the organization for sponsoring terror operations in the nation.

Interestingly, the Google trends list also revealed that Indians tried to attain a lot of information about Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri’s film named ‘The Kashmir Files’ which received huge critical and popular acclaim in India. The film stood at the third position in the top searched Movies category after Brahmastra and KGF: Chapter 2.

Released on March 11 this year, The Kashmir Files proved to be one of the biggest hits of the year when regular Bollywood movies were falling flat at the box office one after the other. Starring Anupam Kher, Darshan Pathak, Mithun Chakraborty, and Pallavi Joshi in the lead roles the Vivek Agnihotri directorial earned around Rs 337.23 crore, making it the first Hindi film to cross the Rs 300 crore club during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kashmir Files is based on the Kashmiri Hindu genocide perpetrated in the valley in the late 1980s, and 1990s where Islamist terrorists backed by Pakistan unleashed terror upon Kashmiri Hindus leaving lakhs homeless and dead. The film depicts incidents inspired by real life where Kashmiri Hindus were targeted because of their religious identity and were brutally raped, murdered, and driven out of their homes.

In general searches, the Indian Premier League topped the chart, which is not a surprise in cricket-crazy India. CoWIN was the second-most searched term, the portal for Covid-19 vaccine. Rest 3 in the top 5 were all related to sports, FIFA World Cup, Asia Cup, and ICC T20 World Cup.

The Covid-19 vaccine also topped the how-to search category, as most people Googled to know how to Download the vaccination certificate in this category. Similarly, ‘Covid vaccine near me’ was the most searched term in the near me category, which returns the results in Google Maps.

Further, the most searched personalities by Indians in 2022 are former BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma, India’s President Droupadi Murmu, Britain’s newly elected Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Lalit Modi, Sushmita Sen, Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and American actress Amber Heard. The searches have a lot to do with the series of events that changed the lives of these ‘most searched personalities’ drastically.

Nupur Sharma was searched most in June this year after she uttered alleged blasphemous remarks

Former BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma was suspended by the party in June this year after she was accused by the Islamists of uttering alleged blasphemous remarks against Prophet Mohammed. She received death threats from several Islamic countries who also criticized her for her alleged blasphemous remarks. Her remarks in a live TV debate were selectively chosen and made viral by Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair who also accused her of ‘insulting’ the Prophet.

Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Eknath Shinde also made it to the list after he rebelled against the former state government led by Uddhav Thackeray and joined hands with BJP to form a new government in the state. Shinde back in June had stated that former CM Uddhav Thackeray had gone far away from Hindutva and the principles of former Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. Shinde took oath as Maharashtra’s new CM on June 30 this year.

CM Eknath Shinde was most searched in June and July this year

Notably, Murmu and Sunak were searched most by Indians probably after they were elected as India’s President and Britain’s new Prime Minister respectively. Reports meanwhile mentioned that actress Sushmita Sen and businessman Lalit Modi made it to the top of the Google search list despite staying away from mainstream cinema for quite some time. The two created a virtual storm after Modi revealed that he was in a relationship with the actress. The actress was then accused of being a ‘gold digger’.

On the news events front, the Indians happened to search the most about the death of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, Sidhu Moosewala, Queen Elizabeth, Bappi Lahri, KK, and Shane Warne. People also searched about the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign and Russia Ukraine War.

Meanwhile, the food-loving Indians googled the recipes of Paneer Pasanda followed by Modak, Malai Kofta, Pizza Margherita, Pancakes, Paneer Bhurji and Anarase. Two cocktail drinks ‘Pornstar Martini’ and ‘Sex on the beach’ also made it to the ‘Year in Search 2022’ Google list. While ‘Sex on the beach’ was in the recipe searched category, ‘Pornstar Martini’ was in the how-to category as people wanted to know how to drink it.

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Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani is known for her satirical and factual hand in Economic, Social and Political writing. Having completed her post graduation in Journalism, she is pursuing her Masters in Politics. The author meanwhile is also exploring her hand in analytics and statistics. (Twitter- @sidis28)

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