Saturday, 17 December 2011

Jallikattu organisers leave for Delhi

TRICHY: Karu Ambalatharasu, founder-president of the Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Forum, on Wednesday left for New Delhi to mobilise support against the "unlawful notification" issued against the traditional sport event. Before leaving, he told TOI the forum was all set to conduct the annual event as "the essence of it was ingrained in Tamil culture, and there were some vested interests that were trying to exterminate this culture from the State once and for all." Karu said he and his supporters were scheduled to meet Jayanthi Natarajan, minister of state for environment, and also all Tamil MPs to mobilise support for jallikattu.

Meanwhile, despite the July 11 Central notification banning the "game" while a final verdict is awaited from the Supreme Court in the TN government vs Animal Welfare Board of India case, the villagers in Pudukottai, Trichy, Thanjavur areas are busy training their animals for jallikattu. The State organiser of Jallikattu, Ondiraj, who is accompanying Ambalatharasu, said the game was once played throughout the year, and then restricted to three months during the harvest festival, before finally becoming a one or two days' event.

In Trichy district alone, it is now celebrated only in four villages such as Koothaipar, Karunkulam, Navalpattu, and Rettaimalai, he said. Taking exception to Hema Malini's stand against jallikattu, Ambalatharasu said the Central government should not have buckled under pressure of one woman. While Hema accused that the bull was tortured in the name of jallikattu, Ambalatharasu said, "We love the bull as if they are our own children, and what is more, we adore them like god. Moreover, this is the traditional festival where girls identified their suitors based upon the bravery exhibited at the arena, he added.

In fact, Hema Malini, MP, had written to Union Minister of Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, to stop the cruel game of jallikattu that according to her violated the spirit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act No 27 of 2009 had permitted the game, and that was challenged in the apex court. However, the apex court had permitted the game while laying down strict norms for its conduct which included medical check-up for the animals, and a deposit of Rs 2 lakh for each event.


  1. Jallikattu is a symbol of power, pride and prosperity to Tamils. Its a Dravidian culture, which off late is being intruded by some vested interests in the name of cruelty against animals..
    One should realize, these bulls are nurtured much better than their own kids by their lords. It is a matter of pride of the bull owner. But, if someone stops the bull-he is considered powerful. Earlier days, those lords/owners of bulls, gave thier daughter in wedding to the powerful man. The relevance is, being powerful-he can work and save his daughter.
    Also note-those vested interests who have destroyed many historic achievements of Dravidians are now planning to destroy the symbol of powerful Dravidians. Incidentally when thousands of Tamils were massacred in Sri Lanka, these self styled Messiahs not even bothered about raising their voice. Ironically, they are more concerned about animals (bulls)- does not this shedding crocodile tears?!

    1. Hi Rahul! Please do not give this campaign a controversial angle and do not indulge in mindless accusations. If you plan to accuse, please provide proof to back it up. Animal rights activists/organisations opposing jallikattu have no vested interest. The aim of these activists/organisations is to stop the cruelties inflicted on animals which take place in the name of culture, tradition, etc. The means of training and performance used on jallikattu bulls is a blatant violation of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and the recent notification of Ministry of Environment and Forest banning the performance and exhibition of bulls. The activists/organisations working on this issue have documented the illegal and cruel ways in which the bulls are trained and made to perform.

      We all are aware that in present time, even in rural areas the criteria for selection of grooms is wealth, employment/business, family background, etc. Qualities such as masculinity or courage were important criteria in olden days but not anymore. The whole crux of this tradition was to choose winners as grooms but this does not take place now. On this very ground jallikattu should be stopped as this tradition has become redundant and holds no significance in present time. All traditions should be revisited and reanalysed to judge if they fit in the present times. There are some traditions like sati, child marriage, etc which were stopped on these grounds. Torturing or killing of a helpless animal for whatever reason is against the very fiber of Indian culture and it must be stopped. If bulls could talk, the jallikattu ground would echo of nothing but cries and pleas of these innocent animals.