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10 | August | 2023

Beware the Glamour Trap: Underworld Characters in Indian Cinema and the Need for Practical Education Amongst Youth

Indian cinema, with its myriad of talented storytellers, has produced some of the most iconic and memorable characters. Among them, however, are the dangerous figures of the underworld - charismatic anti-heroes who seem to have captured the imagination of the impressionable Indian youth. Based on recent studies in India, It was frightening to know that nearly 30% of the youth affirmed the fact that being a Robin Hood in society can justify crime.

Equally disturbing was the fact that over 60% of the youth were unsure whether it is justified or not to indulge in crimes like bootlegging and gambling to sustain one’s family.

While these characters may entertain and enthrall audiences on the silver screen, the alarming trend of idolizing them as role models poses significant risks. It is vital to acknowledge the dangers associated with such influence and recognize the indispensable role of education in guiding our youth towards ethical and responsible choices.

The Glamorization of Underworld Characters

Indian films have a history of presenting underworld characters as alluring figures, draped in power, wealth, and glamor. They are portrayed as rebels who challenge the established order and possess an aura of invincibility. Their enthralling charisma and charm can blur the line between reality and fiction, leading impressionable minds to blur the line between right and wrong.

The Danger of Misguided Admiration

The worrisome trend of Indian youth considering underworld characters as role models is deeply concerning. These characters, though fictional, can be seen as symbols of rebellion and defiance, traits that some youngsters might find appealing during their formative years. The glorification of criminal activities and the depiction of violence as a means to an end create an erroneous perception that crime pays and that one can evade the consequences of their actions.

Influence on Behavioral Patterns

The impact of such misdirected admiration can manifest in the real world. Vulnerable youth, seeking validation and acceptance, might be driven to emulate the behavior of their on-screen idols. This can lead to a dangerous cascade of events, pushing them towards criminal activities and endangering their future prospects.

The Importance of Education

Practical education emerges as a powerful antidote to counter the allure of underworld characters and provide a reality check to impressionable minds. A youth grounded in strong educational roots is equipped with the critical thinking and analytical skills necessary to distinguish between fiction and reality, between the glamor of cinema and the perils of real-life criminality.

Media Literacy for Responsible Viewing

Integrating media literacy programs into the education system can foster a generation of discerning viewers. By promoting discussions about the portrayal of crime in films and its consequences, students can gain a deeper understanding of the ethical implications of what they watch. Analyzing the motivations and the outcomes of the actions of underworld characters can help them grasp the dark underbelly of crime and its devastating effects on society.

Teaching the True Face of Crime

True education should not shy away from exposing students to the realities of crime and its repercussions. By sharing real-life stories of the victims of underworld activities and the harsh consequences faced by criminals, educators can dismantle the illusion of the "glamorous" life. Understanding the collateral damage of crime can instill empathy and a sense of responsibility in the hearts of the youth, urging them to make conscious choices that contribute positively to society.

Nurturing Ethical Role Models

In a bid to counter the influence of underworld characters, the media industry should actively promote positive role models. And India is fortunate enough to have an abundance of them!

Films and other media should celebrate individuals who have achieved success through perseverance, hard work, and ethical conduct. By elevating characters who stand for justice, integrity, and social responsibility, media content makers can inspire the youth to look up to figures that contribute positively to society. But then … it is a multi-billion-dollar industry … and expecting the media industry to stop making such films is too unrealistic and not practical.

And therefore …. We need to become the change ourselves and this can only be done through the power of practical education right from grass-root levels.


Wayne MacDonald’s Children Safety & Survival Program (The CSS PROGRAM) effectively counters this issue by involving school children, parents, and educators under a single cohesive educational umbrella. The CSS PROGRAM’s deep-rooted learning plans help ‘rewire’ the mind of youth towards positive behavior, role-playing scenarios & simulations, media literacy workshops, critical analysis of media content, criminal case studies, etc.

The CSS PROGRAM also brings in guest speakers and role models who can inspire students and also enlighten them on the negative repercussions of crime.

Interactive & educational workshops are also conducted for parents & educators to understand and educate themselves about the seriousness of this issue which also includes preventive techniques & methodologies.

The CSS PROGRAM in schools continuously evaluates the above processes across all stakeholders to ensure a united effort against the youth getting influenced by glamorized crime in the media. This collaborative approach equips young minds with the tools to make informed decisions, promoting responsible media consumption and ethical choices.


The dangers of Indian youth idolizing underworld characters from Indian films are undeniable. The glamorization of crime and violence can lead impressionable minds astray, risking their future prospects and endangering society at large.

However, the antidote to this alarming trend lies in IMPLEMENTABLE EDUCATION. By deep-rooted learning methodologies to instill the implementation of regular positive habits in the subconscious mind, by fostering media literacy, presenting the real face of crime, and nurturing ethical role models, education can guide our youth away from the illusion of underworld glamor and towards a path of responsibility, integrity, and empathy.

It is only through committed education that we can ensure a generation that understands the true cost of crime and seeks to build a brighter and more righteous future for India.