Lord Meghnad Desai on the eve of release of book that he had written on Dilip Kumar had said that Dilip Kumar was the citizen hero for the sixties and after that his space was left vacant and no worthy successor could be found out for him. Dilip Kumar was identified as the citizen hero as he was associated with the films, which dealt in detail with the contemporary issues of the time. Lord Meghnad Desai had made his premise based on the kind of films, which are currently being made, which have an element of escapism knitted in them.
However, one need not despair, as there is a worthy successor who could fit into the boot of Dilip Kumar and can claim the mantle of citizen hero. The worthy successor is Aamir Khan. Were one to look into his career graph and the kind of films that he has been doing off late and the issues that he is trying to address through his movies, then he could be worthy successor. Right from the initial beginning, when he had acted in RAAKH Aamir had shown the streak of espousing the causes. He came into the groove of the citizen hero, once he started acting in MANGAL PANDEY and from then on it has indeed been a trip on the highway to working for the cause of the society and to chip in his own manner to bring issues into limelight.
RANG DE BASANTI, which set the imagination of the youth on fire, followed MANGAL PANDEY and a new spirit of awakening was kindled in the hearts of the youth of the country. The spirit still lingers on. FANNAH also addressed the issue from a different tangent, and an Aamir Khan could have only done it as he went into the skin of the psyche of a terrorist. With TAARE ZAMEEN PAR he seems to be firmly entrenching his position as a citizen hero. Apart from advocating the ideology through the films, he has also been espousing the cause of the society, as he did for Narmada Bachao Aandolan and also spoke against the efforts to muffle the voice of creativity when the voices were raised against PARJANIA.
He can be the worthy successor as he has been trying to kindle the spirit of freedom and liberty for all on a regular basis through his films, which is not being done by any of his contemporaries in the same magnitude as Aamir Khan is doing it. He is indeed a the citizen hero as he maintaining his heroic qualities, has been able to pool in his entire experience and raised it to a platform in a romantic manner to the most visible category called people and the magnitude in which he is doing is not being done by his contemporaries.