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AR Rahman To Fast, Tamil Superstars To Join Protests Against Jallikattu Ban

Tamil diaspora in Sri Lanka, Britain and Australia are also holding demonstrations.

19/01/2017 8:07 PM IST | Updated 19/01/2017 8:54 PM IST
ARUN SANKAR via Getty Images

The voices in favour of the bull-taming sport Jallikattu got louder on Thursday as more and more people joined the chorus for the government to take action on the issue. And if reports are to be believed, the protests are not confined within the boundaries of Tamil Nadu anymore.

For the third day today, protesters assembled in large numbers at the Marina beach in Chennai demanding justice.

Protest even outside of India

PTI is reporting that the Tamil diaspora in Sri Lanka, Britain and Australia are also holding demonstrations.
Hundreds of UK-based Indian Tamils have come together to organise a series of protests in favour of Jallikattu this week in London and across the UK.

The protest group includes London Tamil Sangam, World Tamil Organisation and British South Indians. They held protests outside the Indian High Commission in London on Tuesday and yesterday. Protests are also planned in the city of Leeds in England and Dublin in Ireland.

The protesters have been carrying placards and chanting slogans in Tamil like, 'We need Jallikattu' and 'Jallikattu is our identity'.

In Sri Lanka, protest was held in the Tamil minority dominated northern capital of Jaffna, yesterday. Hundreds of people held placards saying 'Why ban it when it is our culture' and 'This is a valued tradition lets permit it'.

The Australian Tamil community has also joined the ongoing protest against the ban on Jallikattu by holding peaceful demonstrations in Melbourne and Sydney. A demonstration is set to take place tomorrow in Sydney in a bid to support the traditional sport while another peaceful demonstration was held in Melbourne today.

The massive protest in Chennai

Thirty-one colleges in Chennai declared a holiday as thousands of students, young professionals conitnued their protest on Chennai's famous Marina beach to demand the revival of jallikattu for the third consecutive day.

A protester was buried neck deep in the sand with banners demanding that the cultural symbol of Tamil Nadu be upheld.

A report in NDTV says that actors are likely to join the protesters on Friday morning with cinemas across Chennai remaining closed. Buses, autos and cabs will be off the roads, and traders have said the markets will be closed as well.

Chorus in favour of Jallikattu grows

Five time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand took to Twitter and said, "Jallikattu is a cultural symbol. Respect it. I'm all for animal rights but here that is not the point. Tradition and livelihood are."

Meanwhile, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar told ANI, "I understand the sentiments of Tamil Nadu. Pongal is the biggest festival of Tamil Nadu. The second day of Pongal is celebrated with bulls and cows and for this they have maintained the bulls, respected the bulls from ages and they have protected the breed, the native breed of the bulls. I think we need to give proper representation to the court so that can give a fair hearing. Perhaps they have never imagined that it is such a popular game in Tamil Nadu."

Composer AR Rahman also took to Twitter to inform his followers that he would be fasting tomorrow in support of Jallikattu.

TN BJP welcomes Modi's meeting with Panneerselvam

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the matter was subjudice to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who met him today to seek an ordinance allowing the sport, BJP's state unit welcomed the meeting between the two.

PTI quoted BJP state president Tamilisai Sounderrajan saying in a statement, "Our Chief Minister has met the Prime Minister. In Central-state procedures this is a healthy approach. We thank the PM for creating an opportunity to highlight the strong feelings of the state."

Supreme Court keeps away from row

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, preferred to stay away from the pro-Jallikattu protests across Tamil Nadu and said the issue of protecting the agitating supporters of the bull-taming sport can be raised before the Madras High Court.

"Let the Madras High Court deal with it. You (petitioner) go there. Why do you come all the way to Supreme Court," a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud told a petitioner advocate who mentioned his plea seeking protection to the protestors.

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