"I have never experienced fear," Narendra Modi tells Bear Grylls on Discovery's show Man vs Wild
- The Indian Prime Minister used the spotlight on Discovery's popular reality show to improve 'brand Modi' too.
- Brand expert Harish Bijur said that this was the PM's attempt to connect with a young audience.
- The 68-year old Modi spent a few hours at the Jim Corbett Park in Uttarakhand to, according to the government, promote tourism and conservation but the show definitely had a lot more of Modi.
Man vs Wild featuring the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Edward Michael Grylls (Bear Grylls) was on Monday (August 12) and was telecast across 180 countries, according to the Discovery channel. According to the government, the show was to promote tourism in India as well as environment protection.
However, the Indian PM did not miss an opportunity to make a glorious point about his life. "My problem is I never experienced fear. I can't explain to people what it means to be nervous because my central temperament is to be positive," he said as the two waded through a national park famous for its tigers, elephants, crocodiles, and snakes. The show's host, Bear Grylls, who makes a living out of adventure, made it a point to mention how nervous he was at various points in the show.
We learnt little about Jim Corbett Park and why people should visit it. He definitely made a few points about conservation. "The biggest problem is our lifestyle. We exploit nature for our enjoyment. That is the biggest problem," he said. "We should never fear nature. Because when we think that we are in conflict with nature, the problem begins there," he added.
But those who watched the show would by now know that Modi came from a poor family in Wadnagar (in Gujarat), sold tea after school to support his father, didn't have enough money for detergent, but had the courage to bring home a baby crocodile, left home at the age of 17-18, spent some time in Himalayas that influenced his 'minimalist' lifestyle, and that this jaunt around the Jim Corbett Park recorded in February 2019 was his first vacation, if at all one, in 18 years.
"Modi is a creative story teller who has taken an interesting move by featuring in Man vs Wild. He has reached millions of people but still has a far way to go. The show will bring a positive change in his image as a strong political leader of a democracy," Anshul Sushil, co-founder Wizikey told Business Insider India.
Many of the facts of Modi's life as narrated by him have been known to many Indians. But this time people across 180 countries were watching and so many of us heard those stories once again.
"Lord we thank you for this great man and this great country ," Grylls said at the end of the show as he handed over the Indian Prime Minister back to the 'Secret Service'.
With this, Modi has joined the league of world leaders that featured on the popular wildlife show Man Vs Wild. Before this, US President Barack Obama took up the challenge in 2016.
Bear Grylls, the host of the show, has been able to lure many celebrities to take part in the show, including Roger Federar and Julia Roberts.
The following are other interesting quotes from the Prime Minister while he was on Man vs Wild:
"This will be a big centre of attraction for people around the world."
"I can't say I was a good student."
"My life wasn't very great. Dirty clothes wee a norm, but I used to wear proper clothes to school. I used to try to keep it proper."
"At the age of 17-18, I left my home. I was thinking what to do and not. Had to make a life decision but before that wanted to understand life." (He was speaking about why he landed up in the Himalayas early in his life)
"I had some interest in spirituality and nature. I have met many humble saints and learnt to live with minimal needs."
"I was the Chief Minister of a state for 13 years, which was a new jorney for me. Then, the country decided that I should be doing this and so I have been doing it for five years. I have focussed only on development."
"If I consider this as a vacation, then it is my first vacation in 18 years."
"I am beyond the position I hold. I only focus on my work, not my position."
"I used to bathe in the pond, because we didn't have any other facility."
"My uncle decided to sell wood as cooking fuel. But his mother decided that they would starve but not sell wood because wood has life."
"My problem is I never experienced fear. I can't explain to people what it means to be nervous because my central temperament is to be positive."
“For years, I have lived among nature, in the mountains and the forests. These years have a lasting impact on my life. So when I was asked about a special programme focusing on life beyond politics and that too in the midst of nature I was very excited to take part in it.”
Indians are waiting to watch the human side of Modi, not just his wild side