Indians have rooted for reforms and wealth creation in a mood-of-the-nation poll by ranking industry-friendly West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and flamboyant businessman Anil Ambani as top in their trade.
Their obsession with star cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has also simply refused to wane, says the poll to be published in the upcoming issue of India Today weekly magazine.
While Ambani, a former MTV youth icon, was rated as their role model by 11 per cent of youth who participated in the poll, Jyoti Basu's successor Bhattacharjee threatened to eclipse the popularity of his mentor by securing the distinction of being India's best chief minister, according to the India Today-AC Nielsen-Org Marg survey.
On the contrary, pollsters have given a thumbs down to V S Achuthanandan, chief minister of another Left-ruled state Kerala, despite his being instrumental in leading the Left Democractic Front to victory in the state elections three months ago.
Similarly, the likes of Narayana Murthy and Ratan Tata, among India's most respected business leaders, hardly appear on the radar of today's youngsters. For that matter, even NRI steel tycoon L N Mittal was rated as role model by only 4 per cent of those polled in the category.
The poll, which sampled 14,351 people across various age groups and gender in 19 states, also measured the mood of the nation as regards quality of services and life.
It said satisfaction levels of Indians' showed marked improvement over previous polls in respect of services like air travel, telephone, better roads and electricity supply.
But rising prices remained the top concern of 36 per cent respondents, followed by unemployment (34 per cent), terrorism (12), government corruption (7), security of the country (3), law and order (2), political instability (2), religion and caste problems (2) and war with Pakistan (1 per cent).
While 61 per cent of those polled by the magazine felt that the quality of life has not changed, 23 per cent opined that it had improved and 15 felt it had become worse.
The general feeling among the respondents was that sectors where there is private sector participation and where there have been investments, satisfaction levels were higher.
Turning from the mundane to the glamorous, the poll said mega star Amitabh Bachchan and actress Aishwarya Rai continued to dazzle movie buffs.
As regards cricketer Tendulkar, 49 per cent of the pollsters felt that he was still the backbone of the team notwithstanding his dodgy elbow.