Jallikattu celebrations begin in Madurai
Recently, the bull-taming sport of Jallikattu, also known as ‘Eru Thazhuvuthal’ and ‘Mancuvirattu’, has begun in full swing in the Palamedu of Madurai district.
- This traditional event, which is a part of the Pongal celebrations and is held on the day of Mattu Pongal, is a sport where a bull is let loose among a crowd, and participants attempt to take control of the bull by holding on to its hump for as long as they can.
- The sport is held in various locations across the state, including Avaniyapuram, Palamedu, and Alanganallur.
- This year, over 9,690 bulls and 5,399 tamers have registered online for participating in the Jallikattu.
- To control the spread of COVID-19, the District Collector Aneesh Shekhar issued standard guidelines for the Jallikattu event. Only 300 bull tamers and 150 spectators are allowed in the Palamedu Jallikattu competition.
Mann Kuthal Process
Before the Jallikattu event, the ‘Mann Kuthal’ process takes place where bulls are trained to develop their skills by digging their horns in the wet earth. The bulls are prepared to attack when someone tries to catch their hump.
Why is Jallikattu important?
The sport is a traditional way of preserving pure breed native bulls for the peasant community. Currently, cattle breeding has become an artificial process. The conservationists argue that Jallikattu is the best way to protect the male animals which otherwise are used only for meat.
Jallikattu in other states
In Karnataka Jallikattu is called Kambala. The Karnataka Government too passed a law to save the sport. Except in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the sport is banned in other states such as Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Controversy Surrounding Jallikattu
The sport of Jallikattu has been a controversial topic in India, with some arguing that it violates animal rights while others argue in favor of preserving the “culture and customs” of the local populace. The Supreme Court’s decision to abolish Jallikattu served as the primary impetus for the demonstration. The protests’ largely peaceful atmosphere attracted praise from all throughout the nation, spurring efforts to make several other Indian states’ previously unlawful festivals legitimate.