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Jallikattu in new avatar: Chennai to host bull-taming championship for TV

The ancient sport will be made more interesting to appeal to TV audiences with different elements injected into the event.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2017 07:20 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Jallikattu,Bull-taming sport,Jallikattu championship
A Supreme Court-issued ban on Jallikattu had created a statewide stir last year.(AP File Photo)

New Year brings the traditional Tamil Nadu sport of bull-taming, Jallikattu, like never before in Chennai, in a form specially made for television

The ancient sport will be made more interesting to appeal to TV audiences with different elements injected into the event. There will be an individual as well as a team sporting activity with five teams fighting for top honours.

According to the show’s creators, the prize money for the winning team is Rs 10 lakh – which could go up as more sponsors line up.

Jallikattu had united the entire state last year, bringing the state to a halt till the Modi government found a way around the ban imposed on the sport by the Supreme Court on the grounds of cruelty to the animals.

“Jallikattu Chennaiyil” (Jallikattu in Chennai) is the brand name given to this ‘edutainment’ event featuring the ancient traditional rural sport in which valour and bravery of the bull-tamers as also the breed of the beast is tested. The prize-winning bulls are used for mating purposes to nurture and promote the native bulls that play in important role in village economy,” said Karthik Srinivasan, who is organising the event.

“There are a lot of myths, lies and canards spread about Jallikattu, which is why we want to present 360° coverage of Jallikattu that revolves around bulls and how they are loved and treated by the farmers.”

“Jallikattu had brought lot of youth together, from across Tamil Nadu on to the Marina beach. Not many have till date seen an actual Jallikattu and how it is held. We want to showcase the same game, retaining the traditional rules and yet make it more interesting, adding elements that give the contests more drama, suspense and action,” Karthik said. The competition will be handled by the Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Peravai (association) and Chennai Jallikattu Peravai.

Some 450 bulls, from 17 districts of the state and trained and expert bull-tamers, licensed to participate by respective Jallikattu Peravais will be participating in the day-long event lasting some 6 hours. The event is planned to begin at 3 pm and the finals held at 9pm – in what you can call a day and night Jallikattu championship.

“It is happening on this scale for the first time in Chennai. We are hosting 4,000 people from all over Tamil Nadu, the 450 players, with one attendant each, 450 bulls with five persons tending to each of the bulls, special invitees...” said Amar Reddy Prasad, a businessman and secretary of Chennai Jallikattu Peravai.

First Published: Dec 16, 2017 07:06 IST