November 17, 2016
Chennai: Jallikattu is back in the news with the people’s hopes of the bull-taming sport being restarted receiving a setback after the Supreme Court rejected the Tamil Nadu government’s plea to review its 2014 ban.
Political parties took up the issue and urged the Centre to bring in legal amendments to ensure that the sport is conducted during the festival of Pongal in January 2017. Animal rights activists welcomed the court order and said that the ban on jallikattu should remain in force.
CPI State Secretary R Mutharasan said that in the history of Tamils, bulls were considered a part of the family besides being worshipped and that they were an integral part of Tamil culture. “Instead of banning it citing cruelty, the Centre should bring in due legal arrangements to ensure that the bulls are not ill-treated in any manner,” he said in a statement. He also said that the sentiments of Tamils must be respected and it should be ensured that jallikattu was held during the Tamil month of Thai.
Residents of Madurai and nearby places where jallikattu is popular said they were disappointed that the plea to conduct the sport was rejected again. M Mariappan, a resident of Alanganallur who works in a private firm, said the state and central governments must take all possible steps to ensure its conduct. He said more than the ‘traditional and valour sport’ argument, it had something to do with propitiating the Almighty. He said some parts of Madurai were facing a water shortage and farmers were facing hard times and added, “God is angry with us for not conducting jallikattu and our people are paying the price.” He criticised those opposing the conduct of the sport and said they were doing it on wrong advice.
Animal lovers in the city said the apex court’s verdict needs to be welcomed and felt that the ban should not be revoked at any cost. According to Anupriya, an animal rights activist, the SC’s decision needs to be praised and respected and the governments should not take special efforts to conduct the sport.
Meanwhile, A Suresh, a Madurai resident and a fan of the bull-taming sport though he doesn’t take part in it, said that the ban on jallikattu was not justified and alleged that it was done due to the evil designs of the anti-Hindutva forces. He said that it was a tradition to conduct jallikattu on Maatu Pongal Day (the day after the harvest festival) in various parts of Tamil Nadu and it was not right to tamper with tradition. Meanwhile, around 50 women organised an ‘oppari’ protest in Pillamanaickanpatti in Dindigul district today to demand an ordinance to enable the conduct of jallikattu at least in 2017. They wanted the Centre to take steps towards the same during the ongoing Parliament session.