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Jallikattu Event Held in Tamil Nadu

  • 18 Jan 2019
  • 3 min read

Recently, events of Jallikattu were organized in many parts of Tamil Nadu.

  • Jallikattu is referred to as bull taming event typically practiced in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations.
  • The person participating in the event has to pluck bundles of money or gold tied to the animal's horns.
  • The term 'jallikattu' is derived from the Tamil words 'jalli' and 'kattu'. Jalli refers to gold or silver coins. Kattu means 'tied'.
  • It is an ancient 'sport', believed to have been practiced some 2500 years ago. It also found mentioned in the Sangam literature.
  • It is controversial because the sport often results in major injuries and even deaths of both bulls and humans.
  • Supreme Court in 2014 banned Jallikattu and bullock-cart races and such events like the Rekla (race-bulls lugging makeshift carts, TN), Kambala (buffalo race in Karnataka), Dhirio (bullfight in Goa), buffalo fight (Assam) in response to Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) petitions citing cruelty to animals.

Arguments in Favor

  • Culture: Tamils consider it symbolic of Tamilian pride as it is an ancient tradition. Organizers of bullock cart races have argued that extreme care and precaution is exercised to prevent pain from bullocks.
    • However, the court had noted that even the ancient culture and tradition do not support Jallikattu in the form they are conducted today; Tamil culture and tradition is about worshipping the bull considered the vehicle of Lord Shiva.
  • Saving Native Bulls: Proponents of Jallikattu argue that only native bulls are allowed to participate in Jallikattu and these bulls will become extinct if Jallikattu is not allowed to happen; there were more than one million Kangayam bulls in 1990 but now the number is just 15,000.

Arguments in Against

  • Violation of constitution and law: The practice of jallikattu is violating the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals act, 1960.
  • Also, the article 51A of the constitution which includes our fundamental duties and states that citizens should safeguard the wildlife and forests and have compassion for living creatures.
  • Animal rights issues: Some people consider bullfighting a cruel sport in which the bull suffers severe torture. Many animal rights activists often protest against it, citing the needless endangerment of the life of the animal and the fighter.
  • The animal welfare body through its studies and reports had highlighted that bulls were physically and mentally tortured for human pleasure.
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