Tamil Nadu: Cry for jallikattu grows louder

Alanganallur villagers fear divine wrath if ban continues.

MADURAI: Fearing divine wrath, people of Alanganallur village near Madurai observed a fast on Thursday, demanding the immediate intervention of the Central government to lift the ban on the traditional Tamil sport of jallikattu. The field (pottal area) near the temples where young tamers practice with bulls for the bull-taming event during the Pongal festival is empty. The village tanks or channels where bull owners train bulls for swimming to enhance their muscle strength and stamina are dried up.

“Nature has already punished us without rain for not conducting jallikattu for the last two years. If we don’t conduct the sport for the upcoming Pongal (in January 2017), our village deities will show their wrath by spreading disease,” said 55-year-old farmer Malaiswamy who could not cultivate his five acres.

“The apex court is passing judgments without understanding our culture and religious significance of jallikattu,” said Veeramma (57) from the village. Women claim that more people are dying unnatural deaths in the last two-years in the village because they did not conduct jallikattu.

“Even if the Central government does not lift the ban on jallikattu, we will conduct the sport this year,” she said. The villagers buried their political differences to put up a united fight for the fast. The DMK Madurai rural district secretary P Murthy, local AIDMK and CPM functionaries participated in the protest. The villagers also decided to organize a ‘yagam’ and ‘vilakku poojai’ in front of the vaadivasal on Friday.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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