Jallikattu ban stirs up heat

Chennai,Jan15(tamilnaducentral): After the Supreme Court imposed an interim ban on jallikattu, supporters of the bull-taming sport have taken to street protests and road blockades in several parts of Madurai district, demanding to lift the ban on the sport, that is rooted in the history of Tamils.

Protesters have taken to road blockade, demonstrations and have shuttered shops in several parts of Madurai. Several have gone on hunger strike and few others have tonsured their heads in protest.

Reports also suggest that some of them have thrown their government identity cards, saying that they will boycott the ensuing Assembly polls. Black flags were hoisted on the horns of bulls and homes by protesters in many parts of Madurai district. Tension prevails in Palamedu, Alanganallur and Avaniapuram and in Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts too.

TV reports say that a young married man, a keen enthusiast of jallikattu has doused himself in fire at Theni in protest against the ban. He has been admitted to the hospital with 80% burn injuries.

Despite the ban by the apex court, several jallikattu organisers have threatened to conduct the event to keep up the tradition that is close to their hearts and lives since generations.They say that months of preparations have gone into preparing and training the bulls and that they cannot let go of it.

The protesters in Madurai district have decided to abstain from any kind of Pongal celebrations this year, squarely putting the blame on both the State and Central governments to conduct jallikattu.

On the sidelines, there have been growing discussions on the role of PETA in getting jallikattu banned in Tamil Nadu. Anti-PETA messages are being circulated on WhatsApp and  social media networks. Villagers are shouting slogans against PETA, condemning its backdoor move to destroy Tamil tradition.

It is claimed that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) that is headquartered at Norfolk, Virginia in United States has vested interests in Tamil Nadu to decimate the indigenous varieties of bulls in the State and to eat into the core of the dairy farming business operated by small time farmers in villages. International pharma giants are said to be backing PETA, to bring in cross breeds of bulls into Tamil Nadu. Banning jallikattu will slowly put the indigenous bulls out of action, eventually leading to their extinction. Tamil Nadu will then be forced to bank on feeds and drugs from overseas markets to maintain those mutant varieties developed by international majors.

PETA that started off as an animal shelter for street dogs and cats in America is alleged to have killed thousands of animals when they found no takers for adopting the orphaned animals  or claiming that they were ‘unadoptable’.

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