Youth are looking beyond film stars for role models. While sportspersons dominate the young minds, our readers say business leaders too have young admirers.
Many youth idols
From Dilip Kumar to Dhoni, the "youth idol" concept has come a long way. The good thing is the youth look up not only at actors but also at people from other fields. The Ambanis and Vijay Mallya figure as role models. The sportspersons of course dominate the minds of most students.
The fact that Sania Mirza can influence many youth to take to tennis is a good sign. Of course, every cricket player has his own fan following. Dhoni's hairstyle is a rage in the north. Persons idolised by the young have a serious responsibility to live up to. They need to have good habits and exhibit high values.
Second to none
While sportspersons dominate the minds of the young, many from other professions have their admirers. Every student wants someone outside the family to look up to. Our younger sportspersons appear to be examples in healthy living with some idealism. An international shooter like Rathore has shown we can match the best in the world.
Stars show the way
Let us not discount film stars altogether when it comes to youth idols. Shabana Azmi for many years and Aamir Khan lately, have shown they can come out of the make-believe world and champion worthy causes. The celebrities who are willing to sponsor social causes can be examples to the young; to show one can be active in public life while excelling in one's profession or career.
When "idols" reveal feet of clay, the young get disillusioned. Some others belonging to the glamour world show bad examples with their behaviour in public. As a parent I would rather have my teenaged children look at sportspersons as their idols; they at least lead healthy lives free of dangerous addictions and wrong attitudes.
Now that the football World Cup fever has set in, the young are beginning to support their favourite team and their best players. If only this can progress to India one day having a world-class football team it will be great. If the young worship some cricketers, it is from examples set by the older generation. There is nothing wrong in that.
Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy are considered idols by many young Bangaloreans. Others admire Rahul Dravid. This is a healthy trend; the young are looking beyond the world of movies for their role models. Of course many young women still swoon over Shah Rukh Khan but that is only natural. Some film actors too come out in support of good causes.
Many young people go for self-help and inspirational reading. Then they try to find examples in real life, around them. Only persons with ideals and have excelled in their career can inspire the young. The fact that there may be "idols" from many fields all around us shows that we as a country have progressed and not just materially or in terms of GDP growth. The "idols" need to live up to the expectations of their young admirers.
Jeevan Bima Nagar
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