While Covid19 cases are on the rise, several villages in the tail-end district are gearing up to conduct the traditional bull-taming sport. (AP file photo)
TIRUPATI: While Covid19 cases are on the rise, several villages in the tail-end district are gearing up to conduct the traditional bull-taming sport, similar to Tamil Nadu’s Jallikattu and locally called Goppa Mylaru Panduga or Pasuvula Panduga, marking Sankranti festival.
Though the police enforced a ban on this traditional bull-taming sport (bull-race) as both the bulls and tamers face risks to their lives, preparations are in full swing for holding the sport at a few villages in Chittoor district. Thousands of people including politicians are encouraging the bull-tamers as it has become a part of the village culture and festivities.
Usually, the pasuvula panduga or cattle festival takes place during the third day of the Sankranti festival. However, this time it was held two weeks before Sankranti by the people at Kotha Sanambatla village.
Similarly, Kunepalli, Vepurimittapalle, Kondkindapalle and Nemiliguntapalle villages have already hosted bull-races and several people ended up sustaining injuries while taming the bulls.
There exists a difference between Tamil Nadu’s Jallikattu and the Chittoor district’s pasuvula panduga, which has been in vogue for the past 150 years. The sport here involves the chasing of bulls and cows, which were made to run amok through a narrow passage, while people lined up on both sides compete with each other and chase the cattle to snatch trophies tied to their horns.
The organisers of this cattle festival say this is a minor version of TN’s Jallikattu and not aimed at hurting cattle but to revere them. The sport is held in the district on a par with Tamil Nadu for the past few years. Animal lovers allege the cattle are being fed with alcohol and other intoxicants to prepare them for the bull-race.
When contacted, Palamaner DSP CM Gangaiah said they are strictly enforcing the ban this time and booking cases against the organisers. "We keep a vigil on villages. Cases will be booked and strict action taken," the DSP stated.
Last year, the cattle festival was organised in villages like Ramireddygaripalle, Pullaiahgaripalli Palle, Rangampeta, Baireddypalle, Adusipalle and some other villages in Chandragiri, Kuppam, Palamaner constituencies. Some 30 people were injured in the events.
Despite the ban, some entities with their social and political influence are gearing up to hold the bull-taming sport this year too.