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Kulasekharankottai jallikattu conducted after 16 years

Madurai: One of the most famous jallikattu in the district conducted for many centuries, since the Pandiya rule, the Kulasekharankottai jallikattu was held in Madurai after a 16-year period. More than 600 bulls and 350 tamers participated in the event on Sunday.

The place named after the Pandiya King, Kulasekhara Pandian, who built a fortress here, a portion of the wall which still remains and hence the name. Elders here say that the jallikattu was famous in this village since Pandiya period and also during Thirumalai Naicker rule. Jallikattu in this village is held in connection with the Sellayeee Amman temple festival.

Over 600 bulls from many places including, Madurai, Theni, Dindigul and Sivaganga were brought here to participate. The event started at 8am and the bulls were unleashed into the arena one by one. The game was monitored every two hours and a new set of 75 bull tamers out of the 350 men were allowed into the ring to tame the bulls. A veterinary team from Vadipatti, led by Dr Karuppasamy, inspected each of the 601 bulls that were brought to the games. Similarly, doctors from the Vadipatti primary health centre examined the 356 men who had come to tame the bulls.

“My grandfather used to tell us that this game was more famous that the Alanganallur one and we are happy that it is being held this year, after a gap of sixteen years,” said Sivakumar, a villager. According to the villagers, local politics and the SC ban was why the game had not been held for nearly 16 years.

The prizes which were on par with those given at Alanganallur and Palamedu games, included gold and silver coins, lamps, fans, utensils and furniture. The bull tamers vied with each other to bag them.

 This article, dated May 15 2017, has been reproduced from thehttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/kulasekharankottai-jallikattu-conducted-after-16-years/articleshow/58674918.cms . The original article can be accessed at;THE TIMES OF INDIA

Tamil Nadu Informs High Court That It Was Not Against Conducting Jallikattu

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The association submitted that they would rectify the damages, if any happened to the ground by holding the event.

Why a Ban on Bull Riding Sparked Huge Protests in India

Jallikattu. Image: Skanakaraj/Getty

The conflict between animals rights and a traditional sport has led thousands of people to go on strike and protest.

Protests are raging across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu over the ban of Jallikattu, an annual bull-taming contest celebrated every January in villages and towns during the harvest festival.

India’s Supreme Court banned the sport in 2014 on the grounds of animal cruelty—and inflamed a debate about the centuries-old ritual when the Court upheld the ban earlier this month. While PETA, the animal rights advocacy group, and the Animal Welfare Board of India hail the Court’s ruling as a landmark success, citing the excessive harm that the practice inflicts on bulls, protests against the ban climaxed this week after tens of thousands of rural and urban Tamils came out in defense of the ancient Tamil tradition. The ban was temporarily lifted Sunday, but the court has not yet reached a conclusion on its future.

A typical Jallikattu contest looks something like this: hundreds of men run along a raging bull bred exclusively for the festival. Hanging on each of the bull’s horns are bundles of cash—the reward that drives participants to cling onto the animal’s massive hump in the hope of plucking. Whoever remains on the bull’s hump after three jumps wins the cash prize, along with temporary fame of equal importance. If a bull is untamable, his breeder collects the reward.

As the protests continue across the state, public transport is on strike and many schools and universities remained shut in solidarity. But outside Tamil cities, where celebrities have supported the fights with silent protests, opposition to the ban is as much about reclaiming culture as it is about livelihoods.

“In a water-starved state, livestock breeding is our bread and butter,” said Balakumar Somu, a spokesperson for the Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Peravai or Forum for the Preservation of Jallikattu. According to Somu, Jallikattu contests are vital to maintaining native livestock since stud bulls bred for the fights generally produce hundreds of cattle. Like elsewhere in India, drought has deeply hurt farmers in Tamil Nadu, making livestock their main source of revenue.

But animal rights groups view the event differently. “Cruelty is inherent to the act,” said Dr. Manilal Valliyate, Director of Veterinary Affairs at PETA India. Valliyate stressed that inflicting unnecessary harm on animals for entertainment is prohibited under Indian law.

