In a year of deadly COVID-19 pandemic, these people across various segments hogged the headlines and created ripples for a variety of reasons:
1) Narendra Modi: The Prime Minister of India remains the most popular leader in the country by a distance despite facing a barrage of barbs from the opposition over the handling of COVID-19 pandemic, economic distress and farmers' protests. The general public however remains enamoured by the PM as was evinced by the results of Bihar polls in which Modi catapulted the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to win despite massive anti-incumbency against his ally, and chief minister, Nitish Kumar.
2) Sushant Singh Rajput/Rhea Chakraborty: The tragic suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput shook the film industry and sparked off a c& ugly charade. A section of the media launched an acrimonious campaign against his girl-friend Rhea Chakraborty alleging that she orchestrated the murder but the charges stand unsubstantiated despite the investigation. The talented actor's suicide also bitterly polarised the film fraternity and exposed deep fissures within the industry.
3) Rahul Gandhi: The Congress scion grabbed the eyeballs by relentlessly attacking the Modi govt over a string of issues. The mini rebellion against him and his mother by a host of senior Congress leaders also made headlines. Congress' abject performance in Delhi and Bihar polls kept Gandhi family in news for the wrong reasons.
4) Arnab Goswami: While the belligerent television anchor fortified his standing as the most popular journalist in India, he also raised hackles by taking on the big guns of Bollywood and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray in the aftermath of Sushant's suicide. His vendetta-driven arrest by Maharashtra police in an old 2018 suicide case of an architect led to a huge outcry on social media.
5) Kangana Ranaut: The firebrand actress was at the forefront of 'Justice for Sushant' campaign and exposing the 'Bollywood mafia'. Her affray with Maharashtra government and the subsequent demolition of her office in Mumbai kept the newsmen busy throughout the year.
6) Virat Kohli: The skipper of Indian cricket team was in news by posting an array of videos during the lockdown featuring him and his spouse Anushka Sharma. The news of pregnancy of his wife was lapped up gleefully by hoi polloi and the media alike. On the cricket field, he led Indian team to victory against Australia in T20I series Down Under.
7) Nitish Kumar: Despite facing stinging flak for his handling of migrant crisis during the lockdown, Nitish rode on Modi's cotetails as the NDA once again emerged victorious in Bihar polls. His uncharacteristic usage of crude language against Tejashwi Yadav during the campaign took many political pundits by surprise.
8) Nirmala Sitharaman: The Finance Minister was at the receiving end of many a brickbat as the economy plummeted during the lockdown. The opposition leaders and the analysts even raised questioned about her competence to occupy the post. However, she continued to enjoy PM Modi's patronage and launched a series of schemes under Atmanirbhar Bharat package aimed to alleviate economic distress.
9) Sonu Sood: The actor became social-media sensation by coming to aid of thousands of migrants during the lockdown and arranging for them to be sent to their native places. His support to farmers' protest also found favour with a section of people.
10) Farooq Abdullah: The former chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir created ripples by making a slew of tendentious statements against the ruling dispensation. His assertion that Kashmiris don't feel like Indians anymore and would prefer being ruled by China sent shockwaves within the political circles.