Taking cognizance of cruelty to animals and threat to human life, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to allow the traditional bullfight (Jallikattu) during the harvest festival 'Pongal', in Tamil Nadu.
Terming it as "barbaric" and "uncivilized", a bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan said, "We can not allow any event involving cruelty towards animals." However, the court allowed "Rekhla" race ie bullock cart race under supervision of the local administration.
Senior counsel TR Andhyarujina, who appeared for the state government, said Jallikattu was a 400-year-old event and sentiments of people were attached to it.
Animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi welcomed the court's order terming it as "wonderful" and a progressive step towards the fight against cruelty to animals.
Village to defy ban
In what could turn out to be a tricky law and order problem for the DMK government, villagers in Tamil Nadu have decided to go ahead with their annual Jallikattu next week in defiance of the Supreme Court's ban.
"Jallikattu has been a traditional sport of bravery for over 400 years. Under no circumstances can we give up the traditions or bravery of the Tamil people," the Committee for the Defence of Martial Arts has said in a statement.