OPINION | Yes, People Died in Jallikattu, But Should We Blame the Sport?
Till now at least three people have lost their lives, two of whom were spectators in the event. Even before details of the death came in, people on Twitter and other social media platforms have been expressing their displeasure.
Representative image. (Reuters)
Jallikattu has made a comeback after three years, and the people of Tamil Nadu are ecstatic. The annual bull-taming sport has been making headlines ever since last year’s massive protest at the Marina Beach in Chennai.
This year’s Jallikattu has been witnessing more crowds than ever before. Top politicians including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam were among those who travelled to the villages to witness the event.
However, not all is well in the north of the Vindyas. Over the past three days, much has been spoken about Jallikattu and how it should be banned due to animal cruelty and the loss of human life. Till now at least three people have lost their lives, two of whom were spectators in the event. Even before details of the death came in, people on Twitter and other social media platforms have been expressing their displeasure over the event and the deaths caused by it.
Jallikattu restarts in TN. Wretched cruel people who can drag a beautiful gentle bull through the mud & force him crying to its knees, puny men who believe they achieved ‘manhood’. May their God forgive them, but I doubt He will.— Poroma (@PoromaMunshi) January 14, 2018
Nothing of the sort. Nothing builds character in men like willingly engaging in a sport in which there is a possibility of severe physical hurt. Every culture has it and it is very important for the culture. It lets out natural instinctive violence and builds courage and valor.— Curiouser & curioser SD (@desaisanjay) January 15, 2018
Just because you spend money on these bulls to give them good food, it means you can abuse and do whatever you want?— Shanmuganathan Ⓥ (@niranimal) January 15, 2018
It is important to note how these people died — Two of the three deceased were spectators in the event. The Madurai District Collector delved into how a 19-year-old was killed in an event in Palamedu district. The boy was apparently playing with the bull outside the arena when he was attacked.
People on social media never fail to draw their own conclusions with whatever information is served to them.
While many on social media are voicing their opinions on the sport, what is most striking about all the arguments is that the idea of banning the sport has come to the forefront yet again.
However, the question we must ask ourselves is – Who is to be blamed for the deaths that have occurred?
The Tamil Nadu government had brought in many regulations under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules in 2017 to prevent harm to the bulls. This was in response to the animal rights activists’ claim that the bulls have to endure physical and mental torture. But a crucial part, i.e. the loss of human life has clearly been negated.
Despite the regulations, animal rights activists still allege cruelty. They claim the animal is made to wait for long hours without food or water. They claim that this causes trauma and stress, which is not healthy for the animal. Even after taking a no-cruelty pledge, a handful of people were disqualified for grabbing the bull by its tail or horns, both of which are against the rules.
Yes, there are instances where the bull might have to undergo trauma. Yes, innocent people are killed. But instead of blaming the authorities/organisers of the particular event, most of us tend to blame the sport. The situation surrounding the sport has become so sensitive that one misstep is all it took for people to start calling for a ban. People need to be reminded of what importance the sport serves. If not for the sport, farmers in Tamil Nadu would have no incentive to raise these bulls.
Some call it barbarism, some call it gore, but at the end of the day, it is a cultural sport, which needs more regulations to ensure safety and security of both the animals and the people involved. Banning or blaming the sport is not the right and would not serve this purpose.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Kapil Sharma Tells Akshay Kumar 'My Good News is Coming Before Yours' in Fun Twitter Exchange
- WhatsApp Getting New Facebook Branding; But Still no Dark Mode For The Rest of us
- FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Doungel Scores in Injury Time to Help India Draw With Afghanistan
- Hong Kong Open: PV Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap Crash Out in Second Round
- Very Few World Class Bowlers in Test Cricket Now: Sachin Tendulkar