Jallikattu: Suffocation by Law

by Balakumar Somu on 12 Jan 2015

Animal Rights Activists are celebrating the Supreme Court of India’s recent ban on Jallikattu as if it is their greatest achievement. But the reality is Jallikattu was already dying a natural death and the ban was just the last nail in the coffin.

People of Tamil Nadu had already lost all hope and were reconciled to the fact that Jallikattu is set to die. The tradition had lost all its religious fervour, colour, pomp, ceremony and had been turned into a nightmare of sorts for farmers, bull owners, sportsmen, spectators and the bulls these activists want to ‘protect’. The number of events had dropped from over 3000 before 2006 to just about 24 in 2014. The number of pure-breed native stud bulls had dropped to less than 1000. The expenses to organise an event had shot up from almost nothing to anywhere between Rs 15 to 40 lakhs and was beyond the reach of most villages. The worst of all was the harassment by the authorities – police and bureaucrats.

This decimation was orchestrated by cunning manipulation by animal rights activists and executed by the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act (TNRJA) 2009. The very law enacted by the State government to protect its culture turned out to be its bane. Most of the regulations stipulated in the law were based on guidelines set by the Supreme Court at the instance of the animal rights activists. This law was suffocating Jallikattu to a slow death till the Supreme Court put it under the guillotine.

Section 3 of TNRJA 2009 endows almost all the powers relating to permission for organising an event to the District Collector.

What was essentially a village temple festival was turned into a bureaucratic circus placing the organisers and villagers at the mercy of the District Collector. Since the presence of at least a deputy collector and ALL the other authorities stipulated in the law is mandatory, most authorities viewed the event as an additional burden on their duties and tried to avoid giving permission to conduct the event, citing one reason or the other. Most villages organise the event only on one auspicious day during the year and hence if the authorities do not give permission for the event on that specific date, the villages cannot organise the event for that year. Moreover if 100 villages wish to organise the event, how can the authorities spare so many days to oversee the event? Hence the easiest way out for them was to deny permission.

Section 3-(2)-(1) restricts the events to be held only from January to May of each year.

Jallikattu was usually conducted only during auspicious temple festivals. It is not an entertainment activity and cannot be scheduled like a sport calendar. Most villages in Theni, Trichy, Pudukkottai and other adjoining districts conduct their temple festivals during the Tamil month Margazhi which falls in December. Many a village temple festival falls after May, automatically being rejected for conduct of the event. As a result, most villages stopped organising Jallikattu.

 

Section 3-(2) further states that:

(iii) the event should have been conducted during the past five years continuously;

(iv) the event shall be held at a place notified by the Collector in the District Gazette.

This means that only those villages mentioned in the district Gazette, by the Collector, can organise an event and that too if a Jallikattu event was held continuously during the past five years! So if a village is denied permission for a period of five years, that village loses its right to conduct the event, forever!

Restrictions on Time, number of events and related issues

Section 3-(3) states thus:

A permission granted under sub-section (1) shall be—

(a) valid for such area, for such period and for such purposes, as may be specified therein;

(b) subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be specified therein.

This section clearly puts the event under the mercy of the District Collector. The time permitted for the event depends on the District Collector! At most places it was from 8 am to 2 pm. However it is at the discretion of the authorities to stop the event at any time they please! There have been instances where a Collector started the event at 10 am and ended it at 12 pm, despite pleading by the organisers to let the remaining bulls participate!

Starting the event as early as 8 am led to the following new issues for sportsmen and bulls:

Problems introduced for sportsmen

  1. The sportsmen had to queue up as early as 6.30 am as they had to be screened for physical fitness, blood pressure, use of liquor etc.
  2. Once screened, the sportsmen were provided uniforms and not allowed to venture out. Thus they had no access to food till the end of the event at 2 pm. Only water was provided at most venues. Their relatives were banned by the authorities from providing them food or energy drink during the event for fear of malpractice.
  3. If the sportsman had to attend nature’s call, he had to remove his uniform t-shirt and give it to a policeman and was at the mercy of the policeman on return.
  4. Fearing harassment by the police, most sportsmen did not return once they left the arena.

