Indian prime minister Modi appears with Bear Grylls on 'Man vs Wild' as he cuts off Kashmir's food and internet for 9th day
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared in an episode of "Man vs Wild" alongside survivalist Bear Grylls on Monday night.
- The episode appears to be an untimely publicity stunt as the Indian government continues to limit Kashmir's access to food and the internet for the ninth consecutive day.
- Since Modi became prime minister in 2014, his government has spent more than $700 million on cultivating his strongman image.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appeared on "Man vs Wild," the British survivalist Bear Grylls' show, while his country continues to choke off Kashmir's access to food and the internet for the ninth consecutive day.In the episode, broadcast by Discovery Channel India on Monday night, Modi built makeshift rafts and discussed growing up in a poor family as he and Grylls crossed a river at the Jim Corbett National Park in northern India, The Guardian reported.Advertisement
While it's not clear how far in advance the episode was filmed, its Monday airing seems an untimely publicity stunt as Modi's government continues to cut off Kashmir from the rest of the world.
Some journalists on the ground have been offered satellite phones for 100,000 rupees ($1,400) so they can keep reporting.Read more: India accused the BBC and Reuters of lying about large-scale protests in Kashmir, even though they were recorded on video This crackdown came after the Indian government removed a constitutional provision that had guaranteed the independence of the Jammu and Kashmir region to make its own laws, and prevented outsiders from buying property or seeking government jobs in the mostly-Muslim region.Advertisement
Critics believe that India's move last week will allow Indian Hindus to alter the state's ethnic and religious makeup.
The roadblocks have prevented food supplies from entering the region, and sick people are struggling to get to hospital due to the faulty phone lines and police blocking ambulances from moving around.
The Guardian cited a man named Syed Asim Ali as saying that his family in Srinagar, the largest city in Jammu and Kashmir, had been eating dried vegetables because of the food shortage.Other residents have been stockpiling medicine and food in preparation of further disruption amid Eid al-Adha, a key festival in Islam, which takes place this week, The Associated Press reported over the weekend.Advertisement
Pakistan - which also claims Jammu and Kashmir as its own territory - has appealed to the US and UN for help to mediate the Kashmir crisis, while India repeatedly maintains that this is a regional issue.
The cult of ModiMonday's "Man vs Wild" episode appears to be another attempt by Modi to build his cult of personality in the country and drum up nationalistic support.Advertisement
The strongman leader has participated in multiple photo ops to boost his image - as well as that of his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party since becoming prime minister in 2014.His government has spent more than 52 billion rupees ($728 million) in pro-BJP ads and social media posts since the 2014 financial year, India's Economic Times reported last year. The BJP also hires hundreds of thousands of people to recruit new voters via phone and door knocks, ultimately helping build "the most extraordinary personality cult in modern Indian history," according to Indian politician and prominent Modi critic Shashi Tharoor.Advertisement
Rajini Vaidyanathan, the BBC's South Asia correspondent, even likened Modi rallies to those of US President Donald Trump earlier this year.
The strongman image, a traditional persona adopted by world leaders throughout history, has been deployed to great effect by Modi's counterparts, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping, China's president.Putin has taken advantage of numerous publicity stunts to assert his macho image, famously riding shirtless on horseback while on holiday in Siberia.Advertisement
- Delhi records 13,00 new COVID-19 cases
- Heavy to very heavy rainfall likely in parts of Maharashtra: IMD
- Goa to get second COVID-19 facility in Ponda, tweets CM Sawant
- Here’s a model stock portfolio for the ‘moderate’ risk-taker
- IndusInd bank acquires more than 7% stake in both Eveready and Mc Leod Russel