Plea to enact special law for jallikattu in Madras High Court

Jallikattu was an event held in Tamil Nadu as part of Pongal celebrations on Maatu Pongal day.

Chennai: A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Madras high court to direct the Union and state governments to enact a new Special Law with strict conditions to celebrate erutazhuval, Manju Virattu, Madupudi Thiruvila (jallikattu) in Tamil Nadu. The PIL from Tamil Nadu Centre for Public Interest Litigation represented by its managing trustee K.K. Ramesh is likely to come up for hearing on Friday.

According to Ramesh, jallikattu was an event held in Tamil Nadu as part of Pongal celebrations on Maatu Pongal day. Bulls were bred specifically by people of the village for the event and attended mainly by village temple bulls. During the event, prizes were announced to encourage youth to participate. After the event, tamed weak bulls were used for domestic activities and agriculture. The untameable strong bulls were used for breeding cows. Thus, wild nature of the bulls was inherited to its next generation, even though these country bulls were domesticated a very long time ago.

Jallikattu was said to be ingenious where both sport with adrenaline rush for youth and preservation of Ecosystem by preserving country bulls works well together. Jallikattu has been known to be practiced during Tamil classical period (400-100BC). Animal activists and Peta India have protested against the practice since 2004. Along with human injuries and fatalities, sometimes bulls themselves sustain injuries which people believe as bad omen for the village.

In May, 2014, the Supreme Court banned the practice, citing animal welfare issue. On January 8, 2016, the Union government passed an order exempting jallikattu from all performances where bulls cannot be used, effectively reversing the ban. However, on January 14, 2016, the Supreme Court upheld its ban on the event, leading to protests all over Tamil Nadu, he added. He said it was the bounden duty of the government to respect the feelings of TN people.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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