Jallikattu: Why the Tamilians are on roads?

The tradition of Tamil people
When Pongal comes into picture, there are many reasons why a Tamilian gets emotional. First, the festival is so much related to farmers. Being an agriculturally vibrant state, Pongal becomes important for many reasons. We celebrate the nature in this festival and call it as “Ulavar Pandigai”. The entire Tamil month “Thai”, which usually starts in January is called the “Aruvadai season” (The reaping season) of all the efforts we have invested for the rest of the year.
The three day gala
We celebrate Pongal for 3 days, starting from Boghi. The belief is that this festival of removes the old things (the bad things) and invites new things(the good things). This has been translated in the rolling of years as burning old cloths. Awareness is being created around to bring back the actual meaning of this festival and since we are transforming into a well-educated society, we see people realizing the true meaning of the festival.
The second day is called Pongal, where we celebrate the nature and present offerings to the nature god sun, for shining throughout the year and helping in farming and for being the source of food for the people.
Mattu pongal
As a part of respecting the contribution made by Cows and Oxen in farming, Tamilians, especially, farmers in rural areas, celebrate this festival by decorating these animals by covering them with new cloths, bells and painting their horns. They are considered as god and offered food and the respect the same way the nature is celebrated the previous day. They are taken around the village by their respective owners. The formers consider their cows, oxen and bulls as their pride.
Where comes Jallikattu in this?
Jallikattu is a game, a part of the Tamil tradition, where the bulls are controlled by youngsters. The one who holds to the bull till the end of the game is considered a Winner. This is a part of the third day of Pongal, the Mattu pongal day. We consider this as a “Verra Vilayattu” which can be translated in English as brave game. The places which has been famous for conducting Jallikattu mostly confines to villages near Madurai, like Alanganallur. The relationship between Jallikattu, Pongal and a Tamilian (especially a farmer) can never be understood by anyone but himself. This emotional bond will never go away, until the entire Tamil people die, because have been, are and will be a agricultural society.
Why there is a ban on Jallikattu?
The case and the evidences
The case to ban Jalikattu was started by someone from Alanganallur, which famous for the same. While this might shock most of the people (the pro-jalikattu supporters), the reason was as simple and strong from his side. His son, who was witnessing the Jalikattu was killed by the bull that was running in the game. Okay! Now just imagine what your father will do if this happens to you. This man did the same as a responsible father. (Reference Article: https://scroll.in/article/827115/it-takes-guts-to-stand-up-for-animal-rights-says-a-chennai-peta-volunteer-on-jallikattu-protests). So the ban started in 2006 with this. Then there were so many NGO organizations like PETA INDIA, which submitted the evidence videos and images of how bulls are being tortured before and after the Jallikattu. Some of them include the death of a bull which died while running away from the game spot and hit by an automobile. They also provided the statistics of how many men died in the event. This has been the base evidences of the decision behind the Supreme Court banning Jalikattu.
Where does the law stand?
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s 2011 ban on the use of bulls in performances
The Prevention of Cruelty Act(PCA) 1960
These two laws are the laws that governs the Supreme Court today and give anonymity for them to place the ban on jalikattu. After the request from the Tamil Nadu government, there has been several emergency laws enacted to conduct Jalikattu. There are strict rules on how to handle the bulls before and after the game. The events that were held under these laws ensured that the bulls are protected from getting forced to drink alcohol before the event and they have only been conducted in the presence of district officials with full security. I even heard from a friend in Madurai that the horns are blunted nowadays to reduce the damage to humans during the brave act.
Why PETA INDIA is under attack?
