The Jallikattu Story is an interesting reading material for all those interested in India’s hoary traditions. This one has more than 2, 500 years of history behind it.Read it to understand how a lovely tradition changed for the worse.
What is the Jallikattu Story?
Jallikattu refers to the age old practice of embracing the bulls by people of Tamil Nadu. This practice is a sight to watch during Pongal.
Can I see how this Jallikattu thing is played out?
Sure, watch the video.
What is Pongal?
The Pongal season marks the arrival of the fresh crop in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
But, heck, what is the connection between Jallikattu and Pongal?
Since ancient times, Indians have used oxen and bulls for farming purposes. Jallikattu provides the reason for the farmers to thank their animals.
But, why is the Jallikattu Story creating such a ruckus?
You see, over a period of time, people started using their bulls in a wrong way. Rather than thanking them , the farmers started using the occasion as a spectator sport.
So, what is wrong in that?
Good question. What went wrong in the Jallikattu Story was that animals began to be teased, agitated and beaten in such fairs. The bulls and oxen were fed with great food and on Pongal, were used by the villagers as toys. The animals were caged in closed places and teased so much that they had to escape from the hordes of people.
Sometimes, the bulls escape to busy roads and other inhabited places and this scares the drivers of the vehicles.
Did the animals die in this Jallikattu Story?
An emphatic no. There is no record of any animal dying because of this practice. However, according to PETA, more than 1, 000 people have been injured because of trampling by the animals.
Got it. So, how do you prevent this cruelty to the animals?
The Supreme Court of India has ordered a ban on this inhuman practice. Not surprisingly, the people of Tamil Nadu have opposed this ban.
They say that the Jallikattu tradition has been in vogue for more than 2,500 years. It also helps the state get tourists and also helps in breeding superior quality of milch cattle.
Really?2,500 years?You must be joking!
No way. Here is an image of an ancient sculpture of Jallikattu.
But, so many people kill animals for food. Is that not cruelty?
It is, definitely. I have seen so many birds and animals dying a slow and painful death in the name of religion! And here, PETA, one of the petitioners has failed to establish that Jallikattu leads to animal deaths!
So, when is Pongal?
Tomorrow, i.e. January 14th, Saturday!
Holy Moly, isn’t it also Makar Sankranti day?
Yes, indeed. In North India, Makar Sankranti means flying kites, but the underlying reason is the same- new harvest!