Amid the growing controversy over Jallikattu as part of Pongal celebrations in Tamil Nadu this year, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said that nobody should have a problem with Jallikattu.
While he refused to comment on what the government's decision would be, Naidu was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, "We are getting suggestions (to amend the law). After all, we did it in the Shah Bano case."
"But, we will have to see. We will have to discuss. We will have to weigh what court thinks. Personally, I feel that Jallikattu is a traditional art. It is a traditional sport in Tamil Nadu. Nobody should have problem with this," he said.
He however clarified, "I don't know whether I should be saying this as a minister."
This comes after the sport of Jallikattu received the backing of several celebrities from Tamil Nadu, despite activists crying hoarse about the evils of the sport.
Actor Dhanush claimed that this sport apparently was integral to the voice of Tamil Nadu:
Another noted Tamil actor Surya too backed the sport. The Indian Express quoted him as saying, "The number of our bull breeds have come down from 200 to just 30. And my question is, what are we doing to protect and preserve the existing breeds? Several of our bulls are getting extinct. And the bulls are part of our culture and identity. Introduce a few regulations, but do not abolish the sport."
Actor Kamal Haasan too had joined the chorus to allow Jallikattu saying on Monday that biriyani should be banned first.
"It's embracing the bull, not to be mistaken for a matador sport," he had said.
"They (animal rights activists) must also ban biryani then. It's (jallikattu) is a part of our culture. I am one of the few actors who can boast that I have actually embraced a bull. I am a Tamilian, I love that sport, it doesn't kill a bull. In fact, if you hurt the bull, you are disbarred from the game," Haasan had said.
Jallikattu, also known Eruthazhuvuthal, is a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as a part of the Pongal harvest festival.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pass an ordinance that can ensure Jallikattu can be held as part of Pongal celebrations this year.
"Given that the Pongal festival which holds great importance to the people of Tamil Nadu is less than a week away and Jallikattu is an integral part of the Pongal festivities, considering the urgency of the issue, the Government of India should consider promulgating an Ordinance removing the legal impediments enabling the conduct of Jallikattu during Pongal, 2017,"The Economic Times quoted Panneerselvam as saying to a letter to Modi.