While PV Sindhu was training hard and pushing herself beyond her limits to get India a medal at the Rio Olympics, several Indians, Google statistics show, were searching for her caste-identity.
It was first called to everyone’s attention by Vivekanand Nagarajan on his Facebook wall.
We looked up the Google Trends statistics for the term “pv sindhu caste”.
The interest over past 7 days for the term “pv Sindhu caste” peaked around the time she won her semi-finals and finals, as you can see in the graph below.
And in the last one day, there have been more searches for her caste, as you can see below
Here are the top states in India which googled for her caste in the past 7 days (click on the listing icon on bottom-right)
And the top countries in the world
Now look at the spike in search for the term in August compared to July, from google trends.
And not just that. Worldwide, the search for the caste of her coach, Gopichand, has also been rising as you can see here.
Why are they searching?
There is the obvious explanation that Indians are caste-minded people, but there could be a hint here, an ongoing fight between people in Andhra and Telangana to claim her as their own. And to prove it, they want to know which caste she belongs to.
Note: The article earlier carried erroneous numbers on the searches. We thank our faithful readers who pointed it out. TNM did not exercise its standard rigour and discipline when analysing AdWords data, and misread the July data. We regret the error, and apologize to our readers.
This blog explains how we went wrong in data analysis.