PETA India has named retired Supreme Court Judge Justice K. S. Radhakrishnan as ‘Man of the Year’ Award for passing a judgement in May 2014 banning Jallikattu.
PETA wrote : “For heading the bench that passed the landmark judgement in favour of PETA India and the government body the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) clarifying that bulls must not be used in jallikattu, bull races, bullfights or any other type of performance and that called for animals to be respected in many other ways, Honourable Justice (Retd.) Mr. K.S. Panicker Radhakrishnan, Supreme Court of India (SC), is People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s Man of the Year.”
This has raised a lot of questions about PETA influencing the Judiciary and others using similar tactics. It may be noted that in December 2011, Veteran Bollywood actress Hema Malini was named PETA Person of the Year for writing to the then minister of Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, urging him to take immediate steps to ban jallikattu.
It is a widely known fact that PETA uses unfair practices including using nude celebrities in Advertisments, supporting criminals etc.
PETA has given tens of thousands of dollars to convicted arsonists and other violent criminals. This includes a 2001 donation of $1,500 to the North American Earth Liberation Front (ELF), an FBI-certified “domestic terrorist” group responsible for dozens of firebombs and death threats. During the 1990s, PETA paid $70,200 to Rodney Coronado, an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) serial arsonist convicted of burning down a Michigan State University research laboratory. In his sentencing memorandum, a federal prosecutor implicated PETA president Ingrid Newkirk in that crime. Former PETA vegetarian campaign coordinator and animal liberation movement leader Bruce Friedrich told an animal rights convention that “blowing stuff up and smashing windows” is “a great way to bring about animal liberation,” adding, “Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it.”
If one considers PETA’s unfair practices, the no-holds barred use of influential people in india especially in the Jallikattu case and their rush to name the Supreme Court Judge who delivered them a favourable verdict as PETA India ‘Man of the Year’, one just cannot help wonder “How fair was THAT?”
MANGALURU: Instead of muddy fields, the asphalted streets of Mangaluru will host Kambala buffaloes this Saturday. Kambala committees from Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kasaragod districts will walk 200 pairs of buffaloes on Mangaluru roads on Saturday to protest t he ban on buffalo races in Dakshina Kannada district.
About 25,000 Kambala enthusiasts are expected to join the protesters at Ambedkar Circle. “We will submit a me morandum to the DC, urging him to revoke the ban. We will inform him of the changes brought to the sport to eliminate violence against animals,” Kambala expert Gunapala Kadamba said.
The organizers are planning to move court or ask the state and Union governments to move court against bringing Kambala under the ban. They are also planning to seek the assistance of animal husbandry department to build a strong case for Kambala. “It’s a matter of preserving our culture as also ensuring the livelihood of over 5,000 persons solely depending on Kambala,” said Bhaskar Kotian, an organizer.
DK district administration banned Kam bala a week ago after the animal husbandry department wrote to the DC, directing him to implement the May 7 Supreme Court order. Department deputy director Thippe Swamy had said the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), Chennai, ha d sent an email to the DC.
Despite the ban, Kadamba alleged that bull races are conducted in Haveri, and Kambala in Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada district. On charges that Kambala animals are whipped to quicken their pace, he said: “We brought in reforms a decade ago. Now, the animals are whipped very rarely. But rights activists cite the old clips of buffaloes being whipped to make statements against the event”.
Ban or no ban, farmers continue to observe the traditional form of Kambala in a symbolic way by releasing the buffaloes onto the field. This practice also holds a religious significance in this part of the state.
Karnataka high court seeks govt’s stand
BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday asked the government to specify its stand on the recently ban imposed on Kambala in two coastal districts.
Hearing a petition filed by Kambala committees of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts challenging the ban, justice S Abdul Nazeer issued notice to the deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district and the deputy director of the Animal welfare Board, Udupi. The petition will be heard next on December 2.
The deputy director of Animal Welfare Board, Udupi, had issued an order on November 14, 2014 banning Kambala. Endorsing the ban on November 21, the DC declined permission to Ashok Kumar Rai, another petitioner, to conduct Kambala at Surathkal.
Terming Kambala a traditional folk sport that provided much-needed entertainment to rural people in coastal Karnataka, the petitioners claimed that even the state government encouraged it in Pilikula Nisarga Dhama (an eco-education and tourism development project in Dakshina Kannada).
“It is simple sport held under the guidance of local landlords and doesn’t involve cruelty to animals. The animals are looked after well; some owners have even built swimming pools for these animals. Banning the sport would affect 4,000-5,000 workers dependent on it,” the petitioners pointed out.
The petitioners said authorities have totally misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s order on Jallikattu (bull-chasing sport in Tamil Nadu) and mechanically applied the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, while banning Kambala here.
