Jallikattu has a cultural significance for Tamilians

This refers to your thought-provoking article “Lets have a new kind of Jallikattu” (KO- Jan 22). Jallikattu has become a contentious issue wherein cattle protection and rights are interwoven with human identity politics in India. Jallikattu is age old tradition. It is more than 2,000 years old and considered to be one of the oldest sports still practised in the modern era. First of all Jallikattu means sport not bull taming.  ‘Jalli’ means coins ‘Kattu’ means tied. Coins tied in between the horn of a bull, whoever takes the coin bag tied in between horns is considered as winner.  Thats what Jallikattu is all about.

Controlling the ‘Jallikattu event’ and dampening the spirits of the people who celebrate the festivals like Pongal cannot be justified but according to Justice Misra “Prevention of cruelty to animals is the motto of the 1960 Act.” The 2014 Supreme Court had banned Jallikattu after declaring it to be an act of “inherent cruelty”. Despite evidence that the game caused distress and pain to the animals, and even led to injuries and occasional fatalities, political leaders in the State and sections of the public often make the claim that Jallikattu has cultural and religious significance for the Tamil community.

Animals are tortured and subjected to pain in the name of culture. They even stated that this resulted in the death of few cows and also serious injury for many humans. What we need is an exclusive Ministry for Animal Rights and Justice, which is solely concerned with advocating and working for the recognition of the universal rights of all non-human species. 



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