Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Special Address to the World Economic Forum's Davos Agenda is trending for all the wrong reasons after a video of Modi stumbling midway through his speech, went viral.
The video began trending on social media on Monday evening with many claiming that Modi couldn't continue his speech as his teleprompter stopped working thereby bursting the bubble that he is a great orator.
#TeleprompterPM has been one of the top twitter trends on India with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi trolling the PM tweeting "इतना झूठ Teleprompter भी नहीं झेल पाया।" (Even the teleprompter couldn't bear the amount of lies).
In response, many BJP and right-wing leaders took to Twitter to defend the PM stating in copy-pasted tweets that the issue arose from a technical error on the WEF's end which meant Modi had to begin again.
Looking past the fact that all the tweets were exact copies, there is some truth in what they said.
Going by the live stream of his address uploaded on WEF and Modi's YouTube pages, it is clear that Modi did not face an issue with his teleprompter but stopped as there were some apparent technical issues which saw his speech not carried on the live stream.
Modi and the WEF's YouTube page streamed the session on Monday. However, for the first eight minutes and 40 seconds in the WEF's stream, a placeholder was being played on the WEF stream before it abruptly cut to Modi addressing the session. WEF chairman Klaus Schwab is on the left window while WEF President Børge Brende on the right.
Less than a minute into his speech, Modi stopped abruptly and looked towards his left. At the 9.26 mark in WEF's stream, a voice in the background in Hindi asks Modi to ask if everyone on the call could see him. Modi put on a earpiece and asked Schwab if he and his interpreter were audible. Schwab responded in the affirmative.
He then said that a sign will be displayed on the screen informing viewers about the address before Schwab introduces Modi.
A text message appeared and stayed on the screen for 30 seconds with the message "Special Address by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India".
Schwab then gave a short two-minute introduction of Modi and India before asking the Prime Minister to begin his address.
Modi then delivered a 19-minute speech without faltering anywhere.
BOOM has written to the WEF seeking more information. The article will be updated as and when they respond.