Prime Minister Narendra Modi never fails to be in the news ever since he came to power in 2014. And even recently, he managed to create quite a stir when Bear Grylls tweeted the promo of a ‘Man vs Wild’ episode featuring Modi.
Right after the promo was released, the episode ignited widespread interest. More so, because it was one of the most “unconventional” campaigns of the Indian leader.
‘Man vs Wild’ is a show of survival against the oddity of wilderness. Aired on August 12, 2019, on Discovery Channel, Modi was seen accompanying survivalist Bear Grylls, traversing through the wilderness of Uttarakhand‘s Jim Corbett National Park, which is populated with tigers, Asiatic elephants, and black bears. And dense forest with flora such as Sal, Khair, Sissoo, Chir Pine to name a few.
The hour-long episode was a conversational trek which was “less wild” and more about the man. And we got to know a lot about Modi’s childhood, humble upbringing, closeness to nature and the motive behind this campaign.
Some insights into the conversation
At the beginning of the episode, Bear Grylls asks if Modi is ready for one of the most “dangerous treks” of his life, to which Modi calmly replies: Nature is dangerous only if we go against it.
When the conversation turns to the cleanliness campaign, Modi responds by saying: Outsiders cannot clean my India, people of India only can make India clean….
In the middle of a conversation, Grylls also shows he is aware of the responsibility of taking along India’s PM into uncharted territory: You’re the most important man in India. My job is to keep you safe…
After covering a little distance, Grylls passes the Prime Minister, Modi a spear as a measure against the wild animals, which Modi counters by saying: My values would not allow me to take a life.
A considerable amount of time is dedicated to Modi’s childhood: I left my home at the age of 17-18 and decided to go to the Himalayas for the connect I have with nature. And that has shaped me and continues to drive me…
Further when Grylls asks about his vacations, “…the trip with you is my first vacation in 18 years…” says the PM.
When Grylls spots a tiger paw, he shows off his survival skills by fashioning a handmade raft for Modi to cross the river.
About the importance of nature, Modi says:.. I belong to a financially difficult background. But whenever the first rain of monsoon used to fall, my father would bring lots of postcards and we used to inform all our relatives about the first rain…
The entire episode was telecast in Hindi which spurred a lot of memes on social networking sites. @Yogesh_0708 says “Seems like Bear Grylls passed 10th from CBSE board with hindi compulsory subject. #ManVsWild
Another twitteratti @mayank_mrt says “One question – modi is talking in HINDI, and bear grills is pretending as if he is understanding it … Did he learn Hindi?” #ManVsWildwithmodi
The TRP of the show is also considered to have witnessed one of the all-time highs. @tejasvi7raj tweeted “How’s the TRP?
Discovery network: HIGH SIR”
Indeed, appearance in this show seems like an ambitious shot at promoting Incredible India campaign on Modi’s part “...Jim Corbett National Park is a great place for people to experience nature...”. The theme behind this episode is to boost the issue of environmental conservation and climate change, a sphere where India has achieved recent success through an increase in tiger count.
The episode comes to an end with Bear Grylls saying prayers for Modi and the country and calling him an “iconic global leader”. And handing him over to the secret service of the country.