The aftermath  #MondayMusings

The aftermath #MondayMusings

The past week has been filled with protests in support of #Jallikattu.  Jallikattu is a bull taming sport held in Tamil Nadu,  just like Kaala ottam in Kerala or bullock cart race in Maharashtra.  The protest was against PETA which endorsed a ban on the sport due to animal cruelty.  The ban was upheld by the Supreme Court of India.  But,  this did not go down well with the locals who launched an impulsive, unplanned protest.  Soon,  it became a movement which was led by no one.  Thousands thronged the Marina beach in Tamil Nadu to protest.

Finally,  the government gave in and brought about an ordinance to lift the ban so that the sport can be held.  One would think,  that was a great success.  But, the people are now still protesting to get a permanent revoke of the ban from the Supreme Court.  It sounds good for democracy.  People are still heard.

Personally,  I felt the ban was a bit hasty without considering all aspects of the issue.  I support the sport and I feel there should be stringent guidelines in place to not harm the bull or the people playing the sport.   We cannot say everything is tradition and then go on doing something which no longer serves a purpose.  For instance,  child marriages and sati are banned and upheld by law.  It makes sense that we change with the times and embrace the new without letting go of our basic cultures.

Though I was happy with the ordinance to revoke the ban,  I also felt a bit uneasy.  Is the government bowing down just because a lot of people protested?  Why enact a law so hastily and then revoke it because people are protesting?  If people had not protested,  would the law have continued?  Shouldn’t they re-analyse laws to check if it is still a good fit?

Can people tomorrow protest in large numbers against child marriages as an example?  Will the Supreme court then revoke the law?  It is all a bit confusing and now I am not sure if all the laws are for the benefit of the people.

Additional reads –

Jallikattu cheat sheet: 10 things you should know about the bull-taming sport

Jallikattu ordinance results in similar demands for animal sports from all over India

Jallikattu: 2 bull vaulters die, 83 injured as Tamil Nadu celebrates the sport




23 thoughts on “The aftermath #MondayMusings

  1. Some things are ‘significant’ because they are part of ‘traditions’ but some traditions also need to change….It is not that if a thing has been done in the past, it ought to be done now too….As our minds evolve, our thinking evolves too and we need to show some sensitivity into the matter.

  2. If only people in our country were this intolerant towards the crimes, towards the mishappenings, towards domestic violence, towards women’s safety! I feel if the sport does more harm than good then it should be banned. But if it’s not that dangerous then it shouldn’t be that much of a problem!

    Thanks for writing your views and updating on the topic!


  3. I don’t know about jallikattu and why the strong connection to the tradition so I can’t say much. But I agree that the SC has to be taken seriously and then protests should revoke decisions. What’s the point?
    I also believe that India has never been a country that values life lives. Be it humans or animals. The population is so much that even when trains derail, people shut mouth with a compensation of one lakh and never even raise voice against why our railways have become worse. Just a point to say, the people protesting don’t care how many bulls or men are killed.

  4. I won’t comment much on this, since I’ve trying to stay away from the topic.
    I reckon it’s a fine line between balancing ‘traditions’ and ‘making sure it’s not having dire effects on people or animals involved’.
    Thanks for the extra links on Jallikattu too – Bookmarking them.

    1. Thanks Sid. I feel we should retain our traditions as well as evolve with modern times. Jallikattu can be modified with some safety norms in place which do not hurt the animal or the people involved.

  5. The laws are made by the government fro the benefit of the people in the country. If a law has to be revoked there has to be a strong ground for it. in this case , I am of the opinion that before the ban came into enforcement, the government should have done more ground work pulling in elements of tradition and understanding what exaCtly goes into the sport. That’s where the first error was made. Secondly if there is an issue with the way the sport is conducted work out a way to enforce procedures so that tehre is no harm or abuse inflicted on both the animan as wellas those in the sport. Again not done..
    That’s the reason this whole thing has blown out of proportion.

  6. To be frank I don’t support any sport that is based on animals… Be it as big as Jallikattu or simply a dog show. The sport is too violent, for both animals and the humans. As for the ban, I think the govt did it just to stop the protests now.

    1. But still sports like horse-racing, equestrein in the Olympics, polo games are legally allowed. Animal cruelty should extend to a lot of activities like bullock carts, tongas, etc. The sport should make changes to safeguard the animal. My worry is the government took a hasty decision and then revoked it equally hastily. It is a bad precedent.

  7. It is not an easy decision and there is a lot of hue and cry already over it. I liked your point of view too. The government should think about it and take things in a calm way. These are our traditions and going on since many years. So, it’s not easy to just ask people to stop doing it.

  8. I won’t say anything about Jaliakatti because I don’t know much about it, but the Supreme Court’s verdicts do need to be heeded. Else what’s the point of their being the highest court of the land? Just my 2 cents.

    1. Right.. I was surprised that people were not ready to accept the SC verdict. It may not always be a popular verdict, but it needs to be adhered to. In fact, someone should have gone by a legal route.

  9. Confusing it definitely is.
    “It makes sense that we change with the times and embrace the new without letting go of our basic cultures.” This is something that I believe in too. Just read the news of two who died during this sport recently. Not very sure about what is right and hence not getting into further discussion on this.

    1. Thanks Rekha. Even the game of cricket evolved to disallow bouncers, third umpire, etc. Similarly, the sport of Jallikattu also needs to evolve with the times with rational policies.

  10. I think you’ve voiced the thoughts of many of us, Lata. I loved reading your calm and balanced view.
    The Government needs to give deep thought, before making any big decisions. This to and fro is not going to bode well for anyone in the long run. As we are all well aware of how conveniently ‘tradition’s’ are used.

    1. Thanks Mayuri. I am concerned about the to and fro as if it is not the Supreme Court, but some gully cricket rules.

  11. I agree with you Lata. The Government has to think out a proposal before making it a law. It seems very childish and immature to see saw the way they did over this issue. However I am all for the sport as it is a cultural identity which possibly should be better monitored with safety standards built in( the way the Maharashtra govt has regulated Govinda celebrations in Mumbai).
    On the other hand it is heartening to know that our Government can listen to its people and willing to take back a bad law.

  12. You’ve brought forth a very valid point, Lata and I’ve been wondering over similar lines. The momentum has many facets to it and the issue runs quite deep. While some argue over the tradition there are other truths about the health and native breed aspect that make it difficult to take a stand. I read somewhere that one can still nurture and protect native breeds without having to resort to Jallikattu. On the other hand, this sport makes the rural youth look forward to a major event and gets them focused and disciplined and taking it away might take away that goal or aim. So many factors to consider, I’m more disappointed with the fact that the issue wasn’t represented well in the court at the first instance.

    1. Thanks Uma. That was my grouse too. The SC has been too hasty in taking a decision. There has to be a good case to enable a law. Simply banning, then revoking is sending mixed signals to the people.

  13. This is a tough one but I like your stand. Traditions need to evolve as we change.
    Stricter laws and safety procedures will be a good help to all.
    Thanks for sharing this, most sane thoughts on the issue of Jallikattu.

    1. Thanks Indy for sharing your thoughts. Traditions with safety precautions will go a long way to sustain it. Isn’t that what is done for Holi colors and Diwali crackers? Remember, last year in Kerala there was a fire-cracker accident in a temple. That temple is famous for its fireworks since my great grandmother’s time. But, yet they have to change to ensure safety of people.

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