Jallikattu
Source: Indian Express

The people of Tamil Nadu haven’t been celebrating jallikattu,A sport that is considered the pride of the Dravidians according to tamil Nadu CM Mr.O. Panneerselvam for the past two years. The reason being a supreme court banning it.

What is Jallikattu?

It is an event of hugging or embracing a bull that is artificially aggravated. The bulls are bred and maintained exclusively for the sport and are healthier and more dangerous than an average bull. In India, it is celebrated in Tamil Nadu as a part of Mattu Pongal celebration. Jallikattu is said to be practiced since the Tamil Classical Period. (400-100 BC)

Jallikattu
Source: Heritage Madurai

Why so much fuss about Jallikattu?

In the year 2004, few animal activists and PETA protested against the sport claiming it to be an inhuman act and a deliberate torture to the bulls.

Jallikattu
Source: Peta India

On 27th Nov 2010 SC allowed Jallikattu for five months in a year. In the year 2011 Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a notification stating complete ban on using bulls but allowed Jallikattu to be practiced as per TN Regulation of Jallikattu Act No. 27 of 2009. But, on May 7th, 2014, SC completely banned the sport and also asked then Central Govt. to amend the law in order to prevent cruelty against bulls.

After the BJP Govt. came to power on January 8th, 2016, Ministry of Environment and Forests permitted the tradition under certain conditions and it ended the ban, which was opposed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and on the same stay was given by SC on January 12th, 2016.

In the recent event on January 8th, 2017, over 20,000 students and young adults from Tamil Nadu gathered at Marina Beach Chennai in order to protest against the ban.

Current status of Jallikattu:

Recently a petition was filed challenging the ban over Jallikattu in the Supreme court, but as per the ongoing case on the stay order by SC over Central Govt. order, supreme court refused to give any judgement. The court said that it cannot hear a petition challenging its ban as the case is yet not closed.

““Myself and the Tamil Nadu government, who follow the footsteps of Amma (the late CM J Jayalalithaa), will ensure that Jallikattu is held. We will not back off even a bit. I would like to assure the people of Tamil Nadu that we will uphold the heritage and culture of the Tamils”. said CM Mr. O. Panneerselvam.

Jallikattu
Kamal Hasan taking part in Jallikattu. Image Source TOI

A few days back actor Kamal Haasan also voiced against the ban. “I am one of the few Kollywood actors who has been a part of Jallikattu. It does not involve winning or harming the bull but more about who can stay with the bull for the longest on the ground, For thousands of years it has been known as a sport where we embrace the bull. It is not to be confused with what happens in Spain,” He said.

But as the people gear up to celebrate pongal, the harvest festival of the state, it looks like they will have to wait a little longer to add back jallikattu to their list of celebration activities.