Problems introduced for bulls

Since the number of events dwindled from over 3000 before 2006 to about 24 in 2014, an unusually large number of bulls were brought to these events for participation. This gave rise to a number of new issues for the organisers.

 

  1. The bulls were forced to stand in a long queue for health screening, putting unnecessary stress on the animals. Before this law came into effect, the bull would be relaxing at home and would be brought to the venue only when it was time to release it. This meant the bull was not stressed.
  2. Before 2006, numerous events were held and so mainly bulls from the village and nearby villages only participated. So most bulls were brought on foot for the event. The event would last for a few minutes in smaller villages and a few hours in larger ones. A few famous bulls, called ‘star’ bulls might be invited from other villages as an honour.
  3. Drastic reduction in the number of events meant that bulls had minimum opportunity to participate in the event. Hence bull owners had to transport the bulls to far away villages in the hope of getting admitted. A team of at least 7 to 10 persons had to accompany the bull. This put a strain on the bull owner as he had to shell out considerable money to bring the bull to the event. With no great prizes given out, and the pride being lost due to all the haggling, uncertainty of the event as well as admission, bull owners lost interest and just gave up rearing bulls.

 

Problems introduced for the Organisers

 

  1. Since there was a spurt in the number of bulls and restricted time, bulls were allowed on a first-come-first-serve basis called ‘token system’.
  2. A token was issued by the organisers to the bulls coming first which meant that one had to beat the queue. Hence bull owners had to queue up to get tokens. This led to issues of favoritism and resultant bad-blood between the organisers and bull owners.
  3. Although the TNJRA 2009 permits the District collector to provide sufficient time for the event, the authorities restricted the time for the event. This meant that all the bulls brought to the event could not participate, leading to haggling for admission ‘tokens’.
  4. In order to allow maximum number of bulls to participate, each bull was allotted an average of 30 seconds to 1 minute! This resulted in most bulls just entering the arena and running out without even being touched, spoiling the nature and spirit of the sport and transforming Jallikattu into not-so-interesting affair.
  5. Queuing up led to an outcry from the animal rights activists that there was a lot of stress on the animal and that the animal had to stand in dung and urine! Hence the queues were reduced to a maximum of 50 animals while the rest would be tied in stables around the village.

 

Section 4 of TNJRA 2009 caused spiralling costs

 Section 4-(ii) states that permission has to be sought 30 days prior to the event

 

Generally all arrangements stated in Section 4 have to be made before seeking permission. Hence the venue was prepared and sometimes it took months to get permission. So the mandatory and expensive 8-feet high double barricades with spectator galleries, river sand flooring with coir-pith spread, comfort-stations et al had to be in place for that period of time. This meant that the cost of organising the event spiraled and in most cases the barricades and other facilities could not be reused at another village since the first one was still waiting for permission.

 

Additionally, the organisers had to remit a deposit of minimum Rs 2 lakh for a small village to Rs. 5 lakh for a bigger event, to be disbursed to the injured as compensation. The cost of organising a Jallikattu event stood at anywhere between Rs 15 to 40 lakh. How many villages in India can afford such a cost and that too for a non-revenue generating religious tradition? People simply gave up!

 

Problems due to tampering with the arena

 

  1. The bulls are used to walking on firm ground! But authorities demanded that the arena be spread with sand and a layer of coir pith citing sportsmen safety. This was meant to provide cushioning effect for the sportsmen during a fall. But sometimes bulls would slip and fall due to the sand. This also added to the cost.
  2. Jallikattu was never meant to be a spectator sport. The TNRJA 2009 stipulates that double barricades and spectator galleries be provided. This rule led to the ill-designed arena seen today. The arena is supposed to be an ‘improvement’ over the traditional one. However the arena is designed with only one vadivasalrelease gate. With double barricades on both sides. The finish line that bulls have to cross is just 15 metres away, leaving a very small window of opportunity for sportsmen to embrace the bull. A typical bull crosses this distance in an average of 30 seconds! This meant that all the action took place only in the first 15 metres. The authorities, accompanied by their families, and the organisers occupied the best seats, followed by the press gallery and VIP gallery – for families and friends of the who’s who of the locality, leaving little room for the other spectators. This resulted in spectators losing interest in the sport, as most of them could not see the action taking place – those beyond 50 feet ended up seeing bulls being herded away only! Even if they were lucky to get a seat with a view, the sport turned boring as most bulls just ran away without being embraced.
  3. The sportsmen too, deprived of food and energy supplements, became tired after the first one or two hours and did not show much prowess later on.
  4. In most events, after the first two hours, most spectators were only bull owners and their families eagerly waiting to see their bull emerge out of the vadivasal and the mini truck drivers eagerly waiting to go home!

