With Pongal festivities less than a week away, Jallikattu (taming the bull) is back in the news. Despite a Supreme Court ban, the Tamil Nadu government has sought the Central government's intervention to allow the sport by passing an ordinance. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had written to the prime minister about the urgent need to pass an ordinance that would allow the sport. A similar request was made when J Jayalalithaa was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu in 2016.
The ordinance route is nothing new since the Union government had attempted to work around the ban order by the SC by passing an ordinance in 2016 as well. The government had passed an ordinance on January 7, 2016 exempting bulls from the list of performing animals under prevention of cruelty to animals act. The move did very little to help Tamil Nadu in going ahead with Jallikattu since the Supreme Court stayed the ordinance after it was passed. The SC even rapped the Central government for negating its order and the Tamil Nadu government for not adhering to its order of staying Jallikattu.
Ordinance only after SC verdict, says BJP MP
The lone BJP MP from Tamil Nadu, Pon Radhakrishnan on Tuesday said that it was unlikely for the government to pass an ordinance to allow Jallikattu this year. Speaking to the media, the minister in his personal capacity said that the government is likely to exempt bulls from list of performing animals only after the SC gives its final verdict on a petition filed before it seeking a ban on Jallikattu.
The SC had banned the sport in Tamil Nadu on May 7, 2014 following severe backlash from animal rights activists. However, the ministry of environment and forests allowed the sport to continue under certain conditions thereby ending the ban on January 8, 2016. But the apex court issued a stay on the sport on January 12, 2016, after hearing petitions by the Animal Welfare Board of India and then refused to lift the stay. The SCt had even rejected a review petition filed by Tamil Nadu over its order banning the 'traditional
sport' of Jallikattu.