The SC verdict on Wednesday banning the jallikattu, a traditional game of valour in the State, has come as a rude shock to the event organisers and bull tamers.
Terming the ban on the sport as indigestible for Tamils, the organisers and tamers expressed fear that many native bull breeds like Kangeyam and Pulikulam, which cannot be used for other works, will hereafter be sent to slaughter houses.
“The bulls will be sent to slaughter houses, which can be done legally in India but not Jallikattu. Animal rights activists cannot do anything to save crores of animals, including bulls and goats, which are killed for human consumption across the country. But they stopped jallikattu,” said P Rajasekaran, president, Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Peravai.
“We expected that the SC will allow us to conduct Jallikattu with more tough terms and conditions. But the court unexpectedly delivered the order in favour of Animal Welfare Board of India (appellant) even after necessary explanations were given by respondents of the case,” P Rajasekaran added.
Denying the claims that bull owners used to feed alcohol or spill chilli powder to make the bulls ferocious during the taming event, A K Kannan, Head of Avaniyapuram Jallikattu Committee, said they never indulge in such activities because they worshipped the bulls and treated them like their children. “If such violations existed, let them tighten the rules, but not ban the sport,” he said, adding that many families were raising the bulls only to carry forward the legacy left behind by their forefathers for centuries.
The court pointed out that ethology, scientific and objective study of animal behaviour, was a reason behind the judgment.
The Jalligattu organisers will conduct board meetings soon to discuss the next course of action.