Yahoo 2021 Year In Review: Modi Crowned Most Searched Personality

Further, ‘Farmers’ Protest’ is top Newsmaker, Aryan Khan makes debut on Top Newsmakers, Most Searched lists, Gone too soon: Sidharth Shukla is Most Searched Male Celebrity, Bitcoin leads as India’s Top Searched Cryptocurrency

Yahoo has revealed the 2021 Year in Review (YIR*) for India, a collection of the year’s top personalities, newsmakers, and events, based on users’ daily search habits.  

Narendra Modi is India’s ‘Most Searched Personality’  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reclaimed the title of India's Most Searched Personality, a position he has held consistently since 2017 (with a brief slip last year, when late actor Sushant Singh Rajput took the top spot.) Cricketer Virat Kohli, who had a chequered year with highs and lows came in at No. 2, while West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rounded off the top 3 on the back of a decisive win in the state assembly election.  

Fans grieved the sudden loss of popular TV actor Sidharth Shukla, placing him at No. 4. This year's list had a notable new entrant, actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, who came in at No. 7 on the Most Searched Personality list, with massive interest online following his arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau in October.  

Top Newsmakers of 2021: Farmers’ protest at No. 1

The ‘Indian Farmers’ Protest’ against three contentious farm laws, spanning a year, was the Top Newsmaker of 2021. Aryan Khan came in at No. 2, with news stories breaking by the minute through a tense October for the star son. Businessman Raj Kundra, arrested in an adult film case, was also one of the most searched newsmakers of 2021, at No. 3. Other top searches included India's 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh who died from COVID (No. 9), ‘Black Fungus’ (No. 5) and the Afghanistan crisis (No.10).

Most Searched Male Celebrities: Sidharth Shukla at No. 1

Two young, much-loved actors who passed away in 2021 -- Sidharth Shukla and Kannada movie star Puneeth Rajkumar -- had their fans flocking online for answers. Sidharth Shukla was India’s most searched male celebrity in 2021, while Puneeth Rajkumar came in at No. 4 on the Most searched list of male celebrities. Stars Salman Khan and Allu Arjun took the No. 2 and 3 spots respectively. At No. 5 was thespian Dilip Kumar who passed away at age 98, with fans paying a final tribute to him online.   

Most Searched Female Celebrities: Kareena Kapoor Khan tops list

Actor Kareena Kapoor Khan, who welcomed her second son and turned author with The Pregnancy Bible, was India’s top searched female celebrity of 2021. Actor Katrina Kaif came in at No. 2, on the back of Sooryavanshi’s success and personal news that fueled fan interest online. Actors Priyanka Chopra Jonas (No. 3), Alia Bhatt (No. 4) and Deepika Padukone (No.5) were among India’s most searched female celebrities. This year’s list had a new entrant at No. 10 in Samantha Ruth Prabhu, in the news for both professional and personal reasons. The actor who won critical acclaim for her role in The Family Man 2, recently announced her separation from actor Naga Chaitanya.  

Most Searched Politicians of 2020: Modi remains undisputed at No. 1

PM Modi topped the list of Most Searched Politicians of 2021, with Mamata Banerjee improving her position from last year and coming in at No. 2. Rahul Gandhi slid to No. 3, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, hot on the election trail in Punjab, and BJP’s Amit Shah rounding off the top 5.  

Most Searched Business Person: Elon Musk rules list

Elon Musk, the headline-grabbing CEO of Tesla Motors, pipped Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani to the top spot as the Most Searched Business Person. Business magnate Bill Gates, coming out of a controversial divorce, Ratan Tata on the back of Air India’s sale and big bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala rounded off the top 5.  

Most searched Indian sports personalities: Virat Kohli at No. 1  

A mix of Cricket and Olympic stars make up this year’s list. Virat Kohli, who fought off his share of controversy came in at No. 1, with cricketer MS Dhoni at No.2. Storming in at No. 3 was India’s first track and field Olympic Gold medallist Neeraj Chopra. Olympic Medallist and Badminton ace PV Sindhu (No. 7) found a place among cricketers Sachin Tendulkar (No.4), Rohit Sharma (No. 5), Rishabh Pant (No. 8) and KL Rahul (No. 10). Olympic Medallist Sushil Kumar came in at (No. 9) following news of his arrest in a murder case.

