Jallikattu issue: MK Stalin steps up to protest Centre's decision not to issue ordinance

A day after the Supreme Court rejected a plea requesting permission to conduct jallikattu during Pongal in the state of Tamil Nadu, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader MK Stalin led a state-wide protest outside the collector's office in Chennai along with Kanimozhi on Friday.

Speaking with protesters gathered outside the secretariat office, Stalin showed his disapproval over centre's decision and said, "Jallikattu is our tradition but now the Centre and state governments have failed to get us the permission to conduct it." According to an ANI tweet, Stalin demanded reiterated the demand for an immediate ordinance to allow the sport during Pongal this year.

His statement came after the central government reportedly said that no ordinance will be promulgated to allow the traditional game jallikattu during Pongal this year. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Monday urged the central government to promulgate an ordinance to allow the holding of jallikattu.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Panneerselvam said jallikattu is an integral part of the Pongal festivities and the festival holds great importance for the people of Tamil Nadu.

In places like Coimbatore and Madurai, students took out rallies raising slogans seeking permission for jallikattu. They held placards expressing love for bulls and assured that the animals are not harassed during the sport.

Protest demonstrations were also held in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. Film personalities including actor Sathyaraj, filmmaker Karu Pazhaniapan participated in a stir pledging support for jallikattu. Actor Simbu held a silent protest. More than 10,000 people converged at a ground in Coimbatore in support of jallikkattu while protests were staged in Sivaganga, Dindigul, Pudukottai and Salem districts.

However, the central government on Friday clarified that it didn't wish to intervene and that the Supreme Court ban on the sport will stay.

What is jallikattu?
Jallikkattu is a bull taming sport wherein a bull vaulter is expected to hang on to the bull's hump for a stipulated distance or for a minimum of three jumps by the bull. It is organised during the harvest festival of Pongal.

The Supreme Court in May 2014 banned jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. The court also held that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for jallikattu events or for bullock cart races in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country.

The festival of Pongal is celebrated to thank the sun, rain and farm animals. It will be celebrated on 14 January.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jan 13, 2017 12:29:53 IST