Jallikattu protests turn into catch-22 situation for Tamil Nadu government

The Tamil Nadu government finds itself in a qundary over the SC ban on Jallikattu; with the ruling party wanting a piece of the political pie on the one hand and the legal obligation of cracking down

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With the population of the state set on defying the Supreme Court's ban on Jallikattu, the Tamil Nadu government is getting jittery. While on the one hand they have made fervent appeals to the Centre as well as the Supreme court to allow the sport to be held on Sunday, on the other hand they are legally compelled to crack down on Jallikattu venues and arrest those defying the ban. The Tamil Nadu government is in a catch-22 situation unable to decide which side to take.

Jallikattu

Not just the incumbent All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government but leaders of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam as well as the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party have written to the Centre urging for an ordinance to be passed. Representations have been made to Union ministries in a bid to keep up the tradition of Jallikattu alive. Legal recourse was also sought with a petition seeking early judgement in the case being filed in the Supreme Court. The court had dismissed the petition earlier and the Union government is not keen on passing the ordinance.

Despite a ban, various Jallikattu venues are being set up either brazenly or in stealth. Reports of practise sessions and actual Jallikattu events have been reported from over 10 places in Tamil Nadu including Madurai and Cuddalore. Section 144 of the IPC has been imposed at various places that act as regular venues for Jallikattu in the Madurai belt with police being deployed to ensure that the sport isn't organised. Several individuals have been detained since Thursday for defying the top court's order but the protests have continued unabated. While some have chosen to protest through slogans, others are organising Jallikattu as a mark of protest.

For two years, the sport wasn't organised in many places due to the SC ban but this time around things have changed. With celebrities and politicians openly supporting Jallikattu, organisers have gained renewed confidence in going ahead with the event.

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