MADURAI: The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act 2017, that had led to the conduct of the bull-taming sport in TN this year.
The animal rights organisation, in its investigation report, stated that jallikattu is a blood sport wherein bulls are being subjected to various types of cruelty, and it should not be conducted in any manner, irrespective of any laws or regulations.
Condemning the PETA’s report, Kollywood director Ameer, an active supporter of the traditional sport, told Express, “All jallikattu events were conducted under the supervision of the respective district collectors and the SPs. Even various ministers took part as spectators in jallikattu and made sure that there was no cruelty against the bulls.”
The director said that he will implead himself as a caveator in the petition filed by PETA against jallikattu in the Supreme Court and will fight against it to safeguard the traditional sport.
Chennai-based filmmaker Santhosh has made a film titled Jallikattu 5-23 January 2017, which he has shot during the actual Marina jallikattu protest. The team launched the film’s first look on June 4 in Wall Street, New York, to symbolically pay homage to the Occupy Wall Streetmovement.
“The Occupy Wall Street was the earliest leader-less movements that had a number of common people coming together to protest. I was in the US in 2011, when the protest was on, and had even shot some footage of it. On January 17, I had gone to Marina after hearing that a crowd had gathered there to protest against the jallikattu ban. When I reached Marina, at 4pm, there were around 2,000 people. One of the protesters had a poster that directly referenced Occupy Wall Street, and read Occupy Marina. As I had knowledge of what had happened during other people’s protests like the Black Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong and the Arab Spring in Cairo, I could sense that a similar movement was taking shape in our own India. So, I decided to shoot the protest. But, at that time, I did not even have my camera with me, so I sent my driver to bring my camera and started shooting on my phone,” begins Santhosh, who had previously assisted PC Sreeram and worked as an operative cameraman for Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond.
Interestingly, he did not have a script when he started shooting, though he was mulling to work on a documentary involving a mass protest. “My wife Nirupama and I promote films at different film festivals. On January 10, a week before the Marina protest, I happened to see Clash, an Egyptian film that was based on the Arab Spring, and that sowed the seeds of an idea of making a similar film, a documentary, perhaps,” he reveals.
Santhosh says that he decided to follow random characters throughout the protest, as long as it lasted. And as the protesters swelled in number, so did his team. “I had 20 people handling the camera. I reached out to all my friends; it did not matter if they knew how to shoot, as the core idea was to capture everything that we could,” he says and adds that he decided to use this approach as a stylistic choice. He cites the Hungarian war photographer Robert Capa’s work as an inspiration. However, cameras were not readily available as many people, for their own reasons, wanted to shoot the protests. “We ended up shooting this film on all types of cameras,” he adds.
“But I’m sure that the audience, when they watch the film on the big screen, will have goosebumps and feel the excitement that was in the air during the days of the protests. And even those who were at the protest on all days or had been to Marina to be part of it for some time will find a totality of what actually happened there during all those days,” he promises.
He talks about a single scene that he had shot using a drone, which, he thinks could be the one scene with the highest number of people captured in a shot. “In this shot, the camera travels from the MGR memorial all the way to the lighthouse, and the number of people in this should be 12.5 lakh. The previous film that had such a huge number of people is apparently Gandhi, which had 3-lakh people taking part in the funeral scene of the Mahatma,” he informs.
The film will also have footage of protests organised by Tamils in various parts of the world. “As the Marina protest was unfolding, Tamils in almost 50 countries were staging protests in their own countries, and we have included those footage in the film, too,” he says.
However, the film isn’t a documentary. “After shooting the protest, we worked on a story that will be about 20 characters who were in the protest. It is a mixture of fact and fiction, a pseudo-documentary. While the scenes unfolding on the beach during the protest happened for real, the characters’ backstories are fictional,” he explains.
Santhosh has brought on board Bollywood filmmaker Anurag Kashyap as an executive producer. “I’ve known him from when he was a writer on Mani Ratnam‘s Yuva. I used to run the video rental store, Cinema Paradiso, which he used to frequent. We’d discuss films then. He has been pushing me to make a film for some time. When I told him about this project, he told me it is a fantastic idea and urged me to do it. I’m sure he will help us take the film places,” hopes the director.
The film is currently in post-production stage, but its teaser will be unveiled coming Tuesday at the annual conference of the Sub-Saharan International Model United Nations (SAIMUN), in Nairobi, Kenya.
This article, dated June 15 2017, has been reproduced from the http://website THA TIMES OF INDIA.com. The original article can be aacessed at : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/tamil/movies/news/now-a-tamil-film-on-the-marina-jallikattu-protest/articleshow/59144745.cms
A weekly cattle market in Vadipatti, a few miles off Madurai. (Photo: Vikram Venkateswaran)Vikram Venkateswaran June 4, 2017, 12:06 am
Tamil Nadu is headed for yet another protest. The Supreme Court’s measures to ensure an organised system of sale, purchase and slaughter of cattle has been stayed for four weeks by the Madurai high court. Tamil Nadu’s politicians, meanwhile aren’t playing up the ‘protection of culture’ rhetoric, or even the ‘freedom of choice’ spiel. They’ve got something better up their sleeve; Dravidian Identity.
