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Fight for Jallikattu becomes a ‘people's movement' in TN

By Anusha Ravi
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    The focus on Jallikattu shifted from Alanganallur to Chennai's Marina beach on Tuesday night and the protests have only been gathering momentum ever since. 

    Protest at Marina beach

    Protest at Marina beach

    Thousands of people have been gathering at the Marina beach, while protests have also broken out in various districts of Tamil Nadu. Protesters in Coimbatore threatened to boycott the National Anthem in their bid to support Jallikattu.

    Students at Rameshwaram

    Students at Rameshwaram

    Students have boycotted colleges and are joining protests at various venues across the state. With celebrities and prominent personalities extending their support to the sport, the protests have only grown stronger.

    Jallikattu agitators in Madurai

    Jallikattu agitators in Madurai

    Protesters blocked railway tracks in Rameswaram blocking train services. In Chennai, trains were crowded by students who boycotted classes to protest in support of Jallikattu. Hoards of students made their way to Marina beach in Chennai, where thousands of protestors have been protesting since Tuesday evening.

    Protests in Kanchipuram

    Protests in Kanchipuram

    The arrests of hundreds of people in Alanganallur on Tuesday morning sparked off outrage and has resulted in massive protests across the state. Students of government and private colleges in Ponneri, Kanchipuram, Villupuram, Chennai, Tiruvetiyur, Madurai, and Rameswaram took to the streets sporting black clothes and black bands with posters and slogans against PETA, the state and Central government as well as the ban.

    Jallikattu protest at Villupuram

    Jallikattu protest at Villupuram

    Tamil people cutting across age, caste, religion lines came together to express solidarity with the sport and condemning the crackdown on peaceful protesters at Madurai. In a never before seen scenario, people staged all night protests at the Marina beach in Chennai even as hundreds joined in with every passing minute.

    Agitators holding banners in Madurai

    Agitators holding banners in Madurai

    Agitated protesters even expressed displeasure over the media's reportage of Jallikattu and demanded that journalists leave from the spot. Political leaders cutting across party lines have expressed their support for the sport but the Tamil Nadu government was compelled to stop people from going ahead with the Jallikattu in an attempt to avoid being held in contempt of court.

    Social media campaigning for the protests became a massive hit with people taking to Facebook, Twitter etc to inform citizens of the venues and time of protest to express solidarity with Jallikattu. Posters, videos and messages were shared on chatting apps and social media platforms to draw more people to the protests. Actors like Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, Vijay, Surya and celebrities like R J Balaji, Chinmayee Sripada have extended their support to the cause of Jallikattu and some of them like R J Balaji even joined the protesters at Marina beach.

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