Top news events of 2019 that had Indians Googling their fingers to the bone

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Top news events of 2019 that had Indians Googling their fingers to the bone
Top news events of 2019 according to Google's Year in Search 2019BCCL
  • Lok Sabha election results’ was the most searched for news items on Google in 2019, followed by India’s second mission to Moon — Chandrayaan 2.
  • Users were also avidly searching for details on Article 370 and the PM Kisan Yojana this past year.
  • The Ayodhya verdict, though a very recent event, is also among the 10 most searched news terms on Google in 2019.
A lot of big things happened in India over the past year, from renouncing Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood to attempting to land on the Moon — even finally deciding the property rights for the controversial parcel of land in Ayodhya.

But none were more important than the results of the world’s largest democratic exercise, the Lok Sabha election, according to Google’s Year in Search 2019 report.

It’s not the just the Lok Sabha election results that people were avidly searching for online — but also the election results of the Maharashtra assembly election and the Haryana Assembly elections.

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Here are the top 10 new events that had Indians googling their fingers to the bone:

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1. Lok Sabha election results

1. Lok Sabha election results

Bharatiya Janata Party workers celebrated the victory of Union minister Nitin Gadkari in the Lok Sabha election (Source: BCCL)

The month-long exercise of electing India’s next Prime Minister had Indians eagerly looking to Google for the latest updates as not just local, but international publications turned their spotlight to India.

Over 900 million voters were eligible to vote during the Lok Sabha elections held over seven phases between April 11 to May 19.

The results finally rolled in on May 23, announcing that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won by a never before seen majority of 303 seats. And, Narendra Modi was appointed as India’s Prime Minister, yet again — the first non-Congress candidate to be in office for a second term.

2. Chandrayaan 2

2. Chandrayaan 2

Chandrayaan 2 launches from SDSC-SHAR (Source: ISRO)

India’s long-awaited second mission to Moon, Chandrayaan 2, stole headlines after it finally took off from the launch pad in Sriharikota. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) celebrated as its ‘Bahubali’ rocket — the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark-III — successfully released the spacecraft into Earth’s orbit.

Seven weeks later, Chandrayaan 2’s lander — Vikram — was meant to soft-land on the lunar surface. Instead, ISRO lost contact minutes before touchdown and international support poured in from all corners of the world.

It was later confirmed that the Vikram might not have been going slow enough before approaching the landing site, causing the lander to crash into the lunar surface.

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3. Article 370

3. Article 370

Kashmir observes complete shutdown against abrogation of article 370 (Source: BCCL)

The Indian government took the nation by surprise when it revoked Article 370 — ending Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Users flocked to Google to find out what the constitution had to say about this and what this meant for the region going forward.

After two months of uncertainty, internet shutdowns and curfew — the government finally announced that the state would now be known as two separate union territories. One would be Ladakh, while the other would be Jammu and Kashmir. The region would no longer have statehood.

4. PM Kisan Yojana

4. PM Kisan Yojana

Farmers spraying fertiliser for their samba paddy crop in Trichy (Source: BCCL)

The PM Kisan Yojana, the government’s plan to provide Universal Basic Income (UBI) to every farmer in the country kicked-off in 2019. The Indian government transferred the first instalment of payments — $3.5 billion — to 65 million farmers.

And, around 1.1 million beneficiaries withdrew their allocated ₹2,000 on the same day the money was credited into their accounts.

The aim of the scheme to provide income support of ₹6,000 per years to small and marginal farmer families — those that own less than 2 hectares of land.

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5. Maharashtra assembly elections

5. Maharashtra assembly elections

Uddhav Thackeray being sworn in as Maharashtra's 18th chief minister (Source: BCCL)

Many expected the Maharashtra assembly elections to be a lacklustre affair after the Lok Sabha election earlier in the year. Experts predicted another landslide victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena alliance.

And, while the BJP-Shiv Sena combination beat out Congress-NCP — the union wasn’t meant to last. With lower victory margins, a power struggle ensued between BJP and Shiv Sena over the candidature of Maharashtra’s chief minister.

Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray stood strong in his resolve and joined the Congress-NCP alliance — leaving the BJP to fend for itself.

Thackeray was sworn in as Maharashtra’s 18th chief minister on November 28, making him the first member of the political dynasty to actually hold office.

6. Haryana assembly election results

6. Haryana assembly election results

Party workers celebrate BJP's win in Kalka (Source: BCCL)

The Haryana assembly election was held simultaneously with Maharashtra’s assembly election — but it played out very differently. Even though the odds were predicted to be in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party wasn’t able to win over the majority with only 36.5% of the vote share.

Expert opine that the tables may have turned due to the lowest voter turnout in five elections.

Congress, on the other hand, had 28.1% of the vote share leading the state’s fate in the hands of Harayana’s nascent regional party — the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP). And, JJP made it clear that they would back whoever appointed their candidate, Dushyant Chautala, as chief minister. This posed a problem for the BJP who were in favour of their own member, Manohar Lal Khattar.

Deliberations led an agreement between the two parties — Khattar would be the chief minister and Chautala would serve as the deputy chief minister.
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7. Pulwama attack

7. Pulwama attack

Candles lit in remembrance of the Indian security presonnel who were killed during the Pulwama attack in February (Source: BCCL)

A terrorist attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama district led to the death of 42 Indian security personnel in February — the most severe attack since Kashmir’s insurgency erupted in 1989. And, tensions between Pakistan and India reached a new high.

Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack. Their claim was accompanied by a video clip of the suicide bomber — Adil Ahmad Dar — who perpetrated the attack.

The attack ignited reactions from all over the country. The late Arun Jaitley, serving as Union Minister at the time, stated, “Terrorists will be given an unforgettable lesson for their heinous act.”

The Pulwama attack was served as the prelude to India’s Balakot airstrike. Bombs were dropped on what India claimed was a terrorist training camp.

8. Cyclone Fani

8. Cyclone Fani

Rough waves touching the statue of matsya kanya due to influence of cyclone fani over Bay of Bengal at Bheemili Beach in Visakhapatnam (Source: BCCL)

Cyclone Fani was one of the most severe natural disasters to hit India this year. The cyclonic storm made fall along the country’s east coast, breaking out over the states of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

The government was able to evacuate as many as 800,000 people before the cyclone hit. The Indian Coast Guard and Navy stood by to start relief work as soon as the storm passed.

Despite the intensive preparation, Cyclone Fani still left monumental damage in its wake.

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9. ​Ayodhya verdict

9. ​Ayodhya verdict

Muslims protesting the Supreme Court ruling of the Ayodhya case (Credit: BCCL)

The case of the disputed parcel of land in Gujarat’s Ayodhya district — that Muslims and Hindu both claim they have rights to — finally came to a close this year.

After bustling around in courts, since before the destruction of the Babri Masjid in 1992, the bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi announced that the land will be used for the construction of a new Ram Mandir (temple).

The bench also announced that a different 5-hectares of land within the city will be allocated to construct a new mosque

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​10. Amazon forest fire

​10. Amazon forest fire

Fires burning in the Amazon forest (Source: Reuters)

It’s not every day that the planet’s lungs catch on fire — and not just usual seasonal scrummages but thousands of flames that don’t go out for weeks. In 2019, Brazil was victim to double the number of fires than the previous year — 76,000.


Most of the Amazon forest fires were not the result of nature acting out but man-made threats. Farmers and loggers in the region were setting fire to the trees in order to clear the land for industrial and agricultural use.
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