Jallikattu, also known as Eruthazhuvuthal is all set for a grand return on Sunday, January 22 with an ordinance passed in favour of Tamil Nadu’s traditional bull-taming sport. But the protesters in Madurai refuse to stop agitation and demand permanent solution for Jallikattu and are adamant on not letting the event happen till permanent solution is found. Jallikattu or Eruthazhuvuthal has been the topic of debate for quite some time now as the history of traditional Bull Taming Pongal event dates back to Tamil Classic Period (400-100 BC). Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam much to the joy of state people said Jallikattu would take place on Sunday in Alangallur in Madurai and the rest of the state after TN Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao got the sanction for the conduct of Jallikattu from the President as envisaged under Article 213 of the Constitution. Tamil Nadu’s significant festival, Jallikattu is an annual event where people try to tame and hug the bull and has been a part of traditional celebrations of the four-day harvest festival, Pongal. The Supreme Court of India had banned this thousand-year-old tradition in 2014 classifying the sport as animal cruelty. The state government has been in favour of conducting the event, which has also been supported by celebrated actors and politicians.  However, the Supreme Court banned the sport after a petition by PETA. Jallikattu ban protests in Chennai calm, peaceful, clean; leave many impressed

Meaning of Jallikattu

The name Jallikattu has two components, Jalli also known as ‘salli’ or ‘kasu’, which translates into coins, and Kattu which means bundle or pouch. This is an indication to a yellow pouch of coins, which is tied to the bull’s horn. The sport is also called as Eruthazhuvuthal, which means ‘hugging the bull’.

History of Jallikattu

Jallikattu has been in a traditional practice since 400-100 B.C. and was traditionally a part of finding a strong groom. The person who successfully tamed the bull would get to marry the maiden. The sport was played by the ancient Mayor or Yadava in the ancient Tamil country and later evolved to be a sport played to display their strength and to win prize money. The customary sport is played during Pongal as a way to include Lord Muniswara.

What is the Jallikattu Bull-Taming Event?

The sport which is played on the third day of Pongal has a natively reared bull being left free in an arena. Groups of people enter this arena and have to try and tame the bull with bare hands. The participants try to do this by holding the bull by its tail or horns. The bulls are specially prepared for this events by various farmers. The bulls are often taken for swims to strengthen its legs, and various measures are taken to make the bull strong and healthy.

Controversy Around Jallikattu

The event has been supported and promoted by the majority of the people including the state government, the centre as well as famous actors like Kamal Haasan. However, PETA India raised concerns that the sport was causing injuries to the animal and was inhuman. This event has also caused various injuries to the participants and sometimes has claimed lives of the people. PETA had been protesting against the sport since 2004 and finally the Supreme Court of India passed a verdict banning the festival in 2014.