 

Blow to the ‘Kovil Kaalai’ system

 

The greatest damage that the TNJRA 2009 did was to the thousands of years old ‘Kovil Kaalai’ tradition of Tamil culture.

 

Most villagers due to their economic status were not able to afford a stud bull. Hence the whole village adopted a bull and designated it as the village temple ‘Kovil Kaalai’ (Temple bull). The whole purpose of this free ranging bull is to provide stud services to the village cows. The ‘kovil kaalai’ is never roped and is free to roam around the village. The villagers permitted the bull to graze from any field and provided water. In fact, they believe that they will get a bumper crop if the ‘Kovil Kaalai’ grazed from their field!

 

It was deemed a collective responsibility of the village to take care of the bull, and the bull was considered the holy representative of the temple deity. Every three years, the village would exchange the designated ‘kovil kaalai’ with a nearby village. Once old, the bull will be adopted by a village and looked after till its last. The last rites for a village bull are done as if for a fellow human being. After one year, the body will be exhumed and its horns removed. A statue honouring the ‘Kovil Kaalai’ will be built in its designated temple and the bull’s real horns placed as the horns of its statue.

 

The ‘Kovil Kaalai’ enjoyed the top most honour of entering the Jallikattu arena first. A special puja was done to the bull and sent into the arena. No spectator is allowed to ‘embrace’ the ‘Kovil Kaalai’ and they usually pay obeisance to the holy bull.

 

Blow to the Religious Festivities

 

Another great victim of this law was the religious festivities of the village. Jallikattu was never and is still not a competitive sport. Jallikattu was meant to honour the villagers who were willing to rear a stud bull which was used for mating purposes, usually free, of the village cattle. So bull owners were honoured with a traditional‘tambalam’ – consisting of a dhoti, towel, betel leaves, a bunch of bananas and sometimes token cash, say Rs.101. To accord top honours to the village bull keepers, Jallikattu was organised as the first event of the village temple festival.

 

The bulls were adorned with garlands, towels and jewels, if the owner could afford, and paraded with full honours to the temple. The festivities started with the performance of a special puja for the bulls and then the bulls were released into the arena. Since this is not a competitive sport, there were no winners or runners-up. All bulls were considered winners and awarded the same prize. Participating in a Jallikattu is considered the greatest honour accorded to a bull owner.

 

Registration of Bull as a performing animal and restriction on movement of bulls

 

All the bulls had to be registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India by paying a fee of Rs. 500 at least one month before the event and a veterinarian has to certify that the bull is free from communicable diseases.

 

The harassment of the mostly illiterate bull owners starts at the hands of the policemen who demand to ‘check’ the AWBI registration, veterinarian certificate and coin their own rules about transportation. The vehicle is allowed to pass through only after they are properly ‘satisfied’.

 

The day the Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Regulation Act 2009 was passed, Jallikattu was doomed. The authorities were determined to ensure that lesser number of events were conducted each following year and that nobody – the bulls, bull owners, sportsmen, organisers or the spectators – relished Jallikattu. Bull owners and sportsmen lost all the associated honour, the game turned into a boring event, spectators lost interest and religious leaders were ignored as the religious aspect was totally lost in the bureaucratic quagmire.

 

The biggest losers of all are the bulls, which the Animal Rights Activists purportedly wanted to save – they turned from royalty to pariah status. More and more of these majestic, loving animals had been sold off, ending up in slaughter houses of Kerala. After the animal rights activists entered the scene in 2006, the population of native cattle breeds of Tamil Nadu reduced steeply. Several breeds are facing extinction and the famous ‘Alambadi’ breed is considered extinct now.

 

With such a draconian law, Jallikattu was being suffocated to a slow death already. There was no need for a ban after all.