This news article has been reproduced from “The Times of India” , Mangaluru, (Online edition) – dated 28 Nov 2014.
The original article can be accessed at : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mangaluru/Mangaluru-to-see-a-buffalo-march-on-the-streets/articleshow/45303000.cms
By Express News Service | Published: 06th November 2014 06:03 AM | Last Updated: 06th November 2014 07:39 AM
MADURAI: He is a triumphant in almost all the battles that he had fought, too many ‘diamonds of victory’ adorn his horns and a nightmare for his opponents in all the fights through out his life.
Though success was always on the side of Appu, the 13-year-old jallikattu bull of Muppuli Ayyanar Temple in Sakkudi, suffered an injury while fighting a competitor at Sakkudi in Madurai district recently. He died on Tuesday, perhaps unable to bear the pain of defeat.
Starting his career at an event in Pudukottai at the age of six, there was no looking back for Appu, which had won several prizes in various competitions across the state.
“Though we thought of keeping the funeral low profile and planned to bury it at 3 pm, word spread and tamers and jallikattu enthusiasts from several neighbouring district like Dindigul, Theni, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Tiruchy and other districts started pouring in at Sakkudi till the evening to pay their respects to the brave warrior,” said P Rajasekar, President, Tamilnadu Jallikattu Peravai, the last owner of the bull, adding “Despite efforts to save the bull by giving best medication Appu breathed his last around 11 am.”
Appu was the last in the legacy of bull that remained challenges for the tamers in the state. “Ambur Sivelai and Appu were twin targets for all tamers in the state. Ambur Sivelai, a temple bull from Madurai died of ill health in 2011,” said Salai Chakarapandi (58), a seasoned bull tamer.
“Appu has seen several turfs in nine districts like Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Tiruchy, Perambalur, Sivaganga, Theni, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram and Madurai, and always emerged victorious in all of them,” said Salai Kanakarajan.
This news article has been reproduced from “The Indian Express” (Online edition) – dated 06 Nov 2014.
The original article can be accessed at : http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Tamers-in-Tears-as-Appu%E2%80%99s-Run-Ends/2014/11/06/article2510284.ece
“I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in the country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.” – Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, 1835
The British followed the above words to the letter to enslave India – body, mind and soul! Even after 68 years since they officially left India, this practice has been kept alive by the so-called intellectuals. Educated in western philosophy of capitalism and consumerism, these self-professed intellectuals are furthering the causes of the westerners, MNCs and the rich using the same philosophy.
The Tamils living in India have been at the receiving end for quite some time now. It appears as if there has been a choreographed/planned decimation of the ancient Tamil culture and traditions. Under the garb of modernisation, literacy and cultural upliftment, forces with vested interests have been pushing capitalism, consumerism and westernisation. To captivate Tamilnadu’s huge middle-class with their burgeoning incomes and deep pockets, they are brainwashing them into self-destruction. On issues that they are not able to achieve satisfactory results, they target them with law-suits and other unfair means.
Tamil is the oldest living language and has a rich cultural heritage. One of the most tolerent races in the world, Tamil culture has withstood assault from almost all religions, languages and cultures. They have contributed so much to the world and also assimilated a lot from other languages and cultures. It is yet another harrowing era for Tamils all over the world today. They have been subjected to genocide perpetrated by the Srilankan Government in which hundreds of thousands were massacered, their lands grabbed, temples demolished, names of places renamed in Sinhala. Sadly a cultural genocide in Sri Lanka is continuing till date.
Things are not better off for Tamils living in India either. Their culture and traditions have been the target of ridicule for quite some time now. Being the mother of all languages and traditions of India, the traditions followed in Tamilnadu are quite similar to those followed in the North India. While the traditions of North India are revered, glorified and protected, the very same traditions are being ridiculed and phased out in Tamilnadu.
Holi is the festival of colours celebrated in the North. A similar, ‘Manjal Thanneer’ tradition was followed in Tamilnadu. People would mix turmeric in water and pour the yellow water on other people during the local Mariamman temple festivals. It was meant to be an ice-breaker in a society that kept men and women apart. So young men and women would come out to pour yellow water over their cousins and friends. This used to be a day of fun and frolic for the whole village, just like we have fun on Holi.
However, more and more restrictions were imposed on this simple tradition citing petty reasons. The neo-elite society has now virtually banned this tradition all over Tamilnadu over the last decade. At the same time, the same so-called elites have been glorifying Holi and they have been celebrating holi in all street corners !
