1. Tarun Tejpal
Although his name might not ring bells to many, his ‘sensational’ magazine Tehelka (literally also meaning sensation) has done wonders to try and cleanse the government from all immoralities. With its unique undercover exposÃ© style of journalism, from exposing match fixing in cricket to unveiling all clandestine methodologies of the state, Tehelka has proved to be the single most powerful tool in unveiling scams and controversies. A sting operation popularly known as ‘Operation Weekend’ exposed corruption underlying defence contracts, which gained international recognition and led to the resignation of the then Defence Minister George Fernandes. After a failed assassination 8 years ago, Tejpal is now trailed by six bodyguards assigned by the government. But refuses to stop raking the muck: “India needs professional dissenters,” he says. With such bravery and tenacity, he cannot be disregarded as one the most prominent youth icons.
2. Anurag Kashyap
With an outstanding number of critically acclaimed movies, from Gulaal to the unparalleled Dev.D and of course the controversial Black Friday, Anurag Kashyap is without doubt one of the most prominent auteurs in the country. His movies have received international acclaim, and have won several awards in various national and international film festivals. Listed as one of the top 50 influential individuals in the country by DNA, he also scripted the story for Water, which went on to become a nominee for the academy award.
3. Rahul Dravid
Patience, Tenacity and pure persistence are characteristics with which one can easily define Rahul Dravid on the pitch. Little do we know that he is all that and much more outside the pitch. Well educated, Dravid graduated from St. Joseph’s College of Commerce in Bangalore. Without the glitz and the glamour that cricketers usually encounter, he is the most consistent performer in the history of international cricket for India. He is a youth icon for many reasons, not only is he the ‘wall’ for most bowlers but also for most critics whose comments just did not matter to him. Modesty is almost impossible to find in the field of sports, especially if one has such grace and talent, and that is something I personally believe the youth should learn.
4. Kiran Bedi
It is often heard from women that they can always stand head to head with men, if not ahead; but there are also women who are out there to prove that point. A retired IPS office and activist, Kiran Bedi is probably the most ideal person to be called as a ‘role model’, for the youth. Scrapping the notion that women have to follow any kind of protocol in the society, she joined the National Cadet Corps (NCC), did her Masters in Political Science and Ph.D. in Social Sciences from IIT Delhi. Winning the Magsaysay award among many others, Kiran Bedi is also a prominent member of the IAC (India Against Corruption) along with Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare. It is pretty evident from her personality that she is not going to stop until corruption is completely eradicated from the government.
5. Nitish Kumar
Â In a situation of political turmoil, it is very rare that one witnesses someone like Nitish Kumar. To change the basic notion that Bihar is a violent, communist state run by a caste brethren society and notorious gangster’s about which Lalu Prasad Yadav did nothing was a seemingly impossible task. Modi did not just accomplish in changing the notion, but also made sure that there will be no family, no godfathers and nothing communal said or done. Once he completed his engineering, he was also involved in various political campaigns and parties, and had also been arrested during the emergency. In the age that we live in, it is very rare that a youth finds someone from a political background as a role model, and Nitish Kumar is a perfect person to change that notion.