Debates around animal rights in India are often deeply polarizing and rest on a fierce defense of ethnic or religious tradition. Take the annual cockfights of coastal Andhra Pradesh, another southern state. The brutal fights, a staple of the local Pongal harvest season celebrations, have been a rallying point for the Animal Welfare Board of India, PETA, the Humane Society International-India and others for years. The sport is outlawed under two Indian laws—the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act of 1974. Yet each year, prize birds rake in millions of dollars in bets, often from the very politicians who make a point to decry the sport.

Though India’s central government temporarily lifted the ban on Sunday, many protestors are clamoring to ban PETA from the state and permanently legalize Jallikattu.

“Even if the ban is repealed, our education campaign will continue. We want to help people understand what is animal cruelty,” said Valliyate.

This article, dated Jan 23 2017,  has been reproduced from the http://website motherboard.vice.com. The original article can be aacessed at : https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/indias-bull-fighting-ban-has-triggered-two-weeks-of-mass-protests-jallikattu

Meet the campaigners behind the Jallikattu uprising


INDIA Updated: Jan 19, 2017 07:20 IST

Hindustan Times, Chennai
Highlight Story(From left top clockwise) BalakumarSomu, Karthikeya Sivasenapathy, P Rajasekaran and Himakiran Anugula are the key faces behind the hi-tech Jallikattu campaign in Chennai.(HT Photo)The spontaneous Jallikattu uprising in Tamil Nadu is in fact the result of four years of sustained hard work by a group of men who used modern communication tools to garner support for the protest.

It all began with a modest protest on Marina beach with 15 participants in 2013 that has now become a mass movement in Tamil Nadu. These warriors roped in youths, cutting across caste, class and region barriers, and encourage them to join the mass agitation.

Himakiran Alagula is a professional from Chennai with rural roots and is an owner of a bull. In 2013, he got interested in Jallikattu and got in touch with Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Federation president P Rajasekharan, who has been fighting for the sport for over 10 years.

Alagula also teamed up with Karthikeya Sivasenapathy, who heads the Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation near Tirupur. Slowly others began to join the fight.

Another professional and businessman from Coimbatore, Balakumar Somu, too, joined the team that prepared the blueprint for the battle.

“We organised seminars, workshops, cattle fairs, meetings, and distributed pamphlets and reading material among college and school students, educating them about the native breeds, agricultural practices. And when they realized the true reason for holding Jallikattu, more support started pouring in,” said Alagula.

Over the years, support for the three organisations — Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Federation, Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation and Biodiversity Conservation Council of India (formed by professionals in India and abroad) — grew and what you see on the Marina beach or in different parts of the state is a result of a sustained effort since 2013, Alagula said.

“It is the failure of the central government to facilitate the native sport and the abusive campaign carried out by PETA against the Tamils that exploded into an outburst of emotional protest,” said Alagula.

“We created awareness through Twitter and Facebook, seminars in colleges and lectures at institutions. The real spark that ignited the anger of the people was the abusive negative campaign by PETA and central government’s indifference,” said another Jallikattu warrior.

WhatsApp, too, came handy for the campaigners.

It was a television programme in January last year that the warriors dominated. It was followed by Hiphop Tamizha, who did a Tamil video song that went viral. It garnered more support from within India and abroad.

Sri Ganesh, the Chennai-coordinator for the Chennai Memes, one of the sites that was extensively used by Jallikattu warriors to spread their message said, “Jallikattu is our cultural heritage. It’s not just one generation at Marina beach, but Tamils from all ages and backgrounds.

Jallikattu protest leader Balakumar Somu calls ban an insult to Tamil sentiments

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Exclusive: Jallikattu protest leader Balakumar Somu calls ban an insult to Tamil sentiments

 Take a look at this exclusive interview to understand the mass Tamil protest against the Jallikattu ban