This news article has been reproduced from “Vijayvaani.com” (Online edition) – dated  12 January 2015 .
The original article can be accessed at : http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3457

Jallikattu ban could lead to mass slaughter of bulls

by Senthil on 11 Jan 2015

With just days to go for the Pongal celebrations, there has been heavy uncertainty prevailing in Tamil Nadu on the fate of Jallikattu, Manjuvirattu and other temple festivals of the State.  The people of Tamil Nadu, particularly the southern region, have been anxiously waiting for the Central Government to take steps to overcome the oppressive and unjust ban order issued by the Supreme Court of India. They had high hopes that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a nationalist party would understand the sensitivities of our age-old culture, and facilitate Jallikattu for the oncoming Pongal.

 

The situation is very critical because both PETA and the Jallikattu supporters believe that this year is the lifeline for their respective camp. If Jallikattu happens, it will be a major victory for Jallikattu supporters and rural people of Tamil Nadu, and would ensure revival of Jallikattu in subsequent years; so far it has been suppressed heavily. If it does not happen, it will be a major victory for PETA and associated animal rights groups who expect that the protest by rural people will lose momentum and gradually wither away.

 

BJP misguided to political suicide

 

The BJP seems to be doing political calculation on the Jallikattu issue. They feel that if Jallikattu does not happen, the people’s anger will turn towards ADMK and BJP can cash in on this later. This is utter stupidity. The people have a soft corner for Ms Jayalalithaa as she was arrested and dethroned, and they are well aware that she is not in a position to do anything with regard to Jallikattu. So anger will be directed towards the BJP which is currently in power at the Center.  The Dravidian parties will amplify this anger by pointing to the central government.

 

It will be political suicide for BJP in the south Tamil Nadu if Jallikattu does not happen. However, if BJP takes step to remove the ban and promotes Jallikattu in big way, it can establish a foothold in the southern Tamil Nadu, which is currently controlled by the Dravidian parties. It is pertinent that H. Raja of Tamil Nadu had issued statements that BJP will bring back Jallikattu. So people have high expectations of the BJP, and have been making arrangements to conduct Jallikattu at many places.

Keeping aside these political games, few seem aware of the severe consequences of this unjust ban on Jallikattu. If the Jallikattu is not conducted during the coming Pongal festival, it will trigger the mass sale of Jallikattu bulls by farmers as they start believing that this ban is forever. It need not be said that all bulls will end up in slaughter houses, but a large number of bulls were sold when the Supreme Court ban order came in May 2014. According to rough estimates, around 20 per cent of the bulls were sold after this ban; this is more than 1000 bulls across Tamil Nadu.

Jallikattu bulls are maintained at high cost by farmers, exclusively for the Jallikattu. There are no returns for the amount (and effort) spent in maintaining Jallikattu bulls. They are maintained because traditional society considers it a matter of pride to send bulls to the race. Jallikattu is conducted only once in a year in each place, and each farmer gets only few minutes for the bulls to participate in this event. Banning Jallikattu will destroy the incentive that traditional society has created for the up-keep of the bulls.

The beef mafia is salivating at this opportunity, as there is a premium price for the beef of Indian breeds (bos indicus) in the international market. Since Jallikattu bulls are maintained well with nutritious food, the quantity and quality of its flesh is superior to hybrid cows.

Jallikattu bulls are the last of the desi cattle breeds (bos indicus or zebu) in Tamil Nadu. In the past, there would be at least two to three commercial breeding bulls maintained by farmers in each village for reproduction. Artificial Insemination at cheaper rates by the government had destroyed the economic viability of these breeding bulls and led to drastic reduction in the population of uncastrated bulls across Tamil Nadu.

Earlier, whenever Jallikattu was sold, it would be bought for breeding purposes due to its superior quality. But the demand for breeding bulls fell due to artificial insemination and there is no other market for these male species which can match the rates offered by beef traders. Hence, any mass sale of these bulls, due to Jallikattu ban, by default will benefit the beef industry and lead to extinction of our desi cattle breeds, and the genetic diversity of our native cattle species will be lost forever. We would be forced to depend solely on the few hundred stud bulls maintained by government, which will lead to common fatherhood of all cattle across Tamil Nadu, degrading the genetic diversity.