     Most Searched Personalities 

  1. Narendra Modi 

11. Salman Khan 

Virat Kohli 

12. Alia Bhatt 

Mamata Banerjee 

13. Anushka Sharma 

Sidharth Shukla 

14. Sunny Leone 

Rahul Gandhi 

15. Allu Arjun 

M.S. Dhoni 

16. Deepika Padukone 

Aryan Khan 

17. Raj Kundra 

Kareena Kapoor Khan 

18. Puneeth Rajkumar 

Katrina Kaif 

19. Neeraj Chopra 

Priyanka Chopra Jonas 

20. Shilpa Shetty Kundra  


Top Newsmakers of 2021 

  1. Farmers’ Protest 

6. Mukesh Ambani 

Aryan Khan 

7. West Bengal elections   

2021 Union Budget of India    

8. Anil Deshmukh 

Raj Kundra 

9. Milkha Singh 

Black Fungus 

10. Afghanistan Crisis 

 Most Searched Politicians 

  1. Narendra Modi 

6. Nirmala Sitharaman 

Mamata Banerjee 

7. Yogi Adityanath 

Rahul Gandhi 

8. Uddhav Thackeray 

Arvind Kejriwal 

9. Navjot Singh Sidhu 

Amit Shah 

10. Amarinder Singh 

Most Searched Male Celebrities 

  1. Sidharth Shukla  

6. Amitabh Bachchan  

Salman Khan 

7. Akshay Kumar 

Allu Arjun 

8. Sushant Singh Rajput 

Puneeth Rajkumar 

9. Shah Rukh Khan 

Dilip Kumar 

10. Vijay (Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar) 

Most Searched Female Celebrities 

  1. Kareena Kapoor Khan 

6. Anushka Sharma 

Katrina Kaif 

7. Sunny Leone 

Priyanka Chopra Jonas 

8. Shilpa Shetty Kundra 

Alia Bhatt 

9. Kangana Ranaut 

Deepika Padukone 

10. Samantha Ruth Prabhu    

Most Searched Sports Personalities (Indian) 

  1. Virat Kohli 

6. Sourav Ganguly  

M.S. Dhoni 

7. PV Sindhu 

Neeraj Chopra 

8. Rishabh Pant 

Sachin Tendulkar 

9. Sushil Kumar 

Rohit Sharma 

10. KL Rahul 

Most Searched Sports Personalities (Global and Indian) 

  1. Virat Kohli 

6. Sachin Tendulkar 

M.S. Dhoni 

7. Rohit Sharma 

Cristiano Ronaldo 

8. Sourav Ganguly 

Lionel Messi 

9. PV Sindhu 

Neeraj Chopra 

10. Rishabh Pant 

Most Searched Business Person 

  1. Elon Musk 

Mukesh Ambani 

Bill Gates 

Ratan Tata 

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala  

Most Searched Cryptocurrency 

  1. Bitcoin 


Shiba Inu 



Most Searched Fashion Designers 

  1. Sabyasachi Mukherjee 

Ritu Kumar 

Manish Malhotra 

Anita Dongre 

Masaba Gupta 

 Most Searched Movies, TV Shows and OTT Series 

  1. Tarak Mehta Ka Ulta Chashma    

6. Anupama      

Radha Krishn    

7. YOU - Season 3 

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai     

8. Godzilla vs. Kong 

Money Heist - Season 5      

9. Squid Game 


10. The Kapil Sharma Show 

Most Searched Star Kids 

  1. Aryan Khan 

Shraddha Kapoor 

Sara Ali Khan 

Ananya Panday 

Janhvi Kapoor 

Most Searched ‘Fake News’ 

  1. Covid vaccine side effects - Fake news / Misinformation about deaths due to vaccines 

Coronil - Fake news about coronil being approved by WHO  

Poonam Pandey - Fake news about her hospitalization after being beaten up by her husband 

Most Popular Questions on Yahoo India Search 

  1. How to download YouTube videos? 

How to convert PDF to word? 

How to link Aadhaar Card with Pan Card? 

How to delete an Instagram account?  

What is cloud computing? 

How to earn money online? 

How to apply for a passport? 

What is artificial intelligence? 

What is machine learning? 

What is global warming? 

About the *Yahoo India 2021 Year in Review Methodology:

To develop the Yahoo Year in Review, our team analyzes users’ anonymized interest patterns based on what they searched for on Yahoo. It takes into account a number of factors, including absolute volume and growth from previous periods to see which themes and trends bubble to the surface.  

Disclaimer: Please note the results are not necessarily a representation of a popularity contest or voting.  

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