Jallikattu – Our Identity

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I will dive straight to the issue. I support Jallikkattu.

Let me provide you with a disclaimer right there. I am an animal lover through and through. I’m a vegetarian by choice and also a wannabe vegan.

The controversy over conducting this age old sport, wrought with tradition and emotional connection for people all over Tamilnadu, has been going on for over a decade now.
Amidst all this chaos, it only looks like the main purpose of this protest – preventing cruelty against these animals, is almost forgotten.

When one looks at the issue superficially, it looks like the PETA  has a strong hold of justice on their side. But only upon deeper introspection, is their blatant hypocrisy revealed, which is indeed outrageous.

Lets look at the case from an analytical perspective. Considering the cruelty meted out to the bulls, the government of Tamilnadu introduced the Jallikkattu Regulations Act in 2009, which we accepted graciously. Now the safety of bulls is unquestionably ensured, all the claims of PETA  regarding provoking the bulls by throwing Chilli powder on its eyes, intoxicating the bull, hurting the bull etc., has been debunked. The sport is conducted under the watchful eye of the district collector and a thorough health examination of both the bulls and the players is conducted.

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Also, the entire event lasts for hardly 4-5 minutes and even if the same bulls participates in about 12 tournaments, that will amount upto only one hour in the arena. Besides this, ferocity and energy lie in the inherent nature the breeds that take part in Jallikkattu, it’s only healthy to let it have its moment from time to time.

It is of utmost importance to remember that, this one hour of play, is basically the only thing that keeps the breed alive. 

There were about 130 local breeds, out of which only 37 is left. The situation is grave enough already. If not for Jallikkattu, these poor animals will only be sent to slaughter houses, and will cease to exist. So PETA, maybe, you’re kinda missing the whole point here.

Live eating of animals in China and Japan, Foie Gras ( a French “delicacy” prepared by force feeding goose and ducks to specially fatten their livers, and then kill them later of course), equestrian sport  which happens to be a part of Olympics, bull-fighting etc has escaped their notice, but a traditional sport being conducted in the remote villages of Tamilnadu irks them.

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Another curious area of interest is that only the local Breeds of India and Africa, can produce milk with A2 protein, which contains beta-caesin, which does not posses the harmful effects of A1 protein that is present in imported packs.

Jallikkattu is a part of our identity. It’s the spirit of Pongal. By the formulation of the constitution of India, the state’s not just granted the right, but are in fact, obligated to protect the existence and identity of the minorities with respect to culture. And we will never fall short at that.

Voiced out by Gowri Ramshankar, First year, Electronics and Instrumentation