Jallikattu kicks off to a spirited start in Tamil Nadu, more than 100 injured so far
More than 500 bulls and 450 tamers took part in the event at Palamedu in Madurai, while in Avaniyapuram, it was 450 bulls and 550 tamers. The prizes on offer at these events for successful tamers included an Omni van, gold and silver jewellery as well as consumer durables.Updated: Jan 16, 2019 22:36 IST
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Jallikattu, the traditional bull taming spectacle, primarily held as part of the four-day Pongal festival, kicked off to a colourful start in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu. More than 100 people were injured in the events conducted at Avaniyapuram on Tuesday and at Palamedu on Wednesday.
More than 500 bulls and 450 tamers took part in the event at Palamedu, while in Avaniyapuram, it was 450 bulls and 550 tamers. The prizes on offer at these events for successful tamers included an Omni van, gold and silver jewellery as well as consumer durables.
At Avaniyapuram, Thirunavukkarasu (24), a BBA graduate from nearby Muthupatti, was adjudged the best tamer, while it was Prabhakaran (27) at Palamedu.
Police in Madurai said of the 48 tamers who were injured at Palamedu, 13 seriously injured were admitted to hospital. At Avaniyapuram, 46 were injured and of them 8 critically injured were referred to the government-run Rajaji Hospital, Madurai. Around 30 people were injured in the jallikattu at Suriyur and at other places in Trichy and Sivaganga district.
Madurai district collector Natarajan and additional director general of police Davidson told the media that the events in the past two days have passed off peacefully. Necessary security arrangements have been made for peaceful conduct of jallikattu at Alanganallur in Madurai on Thursday, they added. Alanganallur is long famed for Jallikattu and for long the state government has been showcasing it for tourists from Europe and the US.
Bulls for jallikattu are specially reared and mostly, it is the women who take care of them. The ancient sport attracts thousands of people and the bull that defies the tamers is held in high esteem and is a pride for its owner. These bulls are used for breeding.
As the bulls are unleashed from the Vadivasal (the starting point), enthusiastic bull tamers try to hold on to their hump till a particular distance. While in Alanganallur, the arena is a circular one, in most of the places it is held in a straight path.
The sport was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014, following a plea by the Animal Welfare Board of India and Peta. Though the Union environment and forests ministry revoked the ban, it was later upheld by the top court. Then protests broke out across Tamil Nadu demanding rescinding of the ban and the Marina sea front turned out to the epicentre of the protests that lasted for more than a week. The Tamil Nadu government was forced to bring an ordinance to exempt the sport from the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act on January 21, 2017. Subsequently, the Assembly passed the legislation.
First Published: Jan 16, 2019 21:30 IST