Jallikattu is one of the popular traditional sport event in Tamil nadu celebrated during Pongal. In this event bull is released into the huge crowd from entry gate called “Vadivasal” and multiple participants from the crowd will try to grab the hump of the bull and hung up there until the bull escapes from it. The whole meaning of this term is coins being tied to bull’s horns and whoever tames the bull will gets it. Currently this sport is in controversy because of many injuries and death.
Jallikattu, also recognized as eru thazhuvuthal and manju virattu, is a customary demonstration in which a Bos indicus bull, generally of the Kangayam breed, is made free onto the crowd and many human contestants try to clutch the large bump of the bull with both arms and suspend on to it whereas the bull tries to escape. Contestants hold the hump for as long as conceivable, struggling to bring the bull to a halt. In specific circumstances, contestants must ride long enough to confiscate ribbons on the bull’s horns. Calves are particularly nurtured to turn out to be bulls fit for Jallikattu by serving them an exceptional diet.
The term “Jallikattu” is taken from the Tamil language where “jalli” denotes to gold or silver coins and “kattu” stands for “tied’. Hence, joint together it brings up to coins being knotted to the bulls’ horns, which is deliberated as the prize for whoever conquers the bull. The bull that wins is used to service many cows conserving the inherent class.
Date of Celebration:
Jallikattu is characteristically practiced in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal festivities on Mattu Pongal day which is the third day of four day lasting Pongal festival.
History and Importance:
It is distinguished as an olden “sport”, supposed to have been practiced some 2500 years ago. It is contentiousas the sport often effects in major hurts and even demises. The first known occurrence of Jallikattu in Indian history is traced amid the 1st and 4th century BC, all through what is recognized as the Tamil classical era. It was the Aayars of Tamil Nadu existing in the ‘Mullai’ geographic division of the zone who are known to run-through the custom.
These days, Jallikattu has enticed objections from “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)” and “Federation of India Animal Protection Agencies (FIAPA)”. They have been leading the opposition of Jallikattu since 2004. The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) filed a case in the Supreme Court of India for a complete ban on Jallikattu for the unkindness to animals and the risk to public security involved. It claimed that the sport feats the bulls’ natural edginess as target animals by purposely enlisting them in a petrifying condition and compelling them to escape. It similarly pointed out that occasionally, audiences get hurt or even pass away. There have also been circumstances of bulls getting hurt.
On November 27, 2010, the Supreme Court allowed the Tamil Nadu government to allow Jallikattu for 5 months in a year, and instructed the District Collectors to take care that the animals that partake in Jallikattu are listed into the Animal Welfare Board. An AWBI rep was also endorsed to be present at Jallikattu events. Though, in 2011, the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the UPA government barred the use of bulls for game, thus successfully prohibiting the fiesta. But, the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act 2009 facilitated Jallikattu to keep unabated in the state.
Note that from 2010 to 2014, as a minimum 17 people were murdered and 1000-odd injured in Jallikattu events.
Lastly, in May 2014, the apex court hit down the 2009 Act, and forbidden the practice. The tussleamid the apex court and the Central Government sustained however, with the government on January 8, 2016 letting the practice of Jallikattu under convinced circumstances, through an announcement. The Supreme Court then redisposed the prohibition on the event in July 2016.
Objections in favor of Jallikattu instigated once more in January 2017, before Pongal. The Supreme Court on January 12, 2017 disallowed an appeal by lawyers looking for urgent ruling on a batch of appeals filed before it against the ban on Jallikattu. This prohibited Jallikattu from happening during Pongal and exasperated large sectors of the Tamil Nadu population. Challenging the Supreme Court’s ban, the event took at some places in the state, specifically in Madurai. The objection which activated in the rural areas soon got support from the scholars, IT experts, the salaried and even sports persons and artistes in urban areas.
Since January 17, 2017, Marina Beach in Chennai has turned into the source of pro-Jallikattu complaints, with 1000s of people camp out at the seashore demanding a enlivening of the ban. Demonstrations also took place in Coimbatore, Madurai and Delhi. The top court, nevertheless, once again declined to decree on the issue on January 19, 2017 and asked the requester to move to the Madras High Court.
This festival is often shown in Tamil cinema where the hero tone down the bull to prove his courage. Jallikattu is also included in popular movies such as Aravaan, Kanni Paruvathile, Rajakumaran, Virumaandi and more. The Jallikattu scene was cut down from the Mirugam movie due to objections by the Censor Board.
Image Courtesy – Flickr/vinothchandar