New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) He is known for his aggressive demeanour in the hit reality show 'MTV Roadies', and for thousands of youngsters Raghu Ram is the ideal rough and tough man. But Raghu dismisses any talk of him being a youth icon.
'I don't understand the whole youth icon thing. We (he and his brother Rajiv Lakshman) are workers. We work very hard 24X7,' Raghu told IANS.
'Once in a while, we do get a hysterical reaction from people on the streets and all that takes us by surprise. People approach us if they recognise us at the airport and say a lot of intimate things about themselves. But I don't think I am a youth icon,' he added.
Raghu is the producer and brain behind the youth-centric adventure reality show. He came to prominence six years ago for conceptualising 'Roadies' which has developed a cult following among youth.
Raghu was in the capital recently with his brother Rajiv to talk about their association with portal MySpace India's campaign 'India Fights Back'.
The brothers are trying to urge youngsters to vote actively during the Lok Sabha elections, through their exclusive blogs on the site.
Raghu is confident about the power of youth in India. On more than one occasion, he has said the contestants on his show mirror the true image of youth in the country.
But if the entire Indian youth is abusive, money-minded, manipulative - just like the Roadies contestants - how can one trust the generation to vote responsibly?
'The show is not just about the kind of mind game you can play. It is also about inculcating the importance of performance. We have always told our contestants that performance would get you more respect than politics and they do appreciate these lessons. I think this generation is the only generation that can bring change,' he asserted.
Raghu, who also features in a music reality show 'Sitaron Ko Choona Hai', says he wants the youth to become the biggest vote bank in the country.
'We need young leadership and new ideas to progress. If youth feel that something needs to change in the country, I urge them to vote and remove the corrupt politicians,' Raghu said in his trademark style.
He said he was disturbed by the low voter turnout in Mumbai and added that citizens need to understand that if they want change, it can't happen if they choose to sit at home.
'There are a lot of youngsters who have no respect for leaders and most of them don't feel that anything would happen even if they vote. But they should first try voting - sideline those who are doing nothing and are corrupt. If you don't know who the politicians are and what they have done, use the Internet to find out - there are ample sites giving such information.
'And for those who just want to sit back and crib, please do not express your helplessness. If you want change, please act,' said Raghu. 'Reject the old and accept change - give democracy another chance.'