Villagers in Tamil Nadu stage protest against ban on bullfighting

January 13th, 2008 - 11:43 pm ICT by admin  

Madurai, Jan 13 (ANI): A large number of villagers staged a demonstration here today to protest against a Supreme Court order that imposed ban on “Jalikkatu”, a popular sport that involves bullfighting.
Citing cruelty towards animals, Supreme Court on Friday has put a stop to traditional bullfight ‘Jallikattu’, prevalent in Tamil Nadu.
The villagers threatened to surrender their ration cards to the government, if it did not take immediate action regarding the ban on the traditional sport.
“Nearly 5000 people of Anagnanullur village are ready to surrender their ration cards to the Government,” said Alanganaullur councillor Velu Thambi.
“This is Tamilians most heroic sport, which is also popular worldwide. We have been organising Jallikattu every year since nearly 400 years,” Thambi added.
Most of the shops in Alanganullar were closed in protest against the apex court’s verdict.
A meeting of councillors of the Alanganallur village, where the Jallikattu is held on a grand scale and attracts local and foreign tourists, resolved to observe January 15, the day of Pongal, as a black day and directed the residents to hoist black flags.
As public demand that the Supreme Court should review its verdict has gained momentum, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has directed the concerned authorities to take immediate steps in the context.
A team of senior officials has also been rushed to New Delhi in this regard.
‘Jallikattu’, bull fighting or taming the bull, which dates back hundreds of years, is a major event in villages of south India and is held as a thanksgiving ceremony for the animals that have helped in farm activities year-round.
The objective of Jallikattu is to wrest the bounty, which is held in a cloth bag tied between the horns of the bulls.
An agitated bull is let loose to run amok in an open space as a number of people attempt to tame the animal by controlling its horns with the victor taking the prize money home.
The horns of the adorned bulls are wet before the event and the animal is rubbed down with oil making it more difficult to hold onto. To add to it the bulls are drugged with steroids and are sometimes made to drink alcohol in order to enrage them preparing for the event.
Indian laws have provided ample protection to animals against cruelty.
There is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and the Indian Penal Code, 1860, but in spite of the laws and occasional protestations by activists, such cruel sports continue in several parts of the country either using animal or birds. (ANI)

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