Jallikattu refers to the ancient sport of Tamil Nadu, usually performed on Mattu Pongal as a part of the third day of the four-day Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu. The word ‘Jallikattu’ is derived from the Tamil words ‘Jalli’ and ‘Kattu’. Jalli refers to gold or silver coins and kattu means ‘tied up’. Hence, conjointly it refers to coins being tied to the horns of the bull, the player who tames the bull is entitled to a prize.
Why Tamil people opposing the ban on Jallikattu?
It is famous as an ancient ‘game’, which is believed to have been practiced around 2500 years ago. This is controversial because the sport often results in major injuries and even deaths.
Tamil people consider it a symbol of Tamil pride as it is an ancient tradition that has been going on for years. In Jallikattu, thousands of participants attempt to tame bulls by holding onto their horns or humps. Many references to it can be found in Dravidian literature and the indigenous population of Tamil Nadu has organized the event over the years. Jallikattu protests have been fueled by the idea that the ban affects people’s cultural identity.
What do Jallikattu protesters want?
Pro-Jallikattu protesters say their fight is for their culture and Tamil pride and reject the allegation that Jallikattu is cruel to the bulls. They have also demanded that PETA, the animal rights organization lobbying against Jallikattu, be thrown out of the state.
Protesters say the law on cruelty to animals should be amended to include Jallikattu bulls in the list of trained animals used in the military or for educational and scientific purposes.