CHENNAI: With just a few weeks to go for Pongal, a new set of guidelines for conducting traditional jallikattu in Tamil Nadu is being prepared by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). The new guidelines will be submitted to the state government within a few days, said S.P. Gupta, newly appointed chairman of the statutory advisory body.
The new chairman, who visited the board’s Chennai office for the first time after assuming office, also stated that the board’s stand is clear regarding jallikattu and the sport can be conducted according to the Supreme Court’s guidelines. “The board is framing a separate guideline exclusively for jallikattu. The guidelines will be finalised within this week and sent to the state government,” Gupta said.
When asked about Peta’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) intervention, Gupta clarified that AWBI is against the Peta’s stand regarding jallikattu issue. “We (AWBI) do not come into the matters against tradition and culture of people. At the same time, we do check the matters regarding cruelty against animals,” Gupta added.
Peta, a US-based animal welfare organisation, led an unsuccessful legal battle against jallikattu, which is being conducted in Tamil Nadu, traditionally. Following students’ uprising last year, the state government had passed an ordinance favouring jallikattu. Simultaneously, with the apex court’s guidelines, bull-taming sport (jallikattu) was conducted across the state during Pongal festival.
With bulls across the states being honed for the forthcoming Pongal season next year, AWBI’s notion has come as a pleasant surprise for the jallikattu organisers.
S.P. Gupta also emphasised the district administrations to check whether the guidelines are being followed or not. “The organisers can hold jallikattu event wherever they want, but they should abide by certain regulations,” he reiterated.