DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi has urged the Tamil Nadu government to appeal the Supreme Court’s verdict against the conduct of jallikattu, the traditional Tamil bull-taming sport. He pointed out that jallikattu was designed to hurt neither man nor bull, unlike Spanish bull fighting, where either one would have to die. He also cited the United Nations Charter of 1949, and called for a protecting of culture and social rights.
“Jallikattu is a major symbol of the long-standing tradition and culture of the Tamil people. Its mention is found in the ancient texts of the Sangam Era, such as the Agananooru and Purananooru, in which they are referred to as ‘eru thazhuvuthal’. The meaning of this is to play with and bring the bulls under control,” said Karunanidhi.
“This sport has been recorded as having taken place in the kingdom of the Pandyan dynasty in the third century (CE),” he said and added, perhaps to counter the contention of the Animal Welfare Board of India to the Supreme Court that jallikattu had no place in the historic Tamil culture.
Karunanidhi also claimed that the ban on jallikattu could create a scenario where over 60,000 bulls specially raised for jallikattu could be sent to slaughter houses in Kerala. He also said there would be law and order problems and significant affront to sentiments of the Tamil people arising out of the ban.