CUDDALORE: In a show of dissent mixed with the Indian ingenuity that finds ways around ‘inconveniences’, cadres of Naam Tamizhar party managed to subvert the Supreme Court and conduct Jallikattu at Thirumanikuzhi village near Cuddalore on Thursday morning. Police were left scurrying to arrest the organisers and seize the bulls after they learned of it from news broadcasts of the event.
Police of Thirupathiripuliyur near Cuddalore, in fact, struggled to find the place where the Jallikattu was held, and by the time they reached the spot, the party cadres had it all wrapped up. The only thing left to do was to arrest the cadres there. The cops also managed to seize the bulls from a vehicle in which they had, by then, been sent off to another village.
So, how did the party cadres pull off this subterfuge?
A cadre of Naam Tamizhar party said, “We had been making arrangements for the past one week. We set up a fence and also a ‘Vadivasal’ (the entrance through which the bulls come into the arena). When a few village people asked us about the arrangements, we said it was a set for a film shooting.”
He said the place was also quite remote and not near residential areas, and therefore did not draw much attention.
Besides, even cadres of the Naam Tamizhar party who decided to organise the event kept the plan to themselves, disclosing to other partymen in the district only last minute.
“We had arranged to bring in 16 bulls from the villages in Dindigul district. The owners of the bulls are experts in the taming of bulls in the Jallikattu. More than 50 of them came here, bringing along their bulls in lorries and mini-load vehicles. We had also arranged for sportswear for the participants with the Tamil words ‘Yeru Thazhuvuthal’ (the name for Jallikattu used in Sangam literature which means embracing the bull) printed on them. All these things happened just a day before the event. Nobody knew about it,” another party man said.
“Only on Thursday morning did we inform the other party cadres about the planned Jallikattu, and the village people gathered on the spot after hearing of it,” he added.
The Jallikattu began around 8.30 am and went on till 10 am. In all, six bulls entered through the ‘vadivasal’ as the excited crowd cheered. A thrilling man-versus-beast clash followed, as the bull-tamers and animals wrestled for control. In the end, man always wins. The winners were rewarded.
Much like in the movies where cops appear on the scene only after the entire fight sequence is over, the Thirupathiripuliyur police landed on the spot after all the action was done and dusted, and arrested the party cadres. In all, 28 people, including four party functionaries, were arrested. State coordinator of the party Anbu Thennarasan, district president of the party Sami Ravi, treasurer VM Balaji and block secretary Narayanan were among the arrested.
By that time, the vehicles ferrying the bulls back to their villages had left the spot. Police passed the information to police stations en route to Panruti and managed to block a mini-load vehicle that was carrying four bulls in another village. Police seized the vehicle and the four bulls.
Speaking to Express, Anbu Thennarasan said, “Yeru Thazhuvuthal is the proud Tamil cultural identity. Corporates that want to destroy the indigenous breed of bulls is behind the ‘Jallikattu’ ban. Dairy business barons are behind this. Against all these hurdles, we are striving hard to protect our bulls and Tamil culture. We are ready to face any case legally. The authorities should lift the ban and allow Tamil people to conduct Jallikattu.”