Jallikattu – an ordinance in the offing

The centre on Friday cleared the TN government’s proposal to promulgate an ordinance to hold Jallikattu. The State government had proposed to issue an ordinance but as the subject falls under the Concurrent list of the Constitution, it is mandatory to get a clearance from the centre. 

The centre on Friday cleared the TN government’s proposal to promulgate an ordinance to hold Jallikattu. The State government had proposed to issue an ordinance but as the subject falls under the Concurrent list of the Constitution, it is mandatory to get a clearance from the centre. 

Tens of thousands of people, largely not under any political banner, have been protesting against the ban on Jallikattu, a bull taming sport. The most widely broadcast protest was from the Marina beach in Chennai on 17 January 2017. Huge protest is going on in the other parts of Tamil Nadu including Madurai, Erode, Salem and Coimbatore. 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam decided to stay back in the capital on 19 January 2016 to figure out how to allow the annual bull-taming event Jallikattu in the face of a Supreme Court ban and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reluctance to use the ordinance route to bypass it.

Jallikattu has been practiced in Tamil Nadu for more than 5000 years. The sport is usually played during the harvesting festival of the state, Pongal, before which hundreds of bulls are specifically identified, trained and nourished for the sporting event. As part of tradition, weak bulls were used for agricultural purposes after the event, while the stronger ones were used to breed cows. 

The Supreme Court banned it in 2014 after objections from animal rights groups. The Supreme Court upheld the ban again in 2016 after the centre’s order was challenged by animal welfare organisations like PETA. 

Assessment

With such a huge protest going on all over Tamil Nadu, the government may be compelled to propagate an ordinance to lift the ban on Jallikattu. 

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