Jallikattu row: Yes, not all Tamilians support bull-taming sport
Chennai, Jan 19: As the issue of Jallikattu has triggered mass protests across the southern state of Tamil Nadu, especially in Chennai, in the wake of a ban imposed by the Supreme Court, there are many Tamilians (the native of the state) who don't support the traditional bull-taming sport.
Rajeshwari Ganesan, who works at the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations, in an article published in Scroll, wrote, "I am a Tamilian who has always been proud of her roots and her culture. However, I hang my head in shame every time a non-Tamilian asks me about Jallikattu."
"Their (Jallikattu supporters') attempt to rationalise a regressive, barbaric custom in the name of a culture is deeply insulting to a civilisation that takes pride in being among the world's oldest."
On the sidelines of pro-Jallikattu protests underway in Chennai for the last few days, there are also anti-Jallikattu protests in the city, where activists have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to 'stay strong' and not 'weaken bull protection laws'.
On Thursday, TN Chief Minister O Panneerselvam met PM Modi in Delhi and urged him to promulgate an ordinance enabling the conduct of the ancient bull-taming sport.
However, Modi asserted that the matter was sub-judice.
"The ban imposed on Jallikattu by the Supreme Court came up for discussion. While appreciating the cultural significance of Jallikattu, the Prime Minister observed that the matter is presently sub-judice," the Prime Minister's Office said in a series of tweets.
"The Centre would be supportive of steps taken by the State Government," it added.
The apex court in May 2014 banned Jallikattu, saying that bulls cannot be used as performing animals including bullock-cart races.
The animal rights group--The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals--has been in the forefront in protesting against the traditional sport, citing cruelty to the animals.