Chennai, Jan 13 (IANS) If only there was organised betting on a big scale or the bulls were reared by rich people like race horses, then bull taming sport Jallikattu would not have faced a ban, activists favouring uninterrupted continuation of the popular rural sport aver.
“The bull vaulting sport is not played in the so-called cow belt states in north India. If the sport was played there, then there would have been a big uproar,” Karthikeya Sivasenapathy, managing trustee of the Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation (SKCRF), told IANS.
According to him, horse racing is not facing any threat as it is supported by the rich whereas bull vaulting is patronised by the rural poor.
“It is strange why the animal rights activists do not raise their voice against the slaughter houses where the bovines are killed for their meat,” P. Rajasekaran, president of the Jallikattu Paddukappu Peravai, told IANS.
He declined to comment on the apex court’s decision on staying the central government notification allowing Jallikattu subject to certain conditions.
“I don’t want to speak about the actions of the governments — central or state — or the court decision,” he said.
He said it was a traditional rural sport that has been played for centuries.
The activists demand banning of horse racing and dog shows as these animals were also subjected to strenuous training.
Sivasenapathy said the activists were also against the native dog breed and there was a clear game plan behind their opposition to all native animal breeds.
According to Rajasekaran, there was not much money involved in Jallikattu.
“The entry is free for spectators and many rural youth reserve their seats coming to the spectator gallery the night before the event. The prize is given by the owners. There is no big prize money but it ranges from cycle to steel cupboards or some cash,” he said.
“We raise the Jallikattu bull for love of the animal and to preserve the native gene. There is no revenue for the bull owners from the sport,” I.T. Seemaan, a bull owner and an advocate, told IANS over phone from Madurai.
He said a bull that is not tamed at Jallikattu was a preferred stud for the cow owners in that village.
“No, there is no stud fee. If I charge a stud fee, then I will be laughed at. But in urban areas, male dog owners charge mating fee from owners of female dogs,” he said.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)