Modi features in 'Man vs. Wild'. Now, we've seen everything!
In case you didn't know, Discovery channel's Man vs. Wild is a show about surviving in adverse situations. The star-anchor of the show, Bear Grylls, goes to unchartered territories to teach everyone what to do if one gets stuck in the wilderness. And soon, the show will release a special episode featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Really, what is wrong with our PM?
Earlier in the day, Grylls shared a clip of the upcoming episode, which will air at 9 PM on August 12 on Discovery India. According to Grylls, this episode will show "unknown side of PM Modi" as he goes deep into the wild to raise awareness about wildlife conversation. Interestingly, the episode was shot in Uttarakhand's Jim Corbett National Park in February.
The 45-second-long clip, featuring snippets of the episode, shows PM Modi walking in forests with the British adventurer. At one point in the clip, Grylls can be heard telling PM Modi, "You are the most important man in India. My job is to keep you alive." Apparently, PM Modi and Grylls were tasked with building a raft and cross a jungle river.
Now, as the head of state, PM Modi obviously has a busy schedule. But he took out time for this adventure, nevertheless. "For me, this show presents a great opportunity to showcase to the world India's rich environmental heritage and stress on the importance of environment conservation and living in harmony with nature," PM Modi had said in a statement.
People across 180 countries will get to see the unknown side of PM @narendramodi as he ventures into Indian wilderness to create awareness about animal conservation environmental change. Catch Man Vs Wild with PM Modi @DiscoveryIN on August 12 @ 9 pm. #PMModionDiscovery pic.twitter.com/MW2E6aMleE— Bear Grylls (@BearGrylls) July 29, 2019
As it turns out, PM Modi isn't the solo renowned personality to spend time with Grylls this way. In the past, former US President Barack Obama, Tennis legend Roger Federer, and pop star Nick Jonas have also featured on the show. Notably, Grylls said he feels "honored" that he got to spend time with such a "remarkable world leader" like PM Modi.
On the face of it, the episode seems totally harmless. And if wildlife conservation is to be kept in mind, the concept is a hit. However, the circumstances under which the episode was shot were controversial. Reportedly, the episode was shot when Pulwama attack happened. While India mourned the loss of 40 soldiers, the important man was learning "how to survive". Oh, sweet irony!
According to an Indian Express report, Grylls was in India around February 14, when the CRPF convoy was attacked in Pulwama. Moreover, on the aforementioned date, Uttarakhand Forest Department had canceled all the bookings for the Dhikala forest rest house because of PM Modi's visit. Though no one officially confirmed when the shooting happened, joining the dots gives us a clear picture.
As soon as Opposition, mainly Congress learned about PM Modi's "outings", he was slammed. Back then, BJP dismissed the reports by calling it "fake news". In damage control mode, government sources had also said PM Modi didn't rush to Delhi immediately because he was informed about the attack 25 minutes late, courtesy poor network. Some even said the delay made PM Modi furious.
Months after the dastardly attack, this episode is finally releasing. While it would be wrong to blame PM Modi for participating in it, the insinuation that he kept shooting while the country wept, makes this particular episode of Man vs. Wild traumatic.