Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu: Defiance, protests and police crackdown

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Chennai, Jan 15: 'Sad pongal' marked the second day of pongal festivities in Thiruchi. Citizens shut shops and establishments as a mark of their protest against the ban on Jallikattu. In Thanjavur, a political party, Naam Tamizhar Katchi organised Jallikattu with 24 bulls despite the Supreme Court ban and even gave away prizes.

In Palamedu people observed 'black pongal' with black flags hanging outside every house as a mark of there protest over Jallikattu not being allowed. People were seen rallying with black flags. The situation turned tense when bulls were taken through the 'Vadivasal', the gateway through which the bulls are released in Jallikattu.

Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu: Defiance, protests and police crackdown

The animals, as trained, started running helter-skelter leading to utter chaos with people trying to stop the animals, forcing the police to resort to lathi charge. "This is our village, our tradition and our sport. Why do we need a state and central government that doesn't respond to our requests? Why should I be stopped from upholding my traditions? We will reject elections if this continues," said a villager in Palamedu.

Posters in support of Jallikattu and against the supreme court and the Center government were displayed at venues that were initially marked for Jallikattu event.

Apart from Jallikattu event, people in Coimbatore organised 'Reckla', a bullock cart race that is also banned. People were seen protesting by tearing up posters of actress Trisha who had supported the ban on Jallikattu.

"The ban on Jallikattu is an attempt to take away the right of a community to practice their tradition. It is unconstitutional," said another supporter of the sport. Meanwhile, many are still hopeful of the centre passing an ordinance that would allow Jallikattu.

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