Assembly elections are due in Tamil Nadu, so now the parties have started showing interest in cultural festivals like Pongal and Jallikattu.
- Jallikattu is a sport to tame a bull which is popular in Tamil Nadu. It is particularly popular in Madurai, Trichy, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul, known as the Jallikattu belt.
- It is celebrated during the harvest festival Pongal. This is a 2,000-year-old tradition and is considered a method for the conservation of purebred native bulls.
- It is organized as a competitive sport – if the contestant successfully tames the bull, he wins the prize and if he fails, the owner of the bull wins the prize.
- However, it has also attracted opposition from animal rights activists for its violent nature.
Importance of Jallikattu:
- Jallikattu is considered a traditional way for the farming community to preserve its purebred bulls.
- At present when animal breeding is often through an artificial process, In such a situation, conservationists and farmers argue that Jallikattu is a way of protecting these male animals, otherwise they are used only for meat as their usefulness in plowing decreases.
- Popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu include Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalacheri, Bargur, and MalaiMadu, etc.
- Raising cattle of these advanced breeds is considered a matter of honor at the local level.
Legal intervention on Jallikattu:
- In the year 2011, the bulls were included in the list of animals whose training and exhibition is prohibited by the Central Government.
- In 2014, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court citing the 2011 notification on which Jallikattu was banned by the Supreme Court giving its verdict.
- The state government has legalized these programs, which have been challenged in court.
- In the year 2018, the Supreme Court referred the Jallikattu case to a constitution bench, where the case is still pending.
Why is this such a complicated matter?
- The Jallikattu tradition can be preserved as a cultural right of the people of Tamil Nadu, which is a fundamental right, Because as per Article 29 (1), any section of citizens resident in the territory of India or any part thereof which has its particular language, script or culture, shall have the right to retain it.
- However, in this particular case Article 29 (1) appears to be against the rights of animals.
Status of such games in other states:
Karnataka has also passed a law to protect a similar game called Kambala.
Source: Indian Express