Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Jan 12: Tension gripped the Southern districts of Tamil Nadu, particularly Madurai district today, after the Supreme Court refused to permit 'Jallikattu' (taming of the bull), which dates back to several centuries.
Villagers and competitors of the Southern districts, especially Alanganallur and Palamedu, expressed shocked of the court's ruling as they were preparing and training the fiery bulls for the event. They felt that the reputation of their villages was put at stake by the court's verdict. Several bull owners from South Tamil Nadu, representing the Tamizhaga Veera Vilayattu Kuzhu (committee for the valiant sports of Tamil Nadu), who had impleaded in the case and were camping in the nation's capital city, were 'upset' over the verdict.
Convener of the committee T Rajasekaran, who is in New Delhi, told to the sources over phone that the committee members would meet at Alanganallur soon after their return from the capital to know the people's views. He said they had plans to meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to seek his intervention in the issue. He, however, refused to comment over the apex court's verdict.
Jallikattu, otherwise called 'Manju Virattu', takes place in villages throughout the state every January as part of the Pongal festivities. The event dates back to as far as 2,000 years and is a much awaited bravery sport.
Alanganallur Jallikattu in Madurai is a world famous event and every year foreign tourists come to the village to watch it. Meanwhile, the residents of Alanganallur and Palamedu felt that if the Jallikattu event was not held, it would not augur well for their villages.
Talking to mediapersons who thronged Alanganallur after the court verdict, they said they respected the bulls which were treated in a good manner. ''We do not treat them cruelly, in fact, we have reared them like our own children,'' they said.
''This is a sport practiced by our forefathers and how can we stop the event that reflects our culture,'' they asked. The South Zone police have been taking necessary steps to enforce the Supreme Court's verdict.
A police official said strict action would be taken against those violating the court verdict. Meanwhile, the Tamizhar Veera Vilayaattu Pathukappu Kuzhu (Tamils Valiant Sport Protection Committee), a local outfit, has threatened to defy the Supreme Court order banning 'Jallikattu' (the sport of taming bulls) and plans to conduct the event. In a statement here tonight, Kuzhu President Rithish Kumar and Secretary Wondiraj said 'Jallikattu' was a bravery game of Tamils dating back to 2,000 years.
Even foreign nationals came to Tamil Nadu to watch the event which reflects the culture of the Tamils. As such the event would be held as scheduled, they said.
Meanwhile, police personnel were deployed in Alankanallur, Palamedu and Avaniyapuram Villages of this district in view of tense situation prevailing after the Apex Court verdict.
Police patrolling was intensified and round-the-clock vigil maintained.