Students and pro-Kannada organisations took to the streets in Mangaluru, Hubli-Dharwad and Bengaluru in support of Kambala on Friday. Taking a cue from Tamil Nadu on Jallikattu, public demand for revoking the ban on Karnataka's Kambala has been growing. The protests come in the backdrop of the Siddaramaiah government mulling an ordinance similar to the Jallikattu ordinance to legalise Kambala in the state.
Hundreds of students in Mangaluru protested in support of Kambala while pro-Kannada organisations in Hubli demanded to revoke the ban alongside demands for a ban on animal rights group PETA. In Bengaluru however, it was AIADMK party cadres who protested for Kambala. "Animals are used in horse races too but why is there no ban on that? Is it because it is elitist and Kambala is a rural sport? This is our tradition and we will fight for it," said a student protester at Mangaluru.
Karnataka Law Minister T B Jayachandra has been vocal about the state's stance on Kambala and has claimed that an ordinance will be brought if need be. Politicians cutting across party lines have extended their support to the sport and some leaders of the BJP even took part in Friday's protests at Mangaluru. Pro-Kannada organisations are likely to call for a Karnataka bandh demanding legalising of Kambala on Friday.
When asked, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said,"We are for kambala not Against it. it is a rural sport ,if necessary we will pass legislation."