2 bull vaulters die while 83 people suffer injuries as Jallikattu resumes in Tamil Nadu
A third bull-fighter Chandramohan from Jaihindpuram also died due to dehydration.
What’s the story?
Popularly known as Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu, the immensely criticised sport of bull taming claimed the lives of two bull vaulters on Sunday. 83 people were also injured in the sport which was held at Pudukottai, Trichy and Erode districts in Chennai. The event was held after week-long protests were conducted to overturn the ban on the sport.
A massive protest began on January 17 on Marina beach in Chennai, to oppose the ban and in an interview with India Today, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, O. Panneerselvam said, "Jallikattu is being held at several places in the state with proper arrangements. At Alanganallur it will be held when the people want it.”
Another bull-fighter, Chandramohan from Jaihindpuram, also died due to dehydration while taking part in the protests.
In case you didn’t know...
The sport was initially banned by the Supreme Court in May 2014, following an ordinance passed by the Tamil Nadu government amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. It stated that bulls cannot be used for performing acts, and this included bullock cart races.
The heart of the matter
The sport involves vaulters trying to latch onto the hump of the bull. The vaulter who successfully manages to stay put after the animal makes three jumps is declared the winner. However, the risk arises when the participants are thrown off the back of the bulls or when they get gored by the animal.
Also read: Is Jallikattu as brutal as we think it is?
Jallikattu, which was supposed to take place in Alanganallur, in the Madurai district, where the sport originated, had to be cancelled owing to lack of preparation. According to organisers, attempts to hold the event at Natham Kovilpatti were also unsuccessful due to the ongoing protests.
Tamil Nadu CM O. Panneerselvam believes that ‘Jallikattu cannot be stopped by anyone.’ Meanwhile, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi also vowed to assist the state government in its efforts to conduct the sport.
A bill pertaining to conduction of the sport will be presented in the assembly by the government on Monday and is expected to pass with majority support.
Jallikattu is not just meant for entertainment. There are no cruel intentions, no weapons, and no blood. Jallikattu, which means bounty, was initially started as a risky exercise where the bull owner had to catch the animal by clinging on to its humps to prevent it from running.
Continuing the tradition of Jallikattu will save both the bulls and the art from extinction.