The story of ban, protest, and legislation: Jallikattu triumphs

Since the Supreme Court had banned the traditional celebration of Jallikattu (part of Pongal harvest festival), there was heavy dissent and uproar amongst its followers to be continued with such fest which is centuries old. In the 2014 that particular proceedings was initiated by PETA (People for ethical treatment of animals), AWBI (Animal welfare board of India) and other animal protection agency in the form of petition where Tamil Nadu regulation of Jallikattu act 2009 (TNRJ) was challenged on the account animal well-being and their rights subsequently in its verdict the impugned act was struck down by the apex court as it was found to be taming bull with cruelty and several abuse cases were also reported towards this animal sport such as dislocation of tail, beating with knives and sticks during event, mutilation of ears, making them stand in scorching sunlight that is being violative of Article 254 (1) of the Constitution of India as well as in contradiction with  under section 11 (3) of Prevention of Cruelty of animal (PCA) act 1960, thus has not been celebrated since last two years, also putting ban across the country even for bullock cart race.


Not so late, on January 8 last year the Central government issued notification for lifting the ban on Jallikattu with certain restraint but was stayed by Supreme Court further it even refused to re-examine its own judgement delivered in 2014 for banning the use of bull in Jallikattu which is still pending.

The latest outcome is that Tamil Nadu legislative assembly passed unanimously Prevention of cruelty act (Tamil Nadu amendment) 2017, the bill that was introduced by Chief Minister O Pannerselvam which tend to replace ordinance passed earlier on Saturday (21 Jan) which received nod from the Centre as well, thereby making Jallikattu an exemption under the aforesaid act with certain amendment in central legislation to have legal approval for this sport. As the subject falls under ‘concurrent list’ of Constitution, in order to have the force of law the same has to be reserved for the consideration of the President and gaining his assent the law prevails that has been duly made by the Governor of the State in the present case.

The pro-Jallikattu movement began on January 16, 2017, demanding their cultural rights had their way. Finally, Chief Minister O Pannerselvam inaugurating the grand start of Jallikattu afresh Allanganallur in Madurai after a hunger strike, coercion to perform Jallikattu by party members, rail obstruction, and protest by lakhs of people at Marina beach, Chennai against PETA, AWBI, and Centre. Honorable Supreme Court consented to deliver its verdict in the matter only after this week on dealing with the petition for allowing Jallikattu filed on January 12, 2017.


 Reported By Harpal Parmar

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