Chennai: After bringing in an Ordinance to sidestep the Supreme Court-imposed ban on Jallikattu, the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu is now hoping for a permanent solution to the issue and is also exploring legal options to ban the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which supports the ban.
“We will also work towards banning PETA. That’s the other commitment we have made and we will work towards it. We are exploring all legal options. We don’t want to take any step that gets struck down in the court of law… As our general secretary Chinamma (AIADMK chief VK Sasikala) has committed, it will happen,” Tamil Nadu Education Minister K Pandiarajan told CNN News18.
The Ordinance was brought in by the AIADMK government after four days of protests, mainly by the youth, at Chennai’s Marina Beach. It received the Governor's approval on Saturday afternoon.
Asked why the government waited for protests to snowball before bringing in the Ordinance, Pandiarajan denied any delay. “As Chinamma has said, we believe the BJP government (at the Centre) will keep its word. They had promised the whole world that they would bring in the Ordinance at the central level. They say that they were trying to move an amendment in Parliament, but it was during the last session,” he said.
“There is no delay. As far as we are concerned, it has happened at the right time. We couldn’t have done this earlier because we were waiting for the central government to pass the Ordinance and follow through with an amendment in Parliament. That did not happen. So we have taken the step whereby a central Act could be amended through a state government initiative confined to the state. It needed presidential assent and the concurrence of three central government ministries. We stood by the belief that the central government would bring the Ordinance themselves. Since they could not do that due to internal contradictions of the BJP, we have done it at the right time,” Pandiarajan said.
Admitting that the Ordinance was not a permanent solution and that an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was needed, he said: “The Ordinance has been passed to save time and to conduct the sport as quick as possible. I think an even more permanent solution is creating sanctuaries for the endangered species of native bulls as announced by the Chief Minister. We would also be mapping 7,000 odd bulls which are actually threatened and ensure that the curve gets reversed. As many as 130 breeds of native bulls in India have shrunk to 37 over the last many years and we will try to reverse this trend. Tamil Nadu has also lost one of its bull breeds and we would like to see this trend getting reversed along with respecting tradition and culture and ensure that right processes are set in place.”
Pandiarajan said that the Ordinance will be passed at the earliest and that preparations are happening at many places for the Vaadi Vaasal (small gate opened to let the bull out during Jallikattu) to open.