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“Jallikattu saga”

The saga of Jallikattu is creating much noise in Tamil Nadu these days.

Jallikattu is celebrated in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day.

The Animal Welfare Board of India filed a case in the apex court of the country for an out-and-out ban on Jallikattu as of the cruelty to animals and the threat to public safety involved.

However , the SC, on 27 November 2010, allowed the Government of Tamil Nadu to allow Jallikattu for five months in a year and rapt the District Collectors to make sure that the animals that participate in Jallikattu are registered to the Animal Welfare Board and in return.

TN government also passed a rule to allow a team of veterinarians be present at the venue for certifying the bulls for participation in the function and to provide treatment for bulls that get injured.

In 2011, the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued a notice banning the use of bulls as performing animals and the event.

However, a bull-taming festival continued to be held under Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act No 27 of 2009.The Supreme Court of India, on 7 May 2014, struck down the state law and banned Jallikattu completely. The SC noted that any flouting of the ban should result in penalties for cruelty to animals under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Court also asked the Indian government to amend the law on preventing cruelty to animals to bring bulls within its ambit.The Government of India, on 8 January 2016, passed an order exempting Jallikattu from all performances where bulls can not be used, effectively reversing the ban.Interestingly, on 14 January 2016, the SC upheld its ban on the event, leading to protests all over Tamil Nadu.

On 8 January 2017,some conducted a rally at Chennai Marina opposing the ban on Jallikattu. Following the protests at Chennai, many students started rallies in various towns of TN. Afterward hearing the petitions of the Animal Welfare Board of India challenging central government’s notification, SC on 12 January ordered a stay, issued notices to the central government and the Tamil Nadu government and later refused to lift the stay.

Many Jallikattu events were held across the state in protest of the ban. Hundreds of participants were detained by police in response.

The ban was revoked on 21 January 2017.The first Jallikattu game post the revoking was conducted in Alanganallur, Madurai on 22 January 2017, inaugurated by the Chief Minister of state O. Paneerselvam.

Jallikattu, also known as manju virattu, is a traditional sport in which a bull, commonly of the Kangayam breed is released into a crowd of people.

However, the government is expected to move a bill to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 after the Governor’s address to the Assembly on 23rd january’2017..

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