Any loss of out native species is irreversible, and will severely affect future efforts to revive these desi cattle breeds. Already, many desi cattle breeds like ongole, hallikar, vechur are at the verge of extinction.

The government should recognise the utility of Jallikattu event as a self-sustaining model evolved by society for preservation and improvement of our desi cattle varieties and take steps to facilitate the exercise of Jallikattu, by removing the ban imposed on it.

Pongal Celebration will lose its charm without Jallikattu

Jallikattu, Manjuvirattu and related events are the lifeline of Pongal, without which it will lose its charm and liveliness. The soul of any society lies in its festivals and killing Jallikattu will kill traditional Tamil society itself. Can we imagine Europe without the FICA world cup or Halloween festival? Can we imagine Olympic Games without the grand celebrations with fireworks and dances?

Jallikattu is a Hindu Festival

Jallikattu is a Hindu religious festival, because all Jallikattu events are conducted as part of the temple event. In each event, all the temple bulls (called Koil Kalai) of surrounding temples are released in the arena after poojas are performed on them. These are bulls dedicated to the deities of respective temple (called divine bulls) and hence qualify for Nandi Pooja. The players in the arena worship these divine bulls and do not attempt to touch them. Even for private bulls, the owner takes it to the temple for pooja, before releasing it into the arena. So in every aspect, Jallikattu qualifies as a Hindu religious festival.

There is Puranic evidence in Bhagvata Puranam and Vishnu Puranam. Sathya Naganajiti was the daughter of Kosala king Nagnajit, who declared he would marry his daughter only to the brave prince who tamed his seven ferocious bulls. Sri Krishna accepted the challenge, tamed the seven bulls, and married Naganajiti; she is the sixth of the eight principal queen consorts of Sri Krishna. The government should recognise these facts and take steps to declare Jallikattu and other events conducted in temple premises as Hindu religious festival.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, enacted by the Nehruvian regime, gives rights to one community to kill cows and bulls as part of their religious rights. Yet now Hindus are being denied the right to use their own bulls for Jallikattu and other religious festivals. This is discriminatory and should be amended.

Cowardice and Fraud by PETA and animal rights mafia

The animal rights mafia had been persecuting Jallikattu for a decade. Unable to win legally, they resorted to lobbying and got lobbied Jairam Ramesh to amend the PCA act to include bulls in the list of Performing Animals in 2011. On this basis, the Supreme Court gave their harsh judgement. This is fraudulent because the definition of performing animals does not fit Jallikattu bulls. Jallikattu is not conducted for entertainment or commercial purpose. People spend their own money to organise these events as part of their temple festival. The definition of performing animals applies only to animals used in circus for entertainment purpose.

When laws can be modified to the whims and fancies of elite lobbies, what kind of justice is served?

After the Supreme Court ban order on Jallikattu in May 2014, this author asked one animal rights activist who was instrumental in the ban as to what steps she had taken to protect the bulls that would be sold because of the ban.  She replied that it is not her responsibility to save those bulls, and the onus lay on the rural people! This is outright hypocrisy which needs to be exposed.

Bogus allegations

Animal rights activists are blindly parroting the argument of “bulls tortured in Jallikattu”, even after the accusations have been proved false. The fact that Jallikattu bulls are taken care of extravagantly all year round is deliberately ignored. When asked how come “mere five minutes of these bulls running through the arena” constitutes cruelty, they resort to stupid arguments like, “Even if it is for few minutes, it is cruelty”. When further cornered, “Are you going to send these bulls to slaughter just to avoid these few minutes of supposed cruelty?”, they become hysterical and claim, “the bulls will rest in peace forever, rather than undergoing torture in Jallikattu”.

The animal rights mafia could not answer many questions raised by Jallikattu supporters. When Jallikattu supporters demanded the registration number of the bulls that were allegedly tortured, they had no reply. Another fraud by the animal rights mafia is that they used old photographs (prior to 2008 events) while making their charges, and were caught red-handed when it was pointed out that after 2008 regulations all players were given uniforms, whereas the photos submitted by them had players without uniform! There are many such fraudulent practices by these mafias.

