Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Appear on Discovery's 'Man vs. Wild'
The leader joins past guests, such as Barack Obama and Kate Winslet, who have been featured on the show hosted by British TV adventurer Bear Grylls.
In a bid to raise awareness about the environment and wildlife conservation, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be seen in an upcoming episode of Discovery's Man vs. Wild series, hosted by British TV adventurer Bear Grylls.
The episode will premiere simultaneously on 12 Discovery channels in India on Aug. 12. It also will be available in five languages and will be showcased in more than 180 countries around the world.
A teaser for the episode was unveiled Monday showing Modi, 68, being driven into the Jim Corbett National Park in northern India with Grylls at the wheel, interspersed with footage of a tiger, elephants and deer running in the distance. (Watch the promo at the end of this story.)
"You are the most important person in India; it’s my job to keep you alive," Grylls tells Modi, who won a landslide victory in the national elections held in May to become leader of the world's largest democracy for a second term.
In the past, Grylls has hosted celebrities such as Barack Obama (who was featured in an episode set in Alaska), Kate Winslet and tennis star Roger Federer on the show.
Now in its eighth season, Man vs. Wild features Grylls tackling extreme challenges and navigating through remote locations around the world, sharing invaluable survival strategies along the way.
“It is such a privilege to be taking Prime Minister Modi on an adventure into the Indian wilderness, and I feel truly honored to get to spend time with this remarkable world leader," Grylls said in a statement. He added: "The wild reminds us that we need each other and that together we are stronger. I am so excited to spend time with the PM and to get to know the man who leads this great nation."
"For years, I have lived among nature, in the mountains and the forests," Modi shared in a statement and explained that "when I was asked about a special program focusing on life beyond politics and that too in the midst of nature, I was both intrigued and inclined to take part in it. For me, this show presents a great opportunity to showcase to the world India’s rich environmental heritage and stress on the importance of environmental conservation and living in harmony with nature."
Modi also added that "it was a great experience spending time in the jungle once again, this time with Bear, who is blessed with indefatigable energy and quest to experience nature at its purest."
Grylls also tweeted the show's teaser with a message stating, "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."
"India - where you find lush green forests, diverse wildlife, beautiful mountains and mighty rivers," Modi tweeted to his 48.9 million followers. "Watching this programme will make you want to visit different parts of India and add to discourse of environmental conservation."
Modi's appearance on Man vs. Wild generated heavy buzz on social media as the show's teaser went viral. "Two legends in one go. This will be the best of Man vs Wild," posted one Twitter user.
India faces many environmental and wildlife conservation challenges, though progress has also been made in some areas, most notably, tiger conservation.
According to new official date released Monday, India's tiger population increased by more than 30 percent in four years, growing from 2,226 to 2,967 tigers. At an official event to release the All India Tiger Estimation Report in the capital Delhi, Modi hailed the growth in tiger population as an "historic achievement."