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Teleprompter problem? No, the Prime Minister’s speech interrupted due to a technical problem

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos Agenda 2022 online summit on January 17. However, headlines and social media trends surrounding the event revolved around when the Prime Minister stopped speaking in the middle of his speech. A large swath of social media users, including opposition party leaders, alleged the reason for the abruptness was a teleprompter failure. Prime Minister Modi mocked that he couldn’t deliver a speech without a teleprompter.

The official Congressional Twitter account posted a 37-second video of the disruption during the live stream with the hashtag #TelepromptorPM. The hashtag #TelepromptorPM was used by several verified congressional accounts to search the prime minister. Congress Spokesperson Shama Mohammad, West Bengal Congress, West Bengal Mahila Congress, Manipur Pradesh Congress Sevadal and Tamil Nadu Pradesh Sevadal Congress makes the same claim.

Congress leader Revanth Reddy juxtaposed two videos – an old video of Rahul Gandhi alleging Prime Minister Modi uses a teleprompter to speak, and to the right is video of Prime Minister Modi’s disturbed speech in Davos. This video was shared by Congress leaders Salman Nizami and Ramkishan Ojha, Chhattisgarh Sevadal Congress, and Punjab Pradesh Sevadal Congress.

PAA Chief Sanjay Singh and Senior Counsel Prashant Bhushan also made a similar request.

This claim has also been made on several high network Facebook pages/groups such as Mahua Moitra Fans [over 4 lakh followers]; Priyanka Gandhi fanpage [over 7 lakh followers]; The lie-llama [over 1.5 lakh followers]; Very sunny [over 9K followers].

Glitch not due to teleprompter error

In order to understand the current controversy related to Prime Minister Modi’s speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) online event, it is important to know the sequence of events leading up to the glitch.

PM Modi’s speech at the WEF is available on the following YouTube channels Narendra Modi, Doordarshan National and World Economic Forum. Unlike DD and WEF’s channels, Narendra Modi’s channel does not include the glitch.

We noticed that while the Prime Minister was already speaking for more than six minutes in the version of DD’s video, that part of his speech was not shown on the WEF YouTube channel. In fact, the first eight minutes of the WEF’s version of the live stream are blank, and when the live stream finally begins, it can be seen that the PM is already halfway through the speech. This clearly indicates that there has been a technical problem due to which the first part of the Prime Minister’s speech was not broadcast live on the WEF YouTube channel.

In the next section of the report, Alt News will explain the sequence of events as well as the exact timestamps of the DD and WEF videos. Readers should note that all timestamps are from DD unless otherwise noted.

In the first four minutes of the video on DD’s YouTube channel, PM Modi and host, WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab exchanged pleasantries. At 5:04 brand, the PM began his speech but without the usual speaker introduction. However, a a few seconds before [5:00 to 5:01 mark], a person can be heard asking in English, “…the charts… sir?” After which the PM takes off his earpiece at 5:12 and begins his speech.

However, at 7:07 mark, PM Modi looks to his left and stops talking. About, 7:15, he addresses the host by name and asks, “Can you hear me? Schwab confirms that PM Modi is audible. The Prime Minister then asks: “Is our interpreter also audible? Schwab confirms in the affirmative and suggests (7:45 a.m.) that the official session resumes after “a short introduction to music…”

At 10:49 brand, PM Modi revives his speech. It should be noted that his speech repeats verbatim his previous introductory remarks at the 5:04 Brand. It should be noted that using a teleprompter for addresses is not out of the ordinary.

Watching the same video on the WEF YouTube channel, at the exact moment Prime Minister Modi looked to his left, someone who was obviously managing the event from the event management team suggests that the Prime Minister should ask whether everyone participated or not. A Hindi voice addresses PM Modi, “Sir ask them once if everyone has joined…”. It is after this that the PM asks if his speech and the voice of the interpreter can be heard. So, the reason why PM Modi stopped speaking was because of an interjection from the team running the event.

Realizing there was a problem, Klaus Schwab introduced the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister started the speech again. The sequence of events clearly indicates that the outage was due to a technical issue and not a teleprompter issue.

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