Ayodhya verdict Judges, PM Modi top Personalities of 2019: Yahoo review

Five SC judges behind Ayodhya verdict named Personality of the Year; Verdict is top event of decade. PM Modi has landslide win online too, remains India’s ‘Most Searched Personality’ in 2019. 

What do Mamata Banerjee and Smriti Irani have in common? Who was the only non-cricketer among the top searched sports personalities of the year? Yahoo India today announced the 2019 Year in Review (YIR) for India, with answers to these questions and everything else that grabbed the attention of internet users in India during the year. Yahoo India’s YIR 2019 offers a definitive look at the year’s top trends, happenings and events, based on users’ daily search habits and an editorial selection of what they read, recommended and shared most on Yahoo. 

At the cusp of a new decade, YIR also looked back at the events that defined this decade (2000-2019) and revisited the trends and newsmakers that caught the imagination of users over the last 10 years. 

Yahoo India Decade in review (2010 - 2019) 

Ayodhya verdict is top event of the decade
The Ayodhya verdict claimed the No. 1 spot on this list, with an avalanche of interest online. The Abrogation of Article 370 came in at No. 2, with the decriminalisation of Article 377 and India’s 2011 World Cup win also making it to the ‘Top Indian Events of the Decade.’ On a more sombre note, the Nirbhaya rape case found a place on this list – etched forever in the collective consciousness of Indians online. This year also marked the end of a decade during which India discovered its love for the internet and the smartphone, earning the telecom/ smartphone revolution a place on this list. 

Aamir Khan stars in decade’s top movie
No YIR decade list can be complete without the movies Indians loved, watched and discussed online during the last 10 years. Actor Aamir Khan threw his weight behind the winner, and came out right on top. ‘Dangal’ was the ‘biggest blockbuster of the decade,’ a list dominated by the Khans with ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘PK’, ‘Sultan’ and ‘Chennai Express’ grabbing spots on the list. 

2010-2019: Revisiting a decade which was dominated by one Indian 

Ten years ago, in 2010, actress Katrina Kaif was YIR’s top Newsmaker of the Year. In 2019, showing her staying power, she still holds her own on YIR lists (notably Most Searched Female Celebrity and Best Dressed on the Red Carpet). The years 2011 and 2012, respectively, belonged to social activist Anna Hazare and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal, the nation’s top newsmakers, united in their fight against corruption, till the mentor and his protege fell out in 2012. 

The year 2013 will be remembered as the year (now PM) Narendra Modi made his presence felt among India’s ‘Most Searched Personalities’ – a list he would go on to dominate through the decade. He continued to grow his sway in 2014, when ‘Make in India’ was also one of the year’s biggest financial events. In 2015, we had an unusual ‘Personality of the Year,’ – the cow. The Maharashtra government’s ban on the sale of beef polarized netizens, leading to massive debates on the ruminant online. 

The Year 2016 belonged to three champion sportswomen, who cracked the typically cricket-dominated ‘Most Searched Sportspersons’ list – PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar, who rocked at the Rio Olympics. We will also remember 2016 for demonetisation that made us all scamper to ATMs – and this emerged as the ‘Top Financial Event that shook India’. 

In 2017, establishing himself as a master strategist, BJP’s Amit Shah walked away with the title of Top Newsmaker. The following year, India’s #MeToo Survivors, who started a conversation with wide-reaching impact, sealed their place as YIR’s 2018 Personality of the Year. 

One Indian who has been a constant fixture on YIR lists through most of the decade is PM Modi –  he has not just dominated the ‘Most Searched Politicians’ and ‘Most Searched Personalities’ lists, but in 2017, also made it to the list of ‘Most Stylish Indians!’ 

Year in Review: The lowdown on the biggest movers and shakers online in 2019 

2019 Personality of the Year: Five SC judges who delivered historic Ayodhya verdict
In a year of landmark judgements, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court (SC) delivered a ‘historic’ verdict in the Ayodhya case. The SC Bench – comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S Abdul Nazeer – laid to rest this century-old dispute and emerged as YIR’s ‘Personality of the Year’. 

PM Modi joined by surprise entrant on ‘Most Searched Personality’ list
On the back of a landslide victory in the Indian General Elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was this year’s Most Searched Personality – a position he also held in 2018. Celebrities such as cricketer MS Dhoni and actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas joined PM Modi on this list, along with a surprise entrant. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman broke into the top 10 as Indians tracked his dramatic capture and release online. Veteran BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s untimely death was mourned by Indians of every political hue, who honoured him with a place on this list. 

Mamata Didi is one of India’s top-searched politicians and most powerful women
PM Modi topped the list of Most Searched Politicians of 2019, with Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee claiming the No. 2 spot, edging out Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who had to settle for the No. 3 position. Didi was front and center in another category this year – the debut list of Most Powerful Women of 2019. Political heavyweights Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Mamata Banerjee and Union Minister Smriti Irani were India’s top 3 most powerful women in 2019. Sports champions Harmanpreet Kaur and PV Sindhu also found a place on the list, with filmmaker Zoya Akhtar, whose film Gully Boy is headed for the Oscars, rounding off the top 10. 

Salman and Sunny remain unbeaten as Most Searched Male and Female Celebs
Salman Khan flexed his muscles at the top yet again as Most Searched Male Celebrity of 2019, with social media favourite actors Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar making up the top 3. Fans also bid goodbye to thespian Girish Karnad, who passed away in 2019, giving him a place in the top 10. Actress Sunny Leone was once again Most Searched Female Celebrity of 2019 – a position she has held through most of the decade, pushing actresses Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Deepika Padukone lower down this list. 

Hrithik Vs No One! Indians loved ‘War’ star’s style quotient
Bollywood has always supplied YIR with style icons and this year was no different. Hrithik Roshan, stylish in the blockbuster ‘War’ and offscreen too, was matched by relative newbie Sara Ali Khan, who impressed netizens with her unique style statements. Respectively, they were YIR’s Male and Female Style Icons of 2019. 

Start-up founders rub shoulders with big guns as top business newsmakers
India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani predictably was the Top Business Newsmaker of 2019. The No. 2 spot went to Gautam Adani, who zoomed to No. 2 on this list – he made online India sit up when he jumped eight spots to become Forbes’ second-richest Indian in 2019. Start-up founders like Nykaa’s Falguni Nayar, Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma and OYO’s Ritesh Agarwal, reinforced that this is a new India, by claiming their place on this list. 

PV Sindhu elbows her way into this cricket-dominated list...
Cricketer MS Dhoni was the Most Searched Sports personality of 2019. Fans’ obsession with the ‘will he, won’t he’ speculation over Dhoni’s retirement kept him in the spotlight online. While cricketers Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli completed the top 3, shuttler PV Sindhu was the only non-cricketer who grabbed a spot on this list.


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