‘Jallikattu’ much more than a bull sport for Tamilians


Rama Krishna Sangem

“Jallikattu” is much more than a bull sport for people of Tamil Nadu. They see this sport as a Tamil pride and reflection of their thousands of years of human as well as animal virility.  When it was banned by a division bench of Supreme Court nine years ago, there were huge protests, some even turning against all those who opposed the sport.  Open defiance rallies were held on beaches of Madras and southern districts of Tamil Nadu. 

The SC has done a good job by allowing Jallikattu, bull taming sport popular in Tamil Nadu. In a judgement by a five member constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph, the apex court has maintained that law cannot decide issues pertaining to cultural heritage and tradition.

This is a unanimous verdict where other four justices Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravi Kumar too concurred with the view allowing this age old sport in rural areas of Tamil Nadu and parts of Karnataka won’t harm bulls in a targeted fashion.


Animal Rights groups oppose 

We know that some animal rights groups including PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) have opposed Jallikattu since 2014 on the grounds that it was a blood sport and causes death of both humans as well as bulls, in the name of taming them. Moreover, this sport causes agony to bulls which are terrified by the mobs that chase them with heavy noise and sounds.

In 2014, then AIADMK government brought a law permitting the sport. A division bench of SC set aside the law and banned the sport across the country. Union Environment ministry issued notification banning all forms of bull related sports – Jallikattu and bullock cart races in Maharashtra, etc. This issue was  dragged on in the apex court for the last several years, and finally it got a verdict.

At the same time, it is also the duty of the government to create awareness among people, especially the youth, about rights of bulls, and other animals. Of course, Prevention of Cruelty Against Act 1960 is there to guide on this. Even organisers of Jallikattu too should be educated to see that bulls are not harmed, both physically and biologically, in the name of sport.  

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at excelindiaweb123@gmail.com