Jallikattu Bulls are NOT tortured

 A normal bull has the capacity of pulling 2 to 4 tons of weight, depending on the breed and stature. After regulation of Jallikattu since 2008, just one person hangs on the hump of these bulls for few seconds. Since the weight of a person does not exceed 80 kg, hanging on to the hump for a few seconds cannot be construed as cruelty. All other accusations were removed by the regulation of the event by high court guidelines and the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act. The fact that Jallikattu organisers accepted and welcomed these regulations (even though strict), prove that they intend no harm to the bulls.

Centre’s role

The people of Tamil Nadu had been under the sway of Dravidian parties for the past 60 years.  Because of them, Jallikattu has been projected as distinct Tamil culture, and not as a Hindu religious festival, comparable with similar animal sports in other parts of the country. With the rise of the BJP at the center and both Dravidian parties weakened in the State, the Tamil people have realised that Jallikattu is a Hindu festival and are ready to accept this in public.

The central government can help to overcome the ban on Jallikattu by removing bulls from the list of performing animals, as bulls in Jallikattu are used only as part of temple festivals and not for commercial or entertainment purpose.

It can also declare Jallikattu, Manjuvirattu and all other events conducted in temples as a religious festival.

Moreover, PETA is a foreign funded organisation which has no locus standi on local festivals. Their supporters in India are urban elites who associate with PETA for varied reasons; neither has any experience in maintaining bull or cows.

But Jallikattu supporters are rooted in our tradition and fighting for their religious and cultural rights inherited from ancestors. They have unquestionable legitimate interests in the fight for preserving and promoting Jallikattu.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi should consider these facts and take appropriate steps to remove the ban on Jallikattu and save the native breeds and Tamil culture from becoming extinct.

This news article has been reproduced from “Vijayvaani.com” (Online edition) – dated  11 January 2015 .
The original article can be accessed at : http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3456

Cocks and bulls an issue for Sankranti and Pongal

TruthDive

Posted by Ayyappa Prasad on January 10, 2015 in Exclusive, Headlines, India, National, News, Politics 

Chennai/ Vijayawada/Jan 10 (TruthDive): Sankranti in Andhra and Pongal in Tamil Nadu this year, is going to be a headache for AIADMK and TDP. The problem comes not from the opposition parties or trade unions asking for a bonus.

Roosters, otherwise known as cocks along with bulls are giving nightmares to Naidu and Paneerselvam. In Andhra, especially in the Godavari district, Sankranti cannot be celebrated without a cockfight. In Tamil Nadu, Northern parts cannot think of Pongal without Jallikattu. One thing that is common among both these sports is that it is seen as a tradition that is followed since generations. These events bring the entire villages in the region together. Unlike Andhra where crores of rupees run on the Sankranti cockfight ritual, Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu is more of a collective effort by villagers to show their valour or one-upmanship.

Last year, Tamil Nadu conducted the Jallikattu within the parameters set by High Court. This year Supreme Court had banned Jallikaatu in total. Bulls have been reared with a single goal to see that no one is able to bring its wild run to an end. Youths have been getting ready to humble these bulls and more so if it happens to be the one from the next village.

Andhra has in built mechanism to get around the ban on cockfights. Every year, the cockfights take place and police take the animals into custody. As Sankranti comes on a week-end, courts are closed. The cocks are released as they create a storm in the police station.

Villagers bet on the cockfights and big landlords put lakhs on the cocks. The betting business is huge that it could attract Gurunath Meiyappan to shift from IPL to cockfights, say sources. Naidu was embarrassed as his own MPs,MLAs and MLCs staged a dharna in Godavari district against police cracking on cockfights. Police caught a group that had collected Rs 5 lakh as bet money from villagers. Sankranti and cockfights are symbolic of the political arena of Andhra.

Tamil groups say that Jallikattu is a sign of a Tamilian’s valour. As demand grows for conducting Jallikattu and many villages threatening to break the ban, TN CM OPS shifted the onus to Modi sarkar. He said that he has asked the Union environment ministry to remove bull from the list of animals banned for use as performing animals and added that the animal was included in the list when DMK was very much an ally of UPA in 2011.

Cockfights in Andhra during Sankranti and taming of bulls in Tamil Nadu for Pongal has now reached the apex court. In the cockfight case, SC has asked for animal rights body to implead. At this rate, a verdict before Sankranti looks distant. Tamil Nadu review petition before the SC is pending since last May.

