Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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Jallikattu: A dangerous sport

Tamil Nadu will have to do without Jallikattu — the hugely popular bull-taming sport – during Pongal this weekend. The government, a Central minister indicated, may not issue an ordinance or executive order this year to hold the banned sport since it is looking for a long-term solution to ban the dangerous sport once for all. Supreme Court order in banning the sports came at a right time. Following huge protests from the animal rights activists, Jallikattu was banned by the Central government in 2014. In November, the Supreme Court had dismissed Tamil Nadu’s plea seeking that it review its judgment on the ban in view of the popularity of the sport, which is usually held during the five-day harvest festival in rural areas. What Supreme Court has done is absolutely fine. To get a kick from seeing the bullock being tested and tortured is unjustified. Show mercy on animals. But efforts are made to bring back the thrill this Pongal also in a very big way.

Jallikattu also known as Eruthazhuvuthal or Manju virattu, is an event of controlling bull held in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Maatu Pongal day. Bulls are bred specifically by people of the village for the event and attended mainly by many villages’ temple bulls. A temple bull is like the head of all cattle in a village; special rituals will be performed on this day with the horns of the bullocks painted colourfully to give more attraction for people participating in this event and the onlookers enjoying the sport from outside.

Jallikattu, one of the oldest exciting and dangerous sports is a bull taming sport performed in the villages of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal (harvest carnival) celebrations. Injuries and deaths are common in Jallikattu sports because as you know that a wrong hit of bull on the human body may prove fatal. This is one of the oldest dwelling sports glimpsed in the modern era. In Jallikattu, all that the fighters have to do is to jump on the running bull, try to grip on to its bulge and move along with the animal without falling or getting injured. It need quick reflex and a fleet foot to tame the recalcitrant bull, which will try to get away, shake off the fighter and, at times, stamp or gore the fallen participants. By the above description we can analyse the dangerous sport and banning it is a step in the right direction. There is no need to organise this sport during Pongal season.

C.K. Ramani

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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