Hardcore supporters of Tamil Nadu's bull taming sport Jallikattu have been gathering momentum and support over the last few days, ever since the Supreme Court rejected a plea urging it to pass judgement on the sport.
Now, supporters of Jallikattu, a rite in which youths and men wrestle rampaging bulls, are requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to permit it. Chief Minister O Panneerselvam flew to New Delhi seeking an ordinance allowing the festival this year.
The sport has seen staunch opposition from the People For Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in particular, along with several others.
But it has found supporters from the most unlikely persons in the country as well. Here are some quotes from famous Indian personalities who support Jallikattu:
- Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbum Ramadoss on Thursday said, :"Till now, there have been no violent protests. They are intimidating our cultures and values that have been with us for 5,000 years. You cannot just ban something like that... There is absolutely no cruelty, these are our bulls, we rear them, they have worked hard for us and one day we play with them. What is the harm in that?"
- Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 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."
- Five time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand said on Twitter:
— Viswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) January 19, 2017
#jallikattu is a cultural symbol . Respect it. Im all for animal rights but here that is not the point.tradition & livelihood are .— Viswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) January 19, 2017
- Noted actor Kamal Haasan had said a few days ago, "If you want a ban on Jallikattu, let's also ban biryani..."
- Tamil actor Vishal said, "It is not a protest, it is a revolution. Voice should reach the Centre and they should pass the ordinance. Jallikattu is Tamil people's rights but now, there is a ban for the sport. I request PM Modi to lift the ban."
- Spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev drew an unlikely parallel between Jallikattu and cricket calling for the latter to be banned as well since the ball used in the game has proved fatal for many players: "So, will you ban cricket also? The cricket ball is dangerous, and it has been fatal for many players."
- Tamil film star Dhanush told ANI that he was not part of the animal rights advocacy group. "A few years ago, PETA honoured me for being a vegetarian. I now consider it a grave insult. I regret it," he said.
Thirty-one colleges in Chennai have declared a holiday as thousands of students, young professionals, and hardcore supporters of Jallikattu stayed put on Chennai's Marina beach to demand the revival of the sport for the third consecutive day.
Apart from Tamil Nadu, people from all cross the country have been demanding its revival.
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