Pro-right wing organisations across the country have been hailing protests in support of Jallikattu, these are the same groups that are up in arms against cow slaughter earning them the name cow-vigilante. The Supreme Court banned Jallikattu owing to cruelty to animals during the sport, but for those who brand themselves as protectors of the holy cow, nothing about Jallikattu is cruel.
"Ours in a country whose foundation lies in its culture, traditional and historical practices and no government or NGO can or should interfere with it. There is no question of cruelty during Jallikattu or Kambala. These are our traditional sports and involves absolutely no harm to the animals," claims Suryanarayana, state convenor of the Bajrang dal's Karnataka unit. Members of the Bajrang Dal have time and again been in the news for either assaulting others for alleged illegal transport of cattle or assisting police in intercepting vehicles transporting cows largely in the coastal belt of Karnataka.
While compassion to cows in their demand and ban on illegal slaughter is their agenda, compassion to animals used for sports is PETA's agenda. Why then the anger against PETA and support for Jallikattu? they have an answer for that question as well. "PETA is an anti-India and Anti-Indian culture NGO. Their agenda is not to save animals but to kill the Indian culture and foreign funding is fuelling their agenda. If animal welfare was their concern why won't they raise voice against illegal slaughter? Why won't they fight till lakhs of cows are saved from torturous death? Why won't they protest against inhumane conditions in which the cattle are transported? Hindu culture is an easy target for them and for us up holding it of prime importance," he added.
While making an observation on the centre government's argument that Jallikattu needs to be allowed since it has been around for hundreds of years, the Supreme Court had asked if Sati and child marriage should be allowed only because it is tradition and has been in practice for hundreds of years. The pro-right wingers do not feel that Sati, child marriage and Jallikattu are the same.
"Our's is a country dependent on agriculture. Are you saying that using animals for farming purposes in cruelty? Driving them to plough and sow is inhumane? Then we should ideally not touch the cattle at all and then what happens to our farmers? The festivities that happen for 3 days in a year may cause some discomfort to the animal but there is definitely no cruelty as being portrayed. The animals are tended to like children all through the year," he said.
Dinesh Pai, former president of Gau Rakshana Samiti in Mangaluru believes that priorities need to be attended to. "Here we are talking about banning a sport but want to keep mum on brutal killings of animals. Is killing not cruelty? If Jallikattu is cruel, what do you call slaughter? Let there be bans on slaughter houses that kill before there is a ban on a sport that has a history if thousands of years."