ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Man and Wild

Immersion in the wild is about coexistence, not confrontation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently appeared in an episode of Man vs Wild, a reality television-styled show that follows an explorer’s journey through the wilderness. The explorer is Bear Grylls, who parachutes into inhospitable places and survives without help. Of course, this is not a real solitude as Grylls is accompanied by a filming team. Still, his forays into places with no real food, and into snowstorms or deserts are marked with enterprise and a fierce will to survive. The episode featuring Modi was shot in the Corbett tiger reserve. This is classic tiger territory: it has the sparkling Ramganga river, grasslands, mountains and forest. Though wild, the area is hardly inhospitable the way a desert or tundra is. The weather is clement, the air is bracing.

Yet, in the episode, Grylls fashions a spear and teaches the Prime Minister how to wield it, because he has to protect the Prime Minister from “dangerous” tigers. Though the Prime Minister said he doesn’t believe in killing, two things of concern emerge here. One doesn’t go to a tiger reserve with the intention to hurt a tiger. And if one goes prepared with a weapon, this demonstrates that one doesn’t mind this option. Incidentally, hurting or hunting wild animals is illegal in India; and the tiger—especially in tiger reserves—has the highest protection under the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1974. But, legality is not the whole story here; the spirit of the issue, and the law, is.

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Updated On : 5th Sep, 2019
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