How can Central government impose restrictions on our food habits? We must eat only what Modi likes? Our individual rights are being snatched away by central government.
-MK Stalin, working president, DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam)
MK Stalin belongs to a long line of politicians who have milked the Dravidian rhetoric popularised by Periyar in the early 40s. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)
Textbook Vote-Bank Politics
This is a textbook example of identity politics that has won votes in Tamil Nadu for over four decades now.
MK Stalin’s statement, and stance, follow his anti-Hindi vitriol of last month, when a few milestones along the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border suddenly bore Hindi script.
The Centre’s involvement in cattle trade (which is clearly a state issue) is questionable. But there is no ambiguity in the fact that the new PCA rules do not ban slaughter, nor do they eschew consumption of beef.
While both factions of the AIDMK are silent on the issue, it is only a matter of time before they declare their undying love and solidarity for the ‘Dravidian’ way of life.
A truck that transports animals for slaughter, padded with straw. Typically, over fifteen head of cattle are packed into a single large truck. This has been illegal since even before the SC’s new rules. (Photo: Vikram Venkateswaran)
n the year 2015-16, India exported beef worth over 65,000 crore rupees.
Yes, the New Rules are Problematic
The government and the judiciary seem quite intent on protecting India’s bovines. But bearing down on the local markets instead of banning beef exports sends conflicting signals.
Also, some of the new regulations are either too vague, or too impractical to benefit either the farmer, or the cow.
1. Cattle must not be brought in using ropes that pass through the nostrils.
2. Markets must provide housing, sufficient food and water, feed storage areas, water troughs, ramps, enclosures for sick animals, veterinary care, lighting, bedding, toilets, proper drainage and other facilities.
3. Cattle must not be bought or sold at a cattle market for the purpose of slaughter.
The Impractical and the Joke
Boring a hole through the nostrils of a cow or a buffalo is considered torture by animal rights activists. But to farmers and traditional livestock owners, this is basic procedure, and a form of conditioning of the cattle.
Cattle markets in general are so crowded that it is often impossible to walk through the heads of cattle from one end of the market to the other. The SC’s directive to ensure separate shelters, water troughs, bedding, etc. are far removed from this chaotic, bustling reality.
Cattle markets are part of the ecosystem of the agrarian way of life. It is here that even a desperate farmer who seeks to sell off a healthy cow or bull due to drought, will find a reasonable buyer.
While farmers worry themselves sick over these and more issues with the new law, Kamal Hasan’s statements at a public gathering on his birthday in 2015 are being bandied about on social media as the last word on the ‘beef ban’ issue.
If you don’t like beef, don’t eat it… don’t prescribe a menu for what people should eat. Feed them instead! Soon, we will look to insects to fulfil our dietary requirements. You just wait and watch. But then some other ‘Insect Swami’ will come and say don’t eat insects.Kamal Hasan
‘Azhagu’ (beauty), sells ‘beedis’ and rope at the cattle market. The Vadipatti cattle market is generations old. (Photo: Vikram Venkateswaran)
At IIT-Madras, regardless of which ideology you support, you can be sure as sunrise there’ll be a ‘study group’ of like-minded individuals.
It is between students of such study groups that violence erupted, in which Sooraj, a PhD research scholar (Ambedkar-Periyar study group) was severely injured.
Both sides misunderstood the new directives from the SC to mean a ban on beef. And instantly, a communal stance was taken.
According to a series of RTIs filed by Arun (animal rights activist, Chennai) against illegal transportation of cattle, only 15 of over 40 traffickers were Muslim. The rest were Hindu.
The issue here is illegal trafficking of cattle, upon which the beef industry in India currently depends for 90% of its needs. Torture of cattle by stuffing green chillies in the eyes, biting and breaking the tail; all these are so the cattle don’t sit down during 14 hour journeys, where they’re neither given food, nor water nor care of any kind.
The new regulations in the PCAA may eliminate illegal slaughter, but they will also snuff out local breeds in the process.
Cattle is bought and sold in the cattle market.
This has been so from before the invention of money. There are references in Sangam literature (1st – 5th BCE) of markets where cattle were traded for millet and other commodities.
To suddenly ask farmers to change their way of life is neither fair nor practical.
A Jallikattu ‘temple’ bull. Prize bulls fetch over Rs 50,000. But with the Jallikattu ban, it will be sold for Rs 15,000 or less, for slaughter. (Photo: Vikram Venkateswaran)
Death Knell for Jallikattu?
To the uninitiated, this might seem far-fetched. But what the new regulations imply is a rapid decline in a farmer’s ability to buy or sell cattle. This will in turn result in import of milk and animal protein, as well as an industrialised system of animal husbandry, which corporates will own, not farmers.
