Villagers Fear the Worst This Year as Forest Officials Ban 'Jackal Pongal'
By G Rajasekaran | Published: 17th January 2014 07:59 AM |
Forest officials dampened the festive spirit of villagers in Valapadi taluk by imposing a ban on the traditional jackal darshan ritual this year.
The ritual, which is usually conducted on Kaanum Pongal, the third day, is believed to bring good luck and the darshan of the jackal before planting new crops is also believed to ensure a bountiful harvest.
Villagers used to capture jackals and bring them to the village to perform the ritual. They will let the animal back into the forest once the rituals are over. However, activists made a hue and cry over and urged to ban it under the Wild Life Protection Act.
Though the ban was imposed last year, villagers defied it and conducted the rituals. Following this, the officials strictly enforced the ban this year, irking the villagers of Renganur, Chinna Krishnapuram, Periya Krishnapuram, Kottavadi and Chinnama Naickenplayam in Valapadi taluk.
Villagers expressed apprehension that breaking the tradition would bring bad luck. Several students and workers, who returned to their native villages for taking part in the ritual, expressed disappointment as the ritual was the main part of the festivities.