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"searching" for the right leader

india Updated: Apr 13, 2009 10:31 IST
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Whether or not they make it to the top post, some of our politicians are definitely making it to the top of the popularity charts on the internet. According to Google India, the ‘most searched politicians on Google in India include the following (in alphabetical order):

LK Advani
Manmohan Singh
Narendra Modi
Rahul Gandhi
Sanjay Dutt
Shashi Tharoor
Sonia Gandhi
Varun Gandhi

The list is not surprising, given that most of these politicians (or aspiring politicians) have been in the news and are likely to play a key role on the post-poll scenario. While some like Advani, Mayawati, Manmohan Singh, the Gandhi family and Narendra Modi are always in the limelight and public glare, others like Sanjay Dutt and Varun Gandhi have been in the news recently, or have ensured that they be in the news!

While Dutt dominated the headlines for a couple of days after he was barred from contesting elections by the Supreme Court - squashing the Samajwadi Party's dreams of riding on the star's popularity, Varun Gandhi has been on the front page of every newspaper ever since he decided to let his thoughts and words run loose in Pilibhit on 8 March.

It is only natural that Chiranjeevi, being a Telugu super star, would attract immense attention and curiosity before his maiden Lok Sabha journey. The name might be a wee bit surprising is Shashi Tharoor, former Indian diplomat and writer, who was the official candidate of India for the office of United Nations Secretary-General in 2006. Tharoor, who is the Congress candidate for the key Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, represents what is known as this "new breed of politicians" - defined by their urbane, educated and professional outlook... adjectives that perhaps best describe the bulk of internet users and hence, those who might search for their favourite politician on Google.

Tharoor in the ten most searched politicians? Not so surprising anymore.

So what does this list sent out by Google tell us. That the estimated 50 million net users in the country, bulk of whom belong to the younger age groups, are using search engines to look for those politicians we would expect them to.

A word of caution for these politicians though: Do not mistake such statistics to be a measure of your popularity or a sign of things to come. As predictable as the Indian electorate might have been online, its unpredictability behind the voting machine is well-known.