Every village and town of Tamilnadu has its Goddess Mariamman, the equivalent of Durga. Every temple has an annual celebration which would range from a few days to a month. This period used to be days of fun, excitement, adventure and cultural rejuvenation. There would be local fairs, games, circus would come to town etc. Each and every household would invite all their relatives and it would be a time for a family reunion as well. During this period we had the practice of ‘Vesham Katturathu’ wherein men would disguise themselves as some mythical, real or animal character and go around entertaining people. These performers were usually from the lower income bracket of the society and they would sing and dance. They would be rewarded for their performance and this was a considerable source of income for them. You can find people performing as all kinds of characters – Gypsys dance was very popular and so was ‘Puli Vesham’ (Tiger dance), ‘Mayil Aatam’ (Peacock dance) etc. Over centuries, these perfomances had developed into an art form that was unique to Tamilnadu. ‘Puli Vesham’, especially, had developed into an art that combined acrobatic skills and dancing skills performed with the antics of a Tiger that would leave the audience awestruck! There were days when we were kids the whole locality would converge to see an adhoc street performance of ‘Puli Vesham’. Then there were Ganeshas, Murugans, Shivas, Bears, etc etc. Just like with ‘Manjal Thanneer’, permits were made mandatory for this performance, more and more restrictions were put in place, till one fine day people just gave up !
The tirade against Tamils never seems to end! Now the so-called ‘elite’ have leashed a new wave of attacks targetting rural sports. Steeped in thousands of years of cultural evolution, Tamils have several rural sports including contact sports, sports using domesticated animals and birds, human-animal contact sports etc. The most famous among these rural sports is ‘Jallikattu’, a human-animal contact sport wherein unarmed sportsman tries to embrace a bull for a maximum period of 10 seconds. This has been and still continues to be a rural sport. Ignorant of what this sport actually is, the neo-elite, fancying themselves as animal rights activists are now up in arms against this harmless sport.
‘Jallikattu’, which has over 4000 years of recorded history, is conducted in the Indian states of Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra pradesh, during local temple festivals, and also during Pongal. There are different versions and local variations of this simple sport, varying from region to region. This is aninnocuous human-animal contact sport that is conducted as a part of the local temple festivities. It was never a spectator sport and was not intended to be conducted as an individual sport for the purpose of entertainment. The bull is considered scared by Hindus and harming the bull in any manner is unacceptable to them. The bull is usually let loose on the temple grounds. The ‘prize’ is usually a towel tied between its horns. Unarmed sportsmen try to embrace the bull and untie the towel. The sportsman who gets hold of the towel will be declared victor. If not, the bull is considered the winner. The bulls are revered and honored by the villagers. One traveling around Tamilnadu can see several statues built for Temple bulls and bulls belonging to other families dotting the rural landscape. These temple bulls are worshiped as Gods and pujas are conducted for them round the year.
“Ignorance is bliss”
Self-proclaimed ‘elitists’, under the garb of animal rights activists are now holding this tradition to ransom. Ignorant of the sport, its value, its cultural, economical contributions to the rural society, these urbanites who have never even bothered to visit a village to see a ‘Jallikattu’ event live are the ones in the forefront of vilifying this rich cultural tradition of Tamilnadu. They are also ignorant of the fact that Jallikattu bulls are the village stud bulls and these native breed cows offer much healthier A2 milk. The Tamil society has been fighting these imperialist groups for over a decade now. The damage is already visible. A native cattle breed of South India, Alambadi, a trotting variety known for endurance is now officially extinct! Two more native cattle breeds are facing extinction. A ban on ‘Jallikattu’ will ensure speedy extinction of several native cattle breeds of South India. The ban on Jallikattu has meant that these highly valuable stud bulls have nowhere to go other than slaughter houses!
Anything proferred by the West ‘should be the best solution’ and those following their age-old Indian customs, tradition and culture should be ‘liberated’, profess these so-called animal rights activists.
Having already lost so many of its rich cultural traditions, the Tamils are being pushed to the wall again. Each time this happened in the past, the tolerant Tamils just gave up! This time there is too much at stake to just give up and walk away. Will the Tamils rise up to face the challenge at last?
Article by Balakumar Somu. The author can be reached at email@example.com
“A righteous person follows ahimsa or non-violence to any living being by thought, word or deed and possesses tolerance towards others with an unperturbed mind even if they are antagonistic.” – Bhagavad Gita
Of late, It has become a fad to ridicule Hinduism. The oldest and most tolerant religion which never professes propagation is at the receiving end from every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants to make a fashion statement.
It has reached such a state today that anything associated with Hinduism is branded as ‘backward’, ‘superstitious’, ‘illiterate’ or even ‘barbaric’. Similar traditions and customs followed by the religious minorities are encouraged under the garb of ‘minority rights’ (read secularism). The very same self-professed, know-all intellectuals are scared to open their mouth about the customs and traditions of the minorities for fear of incurring their wrath.
