The organisers and participants of Kila Raipur Games, also called Rural Olympics, are upbeat about the prospects of event returning to its old charm in the light of banned bull-taming sport— Jallikattu—in Tamil Nadu taking place on Sunday. The organisers of the Kila Raipur Games will now move the Supreme Court for permission to conduct the bullock cart races this year. The three-day event is scheduled to begin on February 17 this year.
Jallikattu events took place across Tamil Nadu on Sunday after the state government promulgated an ordinance as a stop-gap arrangement to see the traditional sport through.
In 2014, the Supreme Court had banned the bullock cart races across the country, which led to a substantial drop in the number of spectators at the rural games.
Secretary of organising body Grewal Sports Association (GSA) Balwinder Singh (Jagga) said, “We are constantly in touch with the organisers of Jallikattu and other similar sports in Maharashtra. As and when they are finished with the documentation, we will get the copies and our lawyers will move the Supreme Court. We will make all out efforts to organise bullock cart races this time. We have even put up bullock cart race pictures on the banners of the event.”
GSA treasurer Jagbeer Singh Grewal said, “There was substantial drop in the spectators’ count after the ban on bullock cart races in 2014. Preserving the cultural heritage is state government’s prerogative, but our case was not put up strongly before the Centre as the Tamil Nadu government did.”
Jagjeet Singh, 36, from Assi Kalan village, who had won the bullock cart race in 2012, said, “We raise our bulls like our kids. So, the question of cruelty doesn’t arise. Lifting ban on Jallikattu through an ordinance by the Tamil Nadu government is a welcome development. I take care of diet of my bulls throughout the year whether they are to participate in the games or not. But since only a few days are left for the games I will have to take the bulls for practice.”
On how well they take care of the bulls, Sukhdev Singh said, “I have not repeated the pair of bulls during my 17 years of participation in Kila Raipur Games. We feed 300 grams of ghee, channa, taramira and milk every day throughout the year and treat bulls as our kids.”
Meanwhile, voices of dissent against the ban on Jallikattu echoed in Ludhiana also with dozens of Tamil Nadu natives taking to the streets. A gathering of around 50 Tamil natives gathered at Bharat Nagar Chowk and carried out a peaceful march till Bhaiwala Chowk, holding placards and banners, seeking a permanent solution to Jallikattu.