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Jallikattu is an emotion: Bull-taming sport organisers welcome SC verdict

DECCAN CHRONICLE | AVINASH P. SUBRAMANYAM

Published on: May 18, 2023 | Updated on: May 18, 2023

Jallikattu is a religious and cultural event held during the Sankranti (harvest) festival. (AFP Photo)

TIRUPATI: The Supreme Court order upholding the law enacted by Tamil Nadu allowing the bull-taming sport 'Jallikattu' was welcomed on Thursday by the organisers of Chittoor’s Goppa Mylaru Panduga or Pasuvula Panduga – an inferior variant of Tamil Nadu’s Jallikattu.

"The traditional bull-taming sport is part of our culture. Jallikattu is a
religious and cultural event held during the Sankranti (harvest) festival.

Its influence has spread beyond the boundaries of caste and creed. Banning a centuries-old practice is an anti-culture and anti-people approach," they said.

We thank the Supreme Court for upholding the validity of Jallikattu," said A Ramana, an organisers of the bull taming sport in Kuppam mandal. Tamil Nadu shares its borders with some villages in the former Chittoor district. Jallikattu is organised in the second week of January, marking the Sankranti season, and it serves as a symbolic gesture to thank bull owners who train their animals.

It has become a traditional practice for the farmer community to retain
their pure-bred local bulls, who are otherwise solely used for ploughing the fields.

There is a difference between Tamil Nadu's Jallikattu and the Goppa Mylaru Panduga observed in the tail-end district of Andhra Pradesh, where it has been popular for over 150 years. This sport here involves men going after 10 to 50 bulls, making these animals run amok across a narrow space amid the beating of drums.

People lining up on both sides compete with each other to chase the bulls and grab the prizes tied to the cattle's horns.

According to Kodanda Reddy, an organiser of the Ramakuppam cattle festival, Jallikattu is an emotion that surpasses caste, creed and religion. "The Supreme Court's decision upholding the validity of Jallikattu is historic. It is a traditional orientation. We are delighted to commemorate the cow festival every year during Sankranti. It fosters and reflects a friendly man-animal interaction," he stated.

However, irrespective of age, people from all walks of life expect to catch hold of the rushing cattle and snatch the trophies tied to their horns, even if they sustain injuries in the process.