 PETA INDIA is a Non-governmental organization, which acts against animal cruelty of any form just like the PCA act of 1960. They even encourage coconut milk, almond milk and soya milk to prevent the use of dairy products. They support vegan food alone and involve themselves in finding evidences of how animals are cruelly treated in this society in various forms. Their evidences against Jalikattu has been a trigger to impose the ban and they have also rejoiced it in their blog as an accomplishments of 2016. This has made the people turn against PETA INDIA. But, there are many unsupported facts getting circulated in the Social media about PETA INDIA, which was also denied by the PETA INDIA in their blog (Follow this link to know more: http://www.petaindia.com/blog/16-bizarre-myths-promoted-jallikattu-supporters-busted/ )
The absurdity with the old laws and PETA INDIA
We do not realize the need for a ban. Well, the evidences from PETA INDIA, speaks for itself. But, that was past and after all the securities getting carried out in the event, there is no need to ban it. So, as I say absurdity in the law, I mean that, how come a 1960 law can govern us in 2016 or 2017? Did the government not make changes to the laws to accommodate corporate giants and encourage industrialization and recently digitalization? Why can’t they amend the laws according to the tradition of people, which is also the part of law and also included in the rights of people? How a domesticated animal like bull or ox can be included along with lions and tigers, which live in wild life environment? And the recent comment from the Supreme Court that “If we give you lion or tiger, will you still try to control them?”, just reflects the urban mindset of the judges investigating the case.
And the absurdity in PETA INDIA’s request to ban Jalikattu is that it has documented the evidences long back. I really appreciate the concern they have towards all the animals and humans. But, I cannot agree with their vegan policy of avoiding milk and other dairy products in food, which they say is a cruelty to animals. Are they going to sue and ban tigers for killing a deer in forest? Is that not its nature to eat deer as a part of keeping the ecological cycle in balance? How will a cow be useful then? Where will it find itself in this society to find a place for itself? Should we just have to adapt cows for no reason? Just like dogs? And as I see lots of campaign by them to adapt dogs instead of breeding them, according to that PCA 1960, having animals as pets is also illegal. As they have claimed that they are just following Indian law, they are illegal too for promoting an act that is illegal according to the above mentioned law.
Who can act now and where?
Let me just stop talking about PETA INDIA, because, there is no use in talking about an NGO, while our law makers are just staring from the top on the #SupportForJallikattui and saying that they can’t do anything because the case is in the court.
As said by Kadju, a former judge of Supreme Court, in his twitter account as below, “It appears that the Centre is under the impression that as long as the case is pending in Supreme Court, they cannot issue an ordinance. That impression is wrong. Even during pendency of a case, law has been changed many times. For example, when the election petition was allowed against Indira, she went to SC. When the appeal was pending, RPA act was amended by Parliament, even the Constitution was amended by Parliament.  The only way out is an ordinance to be issued by the President of India on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. An ordinance is on the same legal footing as an Act of Parliament. There can be a restriction in the ordinance that excessive cruelty should not be done to the bull.”, the state and the center should do something in the parliament and just not wait for the Supreme Court. Supreme Court follows the law and it cannot do anything beyond that. But, who can act now is the government we have elected. All the supports from thousands of people from many places will go in vain, if we again create an emergency law or ordinance to run the event this year. Again we have to agitate both the state and the center next year the same way to conduct the event. The only solution is to change the old laws and amend it in a way to conduct Jalikattu.
Why I and many people support Jalikattu?
When someone said that the protestors against the governments are rouges, I don’t find the statement amusing. We find many college students, IT professionals and families with their kids supporting Jalikattu. How come they become rouges? This is one of the greatest crowd gathered without a leader behind, gathered for a cause, gathered for preserving their culture and tradition. The best thing about these people is that, they are supporting in a peaceful way. In a way, India has never seen before. They are disciplined and carry themselves as gentlemen and women.
I just want all the protesters to know that, instead of targeting PETA INDIA and placing several other obligations with the support to Jallikattu, they should concentrate on changing the PCA 1960 and make it rephrased in a way to support Jallikattu.
Jallikattu is an event, which creates the need to preserve the bulls. I have read painful short stories by many famous writers about the killing of ox and bull in villages just after their birth because of the introduction of modern methods in farming. They are considered useless because they just consume the milk and become useless after few years. This event will definitely preserve them from getting killed and also prevent the cows getting artificially inseminated for milk. Forget PETA INDIA. Let us amend the law. Let us live our tradition and culture without any disturbance. Let us create a history. Let us make the elected people work for us in Parliament at least now!
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