Observing that a ‘mass movement’ and ‘spontaneous outpouring of emotion’ paved the way for lifting of the ban on Jallikattu, Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on Monday said a bill to replace the ordinance would be ‘placed’ by the state government in the Tamil Nadu Assembly ‘immediately’.
WHAT IS JALLIKATTU?
Jallikattu, in the simplest of terms, is a sport conducted as part of Mattu Pongal, the third day of the four-day-long harvest festival Pongal. The Tamil word ‘mattu’ means bull, and the third day of Pongal is dedicated to cattle, a key partner in the process of farming. Bulls get more importance over cows for bulls help farmers to plough their field, pull their cart loaded with goods, and inseminate cows, in turn resulting in production of milk, offspring and preserving indigenous species.
- Temple bulls, usually considered the head of all cattle in a village, are readied for the sport. Temple bulls from different villages are brought to a common arena where the Jallikattu happens.
- The bulls are then freed into a ground, one by one. Participants are to embrace the bull’s hump, and try to tame it by bringing the raging bull to a stop, possibly by riding for as long as possible holding its hump.
- The bulls that could be tamed are considered weaker, and are used for domestic purposes by the farmers and the untameable ones — considered the strongest and most virile — are used for breeding the cows in many villages.