Random musings on JALLIKATTU

The honorable Supreme Court banned Jallikattu, a traditional bull taming sport being dearly followed since centuries in Tamil Nadu, in 2014. Three years have passed until now during which desperate and lawful attempts made by the state government went futile.

India is hailed as the land of unity in diversity. With diverse ethnic groups, languages and traditions it is really a beautiful country from outside. But the problem has been the lack of unity (politically and economically)and this has resulted in several hardships for common man.

It is really heartening to see thousands of young people and students coming out to protest for Jallikattu. (No blocking the traffic, no pelting of stones, involvement of no political parties). They claim to preserve their traditional sport and native breed of cattle which is on the verge of getting extinct by the inexhaustible greed of multinational corporations and immoral PETA.

When I declared my neutrality for Jallikattu, I had to bear the brunt of arguments made by my Tamil colleagues and friends. They spoke with a heart filled with immense frustration how Tamil Nadu was alienated and given step motherly treatment by the institutions of democracy and invaded by vested corporate interests. They also felt sad for lack of strong leaders in critical times which resulted in distressful phenomena like today in Tamil Nadu, which according to my knowledge is one of the most urbanized states with enviable levels of social development in India.

Madurai-alanganallur-jallikattu.jpg
By Iamkarna‘ – Own work‘, CC BY 3.0, Link

Social media appeared to me for the first time being used as a useful tool. Last week’s Sankranthi movie releases in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana saw a virtual war being fought in social media between the fans of two established veteran actors. It resulted in a lot of fuss and enmity among people. False propaganda, partial truth, fake news etc., on social media has created an unprecedented political outcomes, panic, hatred, racial prejudices and catastrophic incidents across the world last year. And today I was surprised to notice the immense role the same websites of social media are playing in unifying the people of Tamil Nadu, for the cause of their love for tradition.

The moment when the enraged youth unified and the entire state started peacefully protesting to restore Jallikattu, I have been receiving too many requests and orders from my friends to join the protests and to sign the petitions. Whatever they are doing now is to protect their centuries old tradition against the lawful actions by distorted perceptions of the outside world. Traditions are sometimes cruel, but in every tradition we follow, I hope there will be love and so I empathize for their struggle today.

Hope the same kind of unity and courage will be displayed in future for other causes as well.

I am sure Chennai will display it in every December.


Feature Image By Djoemanoj (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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