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 .
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