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My Views on Jallikattu

Every nation has its particular identity of religion, culture, traditions & folklore. Jallikattu stands out in the world as a identity of Tamil Nadu symbolizing the courage, perseverance and power of the people originating from rural Dravidian traditions. It is a legacy of 3,500 years old. Jallikattu is a bull fighting event practised in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal festival. It is not just the fighting indeed, it is taming game. It is one of the parts of Dravidian traditions. But recently the whole of Tamil Nadu is enraged on the government decision on putting ban order on this age old tradition of Tamil Nadu. And international organisation PETA is playing important role in putting ban order. The question is whether it is necessary to put ban order on this tradition. Let’s go deep into this matter by examining and analyzing some of the facts and its justifiability. First thing, Indians have the tendency of clinging to its traditional stuffs and Tamils are no exceptions to it. If anyone hurt India’s religious sentiment, they get furious. For instance, Great Rebellion in 1857. Before bringing about changes in anything, Government should make people ready for it and I am sure Tamils are not ready. I would like to mention Karl Lewin’s model of change in these regard. There are three stages in this model-
Unfreezing- The initial stage of making the people aware of the necessity of bringing about change.

Transition: In this stage changes are accepted by the people.

Refreezing: Taking initiatives in making the changes stable for long time.

But unfortunately, central government has not taken any steps in making people aware of the necessities of brining about changes. Indeed there is no justification of banning this tradition, as slaughtering business is still going on in the name of beef manufacturing. If Jallikattu is illegal, then other practices like Horse racing, cow slaughtering, goat and chicken slaughtering should be declared illegal too. I am agreeing to the logic that it is cruelty to animal. But if it is cruelty to animal, horse racing, cow slaughtering are cruelty to animals too. Logic is simple, ban nothing or ban everything. WWF and boxing too for human is the highest form of animals and it is cruelty to animals too. There is no point of banning Jallikattu if ban order cannot be put on such practices by Government. Moreover, Jallikattu is bull taming game by trained people, not bull fighting like in Spain and bulls do not get hurt in this process and they are being tamed with bare hands which is quite challenging.

Now let’s analyse the role of PETA in this regard. With the help of Animal Welfare Board of India, PETA is trying desperately to ban this traditional event. But at the same time, does PETA make any plan on how will PETA rehabilitate these bulls? A lot of bulls have been slaughtered already for beef manufacturing. Has PETA done anything in this regard? A lot of poor people earn money through this Jallikattu festival. If it is banned, their source of income will be blocked and a lot of bulls will be used for beef manufacturing and it will also help the leather industries to generate benefits. Another important thing which is worth mentioning is if a cow is made to breed with bulls which participate in Jallikattu, their kids will give A2 milk which is quite good as medicine. If bulls are unavailable, then people will be spending a lot for artificial insemination process which will help the corporate biggies, who will be providing such facilities, to generate revenues and increase market share. Cows and bulls who will be born through such artificial processes, will be very weak and they will be producing A1 type milk, which is of least importance and harmful. If anyone drinks their milk, he/she will go through diabetes which in turn will help in promoting drug industry. So at the end of the day, it is the corporate world that would be benefited most and common people will lose their identity and heritage.

So before, taking any decision Government should consider these factors and should not force people to accept the changes. Before putting ban order on this practice, Government should put ban order on those practices which are directly related to the cruelty to animals. Otherwise there will be no justification of putting ban on Jallikattu. Some modifications can be made, but banning the whole tradition is not appreciated as it is related to the sentiments of Tamil people. On the other hand, Government should closely monitor the activities of PETA to see if their activities are in compliance with the law of the land.

Recently, I have got a news from one of my friends Alagumuthu Mariappan,that in Tamil Nadu other than two big Jallikattu conducting places all other places successfully conducted Jallikattu by fooling police. In some places police tried to stop and they couldn’t do so. So this ban order does not carry any value to people. That’s why government should re-consider its decision by giving serious thought to it.

Soham Roy
Editorial Board Member of Cross Functional Business Journal and Academic Project Consultant and Trainer
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