This news article has been reproduced from “truthdive.com” (Online edition) – dated  10 January 2015 .
The original article can be accessed at :

http://truthdive.com/2015/01/10/cocks-and-bulls-an-issue-for-sankranti-and-pongal.html

Tamil Nadu takes steps to allow for bull-taming sport ‘Jallikattu’

DNA logo 

Saturday, 10 January 2015 – 2:45pm IST | Place: Chennai | Agency: PTI

With demands galore in the state for holding the bull-taming sport of ‘Jallikattu’ coinciding with ‘Pongal’ harvest festival,Tamil Nadu government today assured steps for conducting the popular event, including asking Centre to remove bulls from a specific list of animals to facilitate the same. Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said steps have been taken to expedite hearing on a review petition filed by the state government against a Supreme Court order of banning ‘Jallikattu.’

In a detailed statement, Panneerselvam recalled the legal battle between Jallikattu enthusiasts and animal welfare activists over holding the sport in the past, which was allowed by the High Court with restrictions, before Supreme Court completely banned it in May last year. The government had filed a review petition which is pending before the apex court and it will now file a petition seeking speedy disposal of the same, he said.

Incidentally, the Animal Welfare division of the Union Environment Ministry under the UPA government in 2011 had issued a notification banning the use of bulls as performing animals under Section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the Chief Minister said.

Panneerselvam said on January seven this year, the state government officials had met their Union Environment Ministry counterparts in Delhi and sought for removal of bulls from the aforesaid Act. The government had also sought changes to the 1960 Act in order to hold Jallikattu without any hurdles, he said.

“The state government officials will visit Delhi once again on January 12 to seek removing bulls from the list. I hope the Central government will issue a notification (in this regard) immediately. If so, it will help the state government issue a notification for holding Jallikattu,” without affecting the Supreme Court verdict, he said.

This news article has been reproduced from “DNA” (Online edition) – dated  10 January 2015 .
The original article can be accessed at : http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-tamil-nadu-takes-steps-to-allow-for-bull-taming-sport-jallikattu-2051354

TN favours lifting of ban on jallikattu, to seek Centre’s help to remove bulls from notified list

,TNN | Jan 10, 2015, 05.08 PM IST

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday put the onus on the Centre to permit the conduct of jallikattu, a famous bull sport in the districts held during the Pongal (harvest) festival. The Supreme Court in May last year banned jallikattu after animal activists alleged cruelty to bulls. With the Pongal season round the corner, demands have been pouring in from several groups for permission to hold the event.

In a statement, chief minister O Panneerselvam said a team of state government officials would meet Union environment ministry officials in New Delhi on January 12 and insist that the Centre remove the ban on bulls being used for the sport. The Animal Welfare division of the Union Environment Ministry under the UPA government in 2011 had issued a notification banning the use of bulls as performing animals under section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the Chief Minister said.

“We hope the Centre will heed to our request and once that is done, we will take steps to conduct jallikattu without violating the Supreme Court order banning the sport,” said Panneerselvam. Animal activists point out that the move would go against the spirit of the SC order. “There have been demands from several sections seeking state government intervention for smooth conduct of the sport this Pongal and I assure them that the government will take all steps in this regard,” said the chief minister.

Recalling the history of cases against jallikattu in various courts, the chief minister said a review petition filed by Tamil Nadu government against the ban order is still pending with the apex court. “Apart from filing a review petition, the government is also taking steps to make the Union environment ministry lift the ban on use of bulls. Our officials in New Delhi are in touch with the advocates to list the case at the earliest in Supreme Court to speed up the hearing of the review petition,” said Panneerselvam.

“On January 7, a team of senior officials met their counterparts in the environment ministry and stressed for removal of the ban. Based on our demand, ministry officials have apprised Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar and given us hope that an order would be issued in favour of jallikattu,” said the chief minister.

This news article has been reproduced from “The Times of india” (Online edition) – dated  10 Jan 2015.
The original article can be accessed at : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/TN-favours-lifting-of-ban-on-jallikattu-to-seek-Centres-help-to-remove-bulls-from-notified-list/articleshow/45834685.cms

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