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Home Fact-Check No, PM Modi is not a 'climate change denier': Propagandists rely on doctored video...

No, PM Modi is not a ‘climate change denier’: Propagandists rely on doctored video by Congress to criticise Modi’s appearance on Man vs Wild

PM Modi's stance on climate change is quite clear. In 2018 at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos, he described climate change as one of the three critical challenges the world is facing.

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Bear Grylls, the popular British adventurer today announced on Twitter about hosting a show with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Grylls, the popular host of the television show Man vs Wild, will feature PM Modi, who will raise awareness about animal conservation and climate change.

Ever since Grylls made the announcement, several people including left-wing ‘activist’ Kavita Krishnan came forward to tweet against the PM terming him a ‘climate change denier.’

These people were referring to the interaction between PM Modi and students on the occasion of Teacher’s Day five years ago.

On 5 September 2014, the PM had a Q&A video conference session with school children across the country. A student had raised her concern about climate change, which the PM responded. The media had reported that in his response PM Modi denied climate change. Here is what he had said.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h-XZeQnLVU?start=2890]

Below is the video that was uploaded by the Indian National Congress. Videos like these were popularly shared across social media platforms criticizing PM Modi for allegedly denying climate change.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy0E7h-_Ic8]

If one watches the video uploaded by Congress carefully, one notices that the video is skipping a portion at the 0:23 and 0:45 seconds mark. The video appears to be clearly doctored. It doesn’t show the entirety of PM’s response in which he has clearly talk about the effect of mankind on climate change and that if we change our behaviour, the climate would become favourable to us.

The doctored video essentially shows the girl’s questions, PM Modi using the example of old people feeling progressively cold and a clip of him saying “climate has not changed. We have changed.”

As it can be clearly seen, the Prime Minister had used an example to explain that we need to differentiate between the symptom and the root cause of an event. In the example that he used, feeling cold was a symptom and growing older was the cause. Similarly, climate change is a symptom and change in human lifestyle is the cause.

Surprisingly, even the media had got this wrong. Here are some of the headlines.

India Today false headline

Note how India Today manipulated his statements in their report.

CNNNews18 report

Now here is a report done by News18. Notice that they have reported in the same pattern. They had reported in 2017 after the video clip resurfaced on social media.

The Hindu, however, had clearly lied in its report. They have quoted him but were liberal in what was filled within the quotes.

Report in The Hindu

The Guardian had also written an article compiling such reports and raising doubts over PM Modi’s stance about climate change. In the first line of its report, it mentions, “India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, reportedly will be a no-show at the United Nations climate summit this month. Could it be because he does not accept the science behind climate change?”

PM Modi’s stance on climate change is quite clear. In 2018 at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos, he described climate change as one of the three critical challenges the world is facing. In the same year, United Nations Environment Programme chief said, “PM Modi has made India one of the champions to tackle climate change.”

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