Ingrained with the virtue of tolerance, Hindus just tolerate any kind of abuse thrown at them. With no single God, no single scripture and no single path to follow, Hinduism gives its followers maximum freedom to follow their chosen path. This benign aspect, considered a boon to its followers, is now their bane. They have been conditioned to tolerate anything thrown at them. If at all they make any noise, the intellectuals paint the issue as ‘caste’ based. ‘Caste’ being taboo, Hindus become reluctant to associate themselves with the issue.
One of the major assaults on Hinduism in recent times, is PETA’s affront on Hindus’ relationship with the Cow. Unlike the Western world which views its cows as walking hamburgers, the cow is considered sacred to Hindus. Cow is worshipped as ‘Kamadhenu’, the God that grants all wishes. ‘Nandi’, a bull, is Lord Shiva’s companion and stands in penance overlooking Lord Shiva in all his temples. Most Hindus are vegetarian and those who are not do not eat beef. Being predominantly farmers, their major relationship with the animal world has been with cattle. Cows have been reared for milk and bulls/ oxen, their work companions.
Hindus celebrate several festivals throughout the year to honour their cattle. The most prominent among them being ‘Makar Sankranti’ celebrated all over India. It is celebrated as ‘Pongal’, the harvest festival, in Tamilnadu, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Maldives and by Tamils all over the world.
Honouring the Cow, including bulls, oxen and calves, is a part of all Hindu religious festivals. They are decked with colourful garlands, horns painted and brought to temples for puja. A puja is also done to the cow. During a house-warming ceremony, a Cow and a calf are the first ones that enter into the house, as Hindus believe that Cow is the mother of all Gods. Temples in South India have statues of their temple bulls. There are even temples built for bulls. Hindus also honour the cow by having some innocuous activities associated with the temple festivals like ‘Jallikattu’, ‘Eruthottam’, bullock cart racing, bull racing, cattle shows etc.
One such sport, ‘Jallikattu’, is conducted in the Indian states Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Andhra pradesh, during local temple festivals, and also during Pongal. This is a harmless humal-animal contact sport that is conducted as a part of the temple festivities and not an individual sport conducted for entertainment. It has over 4000 years of recorded history. The bull is usually let loose on the temple grounds. The ‘prize’, if it can be called that, is usually a towel tied between its horns. Unarmed sportsmen who get hold of the towel will be declared victor. If the bulls returns home – the bull usually finds its way back home by itself – with the towel intact, the bull is considered the winner. Almost every temple in the 13 districts, constituting the ‘Jallikattu belt’, of Tamilnadu have permanent structures called ‘Vadi’ or the ‘starting gates’ for the bulls, standing evidence to the fact that this was indeed a part and parcel of Hindu tradition.
This historic sport is now the target of a sinister campaign by PETA which seems to have some hidden agenda in getting the sport banned. PETA has succeeded in getting this traditional sport banned by taking the legal route. PETA has been throwing all kinds of wild allegations against the innocuous temple tradition. PETA has been vilifying the harmless sport as ‘barbaric’ and has been further misleading the public, majority of whom have never visited or seen a Jallikattu, by equating this to spanish bull fights. Unlike bull fights taking place in other parts of the world, where the bull is tortured and killed, in Jallikattu the bull is not harmed at all. The tamil name ‘Aeru Thazhuvudal’ translates to ‘Embracing the Bull’! That is the true spirit of the game. The sportsman tries to embrace the bull by its hump – trying to hold the bull by its horns, neck, leg or tail will lead to disqualification – for a maximum of about 5 to 10 seconds.
When travelling across the rural countryside of Tamilnadu, one would come across numerous statues of temple bulls built inside the temple premises. These statues are usually built about a year after the death of the temple bull. They usually sport the real horns of the bull, exhumed in an elaborate ceremony conducted after about a year. The Hindus worship these bulls as God – when alive and even after they die. Death of a temple bull is considered as a loss of a family member of the whole village. All the villagers gather and perform the last rites for the temple bull as they would do when their bretheren passes away. Religious and non-religious festivals like marriages are not celebrated for the next 16 days as the village goes into mourning.
To achieve its goal of getting this Hindu religious activity banned, PETA has resorted to character assasination of not just the sport, but also Hindus and Tamils. One of the major allegation by PETA is that this tradition is not associated with Hinduism at all! PETA says it is not associated with religious activities. If this was true, then why do all these temples have permanent ‘Vadis’ (bull starting gates)? If it is not a Hindu religious practice, then why do all temple festivals include ‘Jallikattu’ as a part of the festivities? Why do all the temple festivals include honouring the bull? Why are there ‘Temple Bulls’ in the first place? Why are the ‘Temple Bulls’ given the honour of starting the ‘Jallikattu’?
PETA which is an American organisation, according to their own admission, kills over 4 million innocent puppies and kitten every year. What right does such a mass murderer like PETA have to preach Hindus on what traditions they should follow and what they should not?
Article by Balakumar Somu. The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org