Pro-Jallikattu activists like Karthikeya Sivasenapathy (founder, Senapathy Kangeyam Cattle Research Foundation), who started off the Jallikattu protests, see the SC’s notice as a death knell for local breeds.
Prime Minister Modi has started a war against the downtrodden…the government cannot decide what we should do. It is we who must decide… this is the RSS government at play…S M Bakker, President, Indian Thowheeth Jamaath (a major Muslim political party in TN)
When the four-week stay on the SC’s directive comes to an end, Dravidian politics and communal rhetoric will fly high once again in Tamil Nadu.
A proper reading of the SC’s guidelines, followed by informed debates across the board, is the need of the hour.
But, when even students from IIT-M – supposedly the creme de la creme of the state – resort to reactionary, misinformed feuds, it just might be too much to ask for.
This article, dated June 04 2017, has been reproduced from the http://website the quint.com. The original article can be aacessed at :https://www.thequint.com/opinion/2017/06/02/tamil-nadu-sc-cattle-market-for-slaughter
Survival of the ttest: It will be a simple aair in contrast to opulent lms, says director Santhosh. File picture | Photo Credit: G. Karthikeyan
The first look of quasi-documentary to be unveiled in New York today
Call it a mere coincidence or destiny. Filmmaker Santhosh watched the Egyptian film, Clash, centred around the Arab Spring, the democratic uprising against Hosni Mubarak, just before the historic jallikattu protests erupted in Tamil Nadu.
“After seeing Clash, I was fascinated how they could do a movie set inside a big black van. This was in January just before the jallikattu protests began here. So, I took the camera, called my crew and went to the protest to shoot it. I was intrigued by what drove millions of people to protest against the ban,” said Mr. Santhosh, sitting in a coffee shop.
The first look of the film will be unveiled in Wall Street, New York City, on Sunday. “We will do it right by the Charging Bull to be symbolic. We also wanted to do it in New York City, because the Occupy Wall Street movement, which was also a leaderless, faceless protest albeit for a different cause, started here. The similarities between the two was also one of the reasons why I wanted to make this film,” he says. After spending seven days among the protesters and shooting over 200 hours of footage, he knew he had a film in his hands. “I just took my camera and went to shoot the protests because it was just fascinating to see millions congregating for a cause. Then, I thought why not make a film around what I had? Jallikattu (8-23) is a feature film, which has been made in a quasi-documentary fashion,” says Mr. Santhosh, who is also a movie consultant.
Working in tandem with his wife Nirupama Santhosh who is producing the film, Mr. Santhosh managed to get his actors and crew into the crowd and improvised. “I didn’t know what the characters were or their lines. We just improvised. After the protest concluded, and after soaking in the politics and the events around the protest, I wrote the back stories of the characters in the film. The film actually starts on January 8 and culminates in the protests,” he said. Mr. Santhosh claims that the film is the opposite of a big-budget film like Baahubali. “In a sense, we were lucky to be a part of history in which millions of people congregated voluntarily and we were able to shoot it,” he says.
By S Deepak Karthik | Express News Service | Published: 27th May 2017 05:21 AM | Last Updated: 27th May 2017 05:21 AM
TIRUCHY: Jallikattu bulls are in great demand now than ever before. They used to cost Rs 50,000 per head last year, but nowadays come with a price tag anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh.
However, the bull owners are not keen on selling them, even though it means letting go a huge amount. The reason being the status symbol that Jallikattu bulls offer.
It is not only the victory in bull-taming events that have pushed the price up, but also the campaigns that have of late been undertaken to conserve indigenous breeds of cattle, not to mention the sea of protests held earlier to conduct Jallikattu in defiance of the Supreme Court that has clamped a ban on the traditional bull-taming event across the State and elsewhere in the country.
Last year, the bulls were selling at Rs 50,000 per head, without the conduct of the traditional event. But post-Jallikattu, the prices have soared to Rs 5 to Rs 7 lakh per head.
With Jallikattu becoming a frequent event across Tiruchy and Pudukkottai districts, most of the bull owners are unwilling to sell their bulls. That is just one reason. Status symbol, pride, and bulls being considered part of their family are all the right reasons to say ‘no’.
Ever since the Jallikattu was held in Karungulam near Manapparai on January 29, close to two dozen Jallikattu events were held across the district and in Pudukkottai and Ariyalur districts. Last year during the corresponding period, as Jallikattu was not held consecutively in 2015 and 2016, prices of the bulls lingered around Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000.
“We have a Sevalakkalai (bull’s name) in our village, which has won about 12 jallikattus in Tiruchy, Pudukkottai and Madurai districts. Even as buyers were willing to offer Rs 7 lakh for the country-bred bull, the owners said a big ‘no’. Sevalakkalai had won even in the famous arena in Alanganallur,” M Mookan, a Jallikattu bull owner from Olaiyur near Tiruchy told Express.