Amid the continuing protests across Tamil Nadu for allowing jallikattu during Pongal, people from the state of Tamil Nadu seems to be in no mood to wait for an official permission. After organising the bull-taming sport in coastal Cuddalore on Thursday, people from Madurai district have joined the league of those ready to defy the Supreme Court ban on the sport on Saturday, CNN-News18 said.
The Supreme Court on Thursday had rejected a plea urging it to pass judgement on the sport before Pongal. But with Pongal festivities during which jallikattu is organised starting on Saturday, the chorus in support of the sport grew with more sections of people, including students, joining protests in different parts of the state, including in places where it is not so popular.
According to The Times of India, three towns from the Madurai district — Avaniapuram, Alanganallur and Palamedu — where the first jallikattu events of the season are held, people are preparing to unleash the bulls and conduct the game. Besides Madurai, according to reports, residents of Tiruchirappalli have also decided to organise the festival.
Earlier on Thursday, functionaries of Nam Tamizhar Katchi had conducted jallikattu in Cuddalore near the Tiruvanthipuram Devanathaswamy Temple premises and police arrested 28 people for violating the ban, PTI said.
Meanwhile, with the apex court declining to hear the matter, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had blamed the Centre and state government for “not taking appropriate, timely steps” to ensure conduct of the event and announced a state-wide stir on Friday.
DMK working president and leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly MK Stalin had also participated in a demonstration held by college students in Chennai on Thursday seeking permission for jallikattu. “I extended support for the agitation by participating in their protest. It is welcome that students are holding protests for Jallikattu,” he told PTI. He said only such solidarity and participation by students “guarded our mother tongue”, in an apparent reference to the large scale anti-Hindi protests by students in 1960’s.
“Similarly, I believe that students’ agitations will protect jallikattu, the cultural symbol of the Tamil people,” he said.
Protests rise up across Tamil Nadu
In places including Coimbatore and Madurai, students took out rallies raising slogans seeking permission for jallikattu. They held placards expressing love for bulls and stating that the animals are not harassed during the sport.
Protest demonstrations were also held in the state capital. Film personalities including actor Sathyaraj, filmmaker Karu Pazhaniapan participated in a stir here pledging support for Jallikattu. Actor Simbu held a silent protest. More than 10,000 people converged at a ground in Coimbatore in support of jallikkattu while protests were staged in Sivaganga, Dindigul, Pudukottai and Salem districts.
Organisers of “manjuvirattu” (a form of jallikattu) in Siravayal in Sivaganga district asserted they would hold the sport as it was part of the temple custom and usage. Students and local villagers blocked traffic at many places in Madurai, Dindigul and Sivaganga district, a report from Madurai said.
According to reports, the failure of the rulng party at Centre, Bharatiya Janata Party, to take a decision in favour of the drought-hit state of Tamil Nadu has also generated a lot of anger among the public, many of whom seem prepare to defy the Supreme Court ban.
GR Siva, state vice-president of Jallikattu Veera Vilaiyattu Peravai Trichy said that they were not against the Supreme Court but they cannot tolerate the “onslaught” on Tamil culture. “We respect the court but it couldn’t take any action against Karnataka which refused to give us our share of Cauvery water despite the court rulings. Likewise, we are also ready to defy the ban and conduct jallikattu this year,” said Siva.