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What should the young readers read? An opinion

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Opinion articles on featured books

The world needs heroes! More than adults, children need heroes. Children need heroes because they need to learn many things. And they should learn good things from exemplary people with powers and even greater responsibilities. The world of superheroes for kids is grand. There are many international superheroes like Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Ironman, Antman, Captain America and superheroines like Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and Black Widow. However, these superheroes are not responsible for their deeds as long as they rescue or save the target. Road mishaps, building collapses, explosions, infrastructure destruction, police casualties and loss of time always follow these superheroes and heroines. Nobody cares to ask these superheroes about it. What will children learn? Ask yourself.

In India, on the other hand, there is only one superhero who stands tall. Shaktimaan, played by Mukesh Khanna, was the superhero of every 90s kid. This superhero was never boorish. He always took responsibility for his actions. He followed the path that his Gurus taught him. He fought for truth, and binary was very clear.

Today, the world has changed. It has no place for a superhero like Shaktimaan. The kids in this modern world like an extravaganza. Or, putting it in other words, an extravaganza is what kids get when they look for superheroes. In any way, it is wrong. It has harmful results. It attaches a lackadaisical response to violence to curb violence. The binary that is in play here is unnecessary. Spiderman can topple many buildings with his web because he has to catch the bad guy. The bad guy has to defend himself by demolishing grand offices and apartments. Spiderman catches the bad guy. People clap. Kids dance. What about the loss of the general population? That fades into the background.

Think about Shaktimaan. If you remember, there was no such violence to stop a violent person. Shaktimaan took the bad guys away from the main areas. That was the way we should teach our children. Violence, unless extremely necessary, cannot be a way to curb violence. Shaktimaan weighed the impact of his actions before making any move. Ironman can casually explode a building. Batman can casually drop a bomb. Did Shaktimaan ever do things like these? Ask yourself.

Children need responsible superheroes. They should avoid showmanship in the name of saving the world. Children should also read books. Only depending on cinema for inspiration is not a good idea. Parents should take care of this aspect as well. Many publishers in India publish books exclusively for the young audience. Comics, picture books, ancient themes like Mahabharata and Ramayana, books on the Bravehearts of the Indian army will be ideal for kids.

 

Written by Abha for Featured Books

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