A traditional South Indian bull taming festival called Jallikattu claimed two lives and wounded more than 55. A village called Rapoosal in Pudukottai district in Tamil Nadu organized the event amid police security. The village held the event despite 2014’s Supreme court ban. It could do so on account of an ordinance promulgated by the Tamil Nadu government. The ordinance hoped to allow the state to organize the event despite the Supreme court ban on using bulls as performing animals.
The two men who died were 30-years-old and hailed from Pudukottai. Both, Mohan and Raja were injured during the festival. Those present took them to government hospitals in Ilupur and Pudukottai. However, they succumbed to their wounds and could not survive the festival. There is not much information at hand about their family and how they have reacted to the deaths.
According to a report in News 18 one of the bulls at the festival gored Raju and Mohan to death. However, they were not the only ones injured by the bulls. An article in The Hindu adds that 57 people got hurt during Rapoosal’s jallikattu event. None of the injured came forward to reveal their thoughts on their health and the event itself. Media reports state that the injured received prompt medical attention and first aid. Authorities later discharged them.
Media reports indicate that more than 150 bulls participated in the festival. Health Minister Vijayabaskar, who is a native to Rapoosal, was present at the event, which lasted for around three and a half hours. In addition to Rapoosal, Ramanathapuram and Trichy too organized an event. An article in Yahoo News adds that in addition to Jallikattu, some districts organized bullock cart races too. Theni and Coimbatore were two such districts. However, there is no information about injuries or deaths available on hand.
What is Jallikattu?
According to an article in Zee News India, JalliKattu is an age-old bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu. The sport marks Pongal celebrations in the state and involves men latching to the bull’s hump. Those, who manage to stay on even after the bull makes three jumps is the winner. The Jallikattu prize is not a big thing. Many times winners only get betel leaves or bananas. They get a dhoti or a towel at times too. Though nowadays refrigerators and furniture have made it to the winnings, state a report in The Indian Express.
Why did Supreme court ban the sport?
Jallikattu has claimed hundreds of lives and injured thousands. According to Supreme court of India, the sport caused harm to the bulls. In its 2014 ruling, the apex court said that bulls cannot be used as performing animals. However, people have been requesting the court to revisit its decision and remove bulls from “performing animals” list. Many blame PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) for opposing Jallikattu. They believe that the organization is opposing Indian culture and traditions.
What happened this year?
Many gathered at Chennai’s Marina beach to protest against the ban. Even celebrities showed their support for the sport. As a result, Tamilnadu government promulgated an ordinance amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to hold Jallikatttu. Following this, four Tamil Nadu districts organized the event this year.
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