We’ve grown up watching ManVsWild on Discovery. We’ve seen Bear Grylls chart treacherous regions, battle adversities and come out fighting to safe land. However, over time, as we grew up and word spread that Bear Grylls is not really in the wild (His pictures with his crew eating a full buffet in a jungle certainly didn’t help), the show lost its steam.
However, that fully changed recently, when a promo showing Bear Grylls and none other than India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi surfaced online. Suddenly the show was back in the spotlight. The promo of ManVsWild itself clocked 3.6 million views online. To give you a bit of context on Discovery India’s YouTube channel, a similar promo of a documentary on rapper Divine got around 45k views. Talk about a difference in popularity.
The aforementioned episode of ManVsWild aired on Monday, 12th August and successfully managed to stir up a storm online. At the time of the show, #ManVsWild was the top trend on Twitter in India and the number 2 trend globally. Meanwhile, #ModionDiscovery was the number 2 trend in India.
While to the common man, it seems like Modi Ji did more for Bear Grylls than the show did for the former, the reality is starkly different. Pitched as an event to spread awareness on Climate change and Global warming, the show was a perfect example of how Narendra Modi’s PR team always knows how to kill it. Keeping that in mind, here were a few moments that made it evident that Narendra Modi, just rules good PR.
1. On his lack of being nervous
Who doesn’t love a man who just never gets scared? That’s how men are supposed to be right, courageous, never flinching, always choosing to fight than flight in times of adversity. If such a guy is the leader of your country, oh what a time to be alive! The show, throughout its duration, never failed to tell the viewers how Modi Ji is a one-man army, invincible and always the messiah. On being asked about “nervousness”, the PM replied “My problem is that I have never experienced such fears. I'm unable to explain it to people what nervousness is and how to deal with it because my in-built temperament is very positive.”
2. On his lack of vacations
PM Modi said during the course of the episode of ManVsWild“Today, if I consider this time as a vacation, then I must say I am taking a vacation for the first time in 18 years." You may be going awestruck on the fact of how he never takes a leave and is always working. He himself on record has said that he doesn’t sleep for more than 3-4 hours daily. But it’s a smokescreen if you too believe it’s the first vacation in 18 years. During his last tenure, he’s visited 92 nations in 55 months at a total cost of 2,021 crores. His first trip costs approximately 22 crores. That’s a lot of money spent on trips when you’ve not had a trip for 18 years. While the argument that world leaders frequently have to travel owing to diplomacy, no one can argue the fact that our current PM travels more than normal. Narendra Modi visited 92 nations in 5 years, Manmohan Singh visited 93 in 10, while Indira Gandhi was a guest in 113 countries over her 3 tenures as PM. Looking at this, it’s pretty easy to guess who loves the wanderlust.
3. Modi Ji – The staunch proponent for non-violence
There’s a part in the show where Grylls gives the PM, a makeshift spear, to protect himself from possible animal attacks. On being offered the spear, Narendra Modi goes on to explain to as to how his upbringing does not allow him to take a life, and that he would only hold the spear as a courtesy to the host. Modi said, "God takes care of everything". Well, it’s good to know Modi’s opinions on Non-violence. It would be great to hear him speak on the rising cases of intolerance and lynching in India that have increased during his tenure. We only can hope.
While it’s great to see a world leader be a good sport and indulge in reality television, it could surely have done without the excessive PR. Whatever said and done, Monday’s episode was proof that even after all this while, Narendra Modi knows how to capture an audience.