The government representatives of Tamil Nadu push to continue the Jallikattu festival despite the protests from animal activists everywhere.
Jallikattu is a bull running blood sport celebrated in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal traditions. The centuries-old tradition of Jallikattu, which means “bull-taming” sees bulls let loose as men compete to subdue them. Much like the Spanish running of the bulls in Pamplona, this festival has been condemned for its brutality of the animal it claims to glorify. However, despite the many oppositions, the ban – which was placed last year – on this festival was lifted five days ago.
This has caused an onslaught of protests from animal rights activists and others. A representative of the Tamil Nadu government, according to NDTV argued in the top court about the matter, saying, “A lot of safeguards are in place and the event must be allowed.” He went on to say that the festival “has been in vogue for centuries” and that animal rights activists have “no fundamental right” to challenge the sport.
Regardless of the festival’s traditional history, animal cruelty is not something that should be excused for the sake of sport. We would really like to know what the aforementioned “safeguards” are and how they protect these bulls, as well as the human participants, from harm. The Supreme Court is to deliberate on the matter in February, as of now, the decision of whether this festival will be allowed to continue, is pending. Stay turned to The Sherp for updates.