The Jallikattu Struggle

  • What is Jallikattu?:
    • A traditional bull taming sport organized in Tamil Nadu during the festival of Pongal.
    • Also known as Eruthazhuvuthal or Manju Virattu.

 

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  • Why did SC ban it(arguments against Jallikattu)?
    • As per the petition filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India, it holds the Jallikattu responsible for cruelty in the form of physical and mental torture for human pleasure and entertainment. Such torture is enforced even outside the ambit of the sport. This leads to the treatment of the animals as means.
    • The Supreme Court identifies 5 kinds of freedom for the animals, namely :
      • freedom hunger, thirst and malnutrition.
      • Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort.
      • Freedom from fear and distress.
      • Freedom from pain, injury and disease.
      • Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour.
    • According to PETA and AWBI, there are no evidence of the cultural, historical or religious significance of the sport.
    • It goes against the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
  • What do Tamil protesters say(arguments in favor of Jallikattu)?
    • There are historical and cultural links:
      • Historical accounts trace its presence even 2000 years ago.
      • Finds mention in Sangam Literature in a text named Kalithokai, a poetic treatise.
      • Kamalambal Charithiram, a novel written by R. Rajram Aiyar, the disciple of Swami Vivekananda also mentions the celebration of Jallikattu
    • It is considered as a symbol of Tamil Pride.
    • They often uphold the rationale of rearing the native breeds which are mostly replace and undermined due to encouraging the cross bred cows like Jersey.Genetic diversity if often compromised with the introduction of the foreign breeds
    • Economically, the sport brings huge returns on the investments done by rural poor and farmers in case the bull performs well.
  • What could be the way ahead?:
    • A win-win solution through negotiations between different stakeholders including Animal Right activists and bodies, Jallikattu proponents, experts of animal husbandry among others.
    • Continuous monitoring of the torture of animals which could take place and consequent actions in the form of stringent penalties.
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