CHENNAI: Observing that Pongal festival, which has great importance to the people of Tamil Nadu, was less than a week away and that Jallikattu is an integral part of the Pongal festivities, Panneerselvam said “considering the urgency of the issue, the Government of India should consider promulgating an Ordinance removing the legal impediments enabling the conduct of Jallikattu during Pongal.”
Recalling that the State Government had already submitted a scheme for conducting Jallikattu without harming the bulls, Panneerselvam reiterated the demand that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests should clearly denotify bulls ‘as performing animals’ from the notification dated July 11, 2011.
He also called for suitable amendment to Section 11(3) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, by introducing a new clause ‘f’ in sub-section (3) of Section 11, specifically exempting Jallikattu in addition to other exemptions already provided in the act.
Referring to the hoary past of Jallikattu, Panneerselvam said the sport was inextricably linked to rural, agrarian customs and had religious significance, with families donating bulls to temples in fulfilment of vows.
“Jallikattu also addresses the cause of conservation of native germplasm since bulls with excellent physical attributes are reared. Further, bulls are not harmed or physically tortured during Jallikattu,” he added.
The Chief Minister also recalled the consistent requests made by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for resuming this traditional sports to the Prime Minister.
Based on her request last year, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climatic Change had issued a notification on January, 2016.
However, Jallikattu could not be conducted during Pongal 2016 for the second year in succession since the Supreme Court had issued an interim stay on the notification.
Joining the issue over the ban on Jallikattu, noted actor Kamal Haasan said those calling for the ban should apply the same principle to everything else as well.