Ranchi, Jan 11 (ANI): Villagers in Jharkhand organised a cockfight as a part of their celebrations to mark the end of the harvest season.
Held every two months in Ranchi, the sport has emerged as one of the most favoured entertainments for the villagers, who reside in remote forest areas and have little access to cinema or television.
The birds fight each other, often till death, as the surrounding crowds cheer and exchange money with each winning stroke.
"The cockfights are organized after the harvesting season, after we get a good yield. We make them fight to celebrate the end of the harvesting season, so that we get a good yield in the next year," said Pankaj Kumar, owner of a rooster.
The villagers consider that the cocks that win the fight bring happiness and prosperity for their master's family.
" It is said that the cocks that fight and win, bring wealth, happiness and prosperity for their masters. For this, we feed them with the paddy before sending them to the battleground. Also, we don't perform any rituals in our house unless and until the cockfight is over, as it is considered as bad omen," said Ashok Mahto, organizer of the cockfight.
Thousands of villagers converged at the village to watch the cocks fight it.
Believed to be the world's oldest sport, cock-fighting has become a business for many, and breeders spend a huge amount of money on rearing fowls.
The natural spurs of the roosters are sawed off and replaced by razor sharp steel blades and they are also given drugs to maximize their aggression and stamina.
During a typical cockfight tournament, a third to a half of the birds are killed. The few lucky ones who survive suffer severe injuries including broken wings, punctured lungs and gouged eyes. (ANI)