DMK leader Stalin says will stage huge protests if jallikattu not allowed
DMK treasurer M K Stalin said on Friday that there will be massive protest in the state if the Central government doesn’t hold Jallikattu (bull riding contest) for Pongal festival in early 2017.
Stalin told the media that he himself will lead the protests with the permission of DMK president M. Karunanidhi, if the Jallikattu wasn’t held. Jallikattu is a bull riding contest held in southern Tamil Nadu during Pongal festivities and was banned by the Supreme Court following a case filed by animal activists, the Federation of India Animal Protection Agencies (FIAPO) and PETA India. They had said it is cruelty to animals and a threat to public safety. On November 27, 2010, the SC permitted the Tamil Nadu government to allow jallikattu for five months, ensuring that animals that participate in the event should be registered to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).
In 2011, the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a ban on using bulls as performing animals. But the practice continued under Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act No 27 of 2009. In May 2014, the SC struck down the state law and put a complete ban on jallikattu.
Again in January 2016, the Ministry of Environment and Forests permitted to continue the tradition under certain conditions. It was effectively an end of the ban, but after hearing the petitions given by the AWBI challenging the decision of the central government, the SC ordered a stay and issued notices to the Central and state governments, refusing to lift the ban.
Jallikattu enthusiasts say that it is a part of Tamil culture and should not be done away with. They also claim that bulls used for jallikattu are not used for tillage. The calf belongs to temples and are fed and prepared only for jallikattu. Supporters also point out that there is no law banning usage of elephants in temple events, weddings etc either.