Chennai: Remember the agitation by thousands of Tamil Nadu residents on Chennai’s Marina Beach to protest a Supreme Court ban on the state’s traditional bull-taming sport, jallikattu last January? The apex court had banned the sport which is organised during the harvest festival of Pongal, in 2014, citing a constitutional obligation to show compassion to animals. The ban was upheld again in 2016.
Last Year's Protests: Jallikattu Protest Turns Violent, Vehicles Burnt
But the Tamilians declared in unison that they would "Preserve their tradition," come what may and had gone ahead with the sport after the agitation that attracted national and international headlines.
This time around, even as the Supreme Court is still against the tradition of bullfight, the Jallikattu has been launched at Avaneeyapuram in Madurai on Sunday. Interestingly, the district collector Veeraraghavarao inaugurated the event by flagging off a red cloth in front of a bull. Taking inspiration from the Madhuai enthusiasts, people at several places across Tamil Nadu and even the neighboring Andhra Pradesh districts of Nellore and Chittoor are also making arrangements for conducting Jallikattu during Pongal and Sankranthi which are celebrated the same day with different names in both the states.
At the Avaneeyapuram event, hundreds of youths participated in the sport demonstrating their passion for the tradition. The event will continue till Tuesday.
In view of the last year's developments, the administration has set the guidelines to the organizers and also the steps to be taken by government departments concerned ahead of the event. The organising committees have been instructed to organise jallikattu in an open ground and ensure that the participating bulls were not injected with enhancement drugs or irritants.
The government also allotted dates for organising ‘jallikattu’ as part of Pongal festivities at various villages. Clear guidelines were issued to the organising committees of the traditional sport for conducting the event.
Cockfights In AP
In AP, people across the state are participating in cockfights with much fervor and enthusiasm. Supreme Court relaxed the High Court's strict ban on cockfights recently.
Cockfights in AP are not only enjoyed by general public but they are patronized by political leaders in their respective villages and towns. At most places, leaders of the same party become contestants and their respective followers cheering throughout the event. Despite Supreme Court’s strict ruling against tying knives on the roosters’ legs, the competitions went on in the same old manner with those sharp objects tied to the competing roosters.