Taming A Crocodile, Swachh Bharat & More on Man Vs Wild Ft PM Modi
PM Modi and host of ‘Man vs Wild’ Bear Grylls.
PM Modi and host of ‘Man vs Wild’ Bear Grylls.(Photo acquired by The Quint)

Taming A Crocodile, Swachh Bharat & More on Man Vs Wild Ft PM Modi

In the most awaited episode of adventurist Bear Grylls’ Man Vs Wild featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that aired on Monday, 12 August, on Discovery Channel, the prime minister’s humble upbringing, strong connect with nature, and first vacation in 18 years found mention.

Set in Uttarakhand’s Jim Corbett National Park, the episode showed Grylls and Modi go out on an ‘adventure’, trekking 530 square kilometers of dense forest land, populated with elephants, tigers and crocodiles.

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ON COOPERATING WITH NATURE

When Grylls said that they were about to embark on one of the most dangerous treks of Modi’s life, the prime minister remarked that the experience would be dangerous only if one went against nature.

“I don’t think we should consider this experience dangerous. If we live in harmony with nature, nothing can go wrong. If we go against nature, it becomes dangerous. If we cooperate with nature, nature cooperates with us.” 

ON MODI’S CHILDHOOD

A significant part of the episode was dedicated to Modi’s childhood and how his visit to the Himalayas impacted his life.

“At the age of 17-18, I left my home to understand the world better. I decided to go to the Himalayas since I liked nature. Those moments continue to drive me.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

He also spoke at length about how he used dew drops to make detergent.

“I was born into a very ordinary family. We were very poor, but my life has always been very deeply connected with nature. In winter, the dew drops would create a layer of salt. I would collect it, bring it back home and use it as detergent to wash clothes. We would mix it in water and use it to take bath as well.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Modi also recounted the time he took a crocodile home but had to leave it back in the pond after his mother advised him to do so.

ON MODI’S FIRST VACATION

When Grylls asked how Modi defines nervousness, he said that he has never experienced jitters and that he views everything “positively”.

"My focus has always been development. This trip with you is my first vacation in 18 years," he said.

‘MY VALUES DON’T ALLOW ME TO TAKE A LIFE’

Grylls and Modi proceeded to make an improvised spear to tackle tigers – with the former remarking:

“You are the most important man in India. My job is to keep you alive.”
Bear Grylls

He then handed the spear to Prime Minister Modi as a precaution against the tigers, when the prime minister said, "My values won't allow me to take a life."

'OUTSIDERS CAN’T CLEAN INDIA’

“Someone from outside cannot clean my India, the people of India make India clean. Personal hygiene is in the culture of the Indian people. We need to develop the habit of social hygiene. Mahatma Gandhi has done a lot of work on it and recently we have seen success in this regard. I believe India will succeed in this endeavour very soon.” 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

“Jim Corbett National Park is a great place for people to experience nature. People who are interested in the environment and its issues should come and visit this lovely place,” said the prime minister, at the outset of his adventure with Grylls.

Modi became the second leader to be featured on the series, which was last aired in 2015, featuring former US President Barack Obama.

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