Is it banned in India or what??!!
This has been the story storming the front pages and headlines of the newspapers and television channels in the country.
The blood sport which is famous around the world mainly in the parts of Spain, Greece and along the Latin America, has its roots ploughed deep through Tamil Nadu as well.
“Jallikattu” the name by which the sport is popularly called there was banned four years ago by the Supreme court stating that the sport was tormenting the bulls used. The People’s Ethical Treatment for Animals (PETA) used campaigns to end this ruthless onslaught on those poor animals. This campaign was carried out through out the country and was supported by many notable persons in the ranks of Virat Kohli, John Abraham, Hema Malini, to name a few. Many people in the state had also voiced their support against the conduct of the sport as each year, people die in the event. Following this, the sport was banned in India in 2012 which triggered massive outrage in the southern regions of Tamil Nadu.
According to the local people there, “Jallikattu” wasn’t just a sport to them. It was a culture passed on for centuries since the ancient Tamil classical period. The sport soon acted upon as a platform to showcase the bravery of the tamers and the victorious ones were being awarded with cash prizes along with the bull owner’s daughter. It was a faith that the fathers’ had on the sport as they were confident that an able bodied man would secure the future of their daughters’. This credence had been rolling on, in the space of Tamil culture for years.
It was on 8th January 2016, that the Narendra Modi government had eased the ban on the sport stating that bulls can be exhibited or trained at events like Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and bullock cart races in Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat. When the news regarding the bulls was released by the centre, all the regions housing the audacious sport soon erupted in joy following the decision and in a blink of an eye, some people even started training their bulls for the event as well.
Each and every political party in Tamil Nadu including the ruling Anna Dravida Munetra Kalagam (ADMK) party and the opposition involving the Dravida Munetra Kalagam (DMK) party were supporting the famous bull fighting event, as they were not ready to give away their years-old tradition. Even the BJP, which is a not so popular party in the state was also supporting for the sport. With elections in the state around the corner, all the parties in the state were eager to take a piece of the political pie, to lure voters with Jallikattu in the radar.
Five days after the centre had cleared the conduct of Jallikattu, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) along with the PETA had approached the Supreme court to appeal against it and now they have successfully won the appeal. Jallikattu was banned in Tamil Nadu, just 3 days before the Harvest festival of “Pongal” , when the sport is conducted every year. This infuriated the people in the region and they went on to protest against the decision of scraping the sport. Black flags were hurled along the streets and house holds in the district of Madurai, were the sport found its origin. The people took to the streets to protest and are now threatening to boycott the upcoming polls as well. Tweets with the hashtag of #WeSupportJallikattu were trending for the past few days in support of the sport.
In spite of this massive support for the sport, the AWBI is strong on its stand against the cruelty of the bulls in the country. The ruling ADMK had already stated that it would enact an Ordinance in support of the sport and so far, nothing has been done on the ground to revive the age-old sport.
With the scar left by the wrath of the Chennai floods healing slowly, it is now the famous “Jallikattu” which is adding to the woes of the ruling ADMK party.
Will this have an impact to the regime of “AMMA” ??
Well, let us wait for the final showdown.