TIRUCHY: Jallikattu bulls are in great demand now than ever before. They used to cost Rs 50,000 per head last year, but nowadays come with a price tag anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh.
However, the bull owners are not keen on selling them, even though it means letting go a huge amount. The reason being the status symbol that Jallikattu bulls offer.
It is not only the victory in bull-taming events that have pushed the price up, but also the campaigns that have of late been undertaken to conserve indigenous breeds of cattle, not to mention the sea of protests held earlier to conduct Jallikattu in defiance of the Supreme Court that has clamped a ban on the traditional bull-taming event across the State and elsewhere in the country.
Last year, the bulls were selling at Rs 50,000 per head, without the conduct of the traditional event. But post-Jallikattu, the prices have soared to Rs 5 to Rs 7 lakh per head.
With Jallikattu becoming a frequent event across Tiruchy and Pudukkottai districts, most of the bull owners are unwilling to sell their bulls. That is just one reason. Status symbol, pride, and bulls being considered part of their family are all the right reasons to say ‘no’.
Ever since the Jallikattu was held in Karungulam near Manapparai on January 29, close to two dozen Jallikattu events were held across the district and in Pudukkottai and Ariyalur districts. Last year during the corresponding period, as Jallikattu was not held consecutively in 2015 and 2016, prices of the bulls lingered around Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000.
“We have a Sevalakkalai (bull’s name) in our village, which has won about 12 jallikattus in Tiruchy, Pudukkottai and Madurai districts. Even as buyers were willing to offer Rs 7 lakh for the country-bred bull, the owners said a big ‘no’. Sevalakkalai had won even in the famous arena in Alanganallur,” M Mookan, a Jallikattu bull owner from Olaiyur near Tiruchy told Express.
Earlier as the bulls aged three to four years were sold for around Rs 50,000. Now a bull in that age group costs as high as Rs 1 lakh. Similarly, Jallikattu bull’s calf during the past two years had been selling between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 per calf. Now the rate can go up to Rs 15,000.
“A week ahead of the commencement of organised jallikattu, I sold one of my young bulls for Rs 36,000. Now, the price is estimated at Rs 1.5 lakh. Young boys in our village have been pestering their parents to buy them a Jallikattu bull calf to participate in future events, thus increasing the demand even among the families that are not used to raise such bulls in the past,” said U Chelladurai (31), a Jallikattu bull owner hailing from a place near Guntur. He added that drought condition has been giving a tough time for the bull owners to rear the animals, with the owner spending Rs 20,000 per month to source cattle feed and water for the animal considered as a member in their family.
Owners of successful Jallikattu bulls boast about their animals by coming up with DVDs showing their bulls breaching the fortress of bull tamers in the arena. “Many Jallikattu bull traders are willing to spend lakhs by seeing the performance via DVDs or Youtube videos. They tour the villages known for conducting Jallikattu in search of the right bull,” Chelladurai said.
Price of bull aged 5 before Jallikattu. For Jallikattu bull calf aged 2-3 years, it was Rs 3K before the event
Rs 2 to 3 lakh
Post-jallikattu price of bull aged 5. For bull calf aged 2-3 years, the price rate jumped to Rs 15,000