Even the voice of the beast seems to have been heard by the highest court in the land (“SC bans ‘jallikattu’,” May 8), which has put an end to the misery of bulls in the name of tradition, culture and religion. The indiscriminate killing, torture and cruelty perpetrated on animals in the name of sport, fun and pleasure have no place in a civilised society.
In the past, jallikattu was like boxing — one-to-one combat and considered an act of bravery. Now, the animal is subjected to cruelty, forced to consume alcohol, have chilli powder rubbed into its eyes and then chased by a violent and possibly inebriated mob. But the verdict shows that even minor issues have to be increasingly resolved by the Supreme Court.
Arivalur V. Nagarajan,
I am from a village near Alanganallur and it is not uncommon for farmers there to breed bulls solely for the “sport” of jallikattu. Bulls are rarely used for agricultural work. I disagree with the statement by animal lovers that the bulls are ill-treated by bull tamers. Moreover, jallikattu is conducted under the supervision of the police, veterinarians and the district administration. It is odd that an age-old practice in Tamil culture has had to be stopped. If animal lovers feel strongly about animals, they must ensure that abattoirs are banned too.
The ban will only hurt the sentiments of thousands in the south of Tamil Nadu. A visit to farms where these bulls are bred and trained would have presented the other side of the story. The bulls, which are given varieties of nutrient-enriched feed, are housed in good sheds. Some farmers have invested in air-cooled facilities.
When other forms of animal sport like horse-racing and camel- racing are allowed, why ban this? Even the practice of parading elephants in temple festivals and having elephant-racing, as is done in some parts of Kerala, must be banned.
We have to look at the so-called sport not only from the perspective of the prevention of animal cruelty but also from the prism of human safety. It is true that in ancient times the sport was an expression of chivalry and valour. But today it has been reduced to a spectacle where misguided youth wager life and limb for the sake of gifts like brass vessels, almirahs, grinders worth a few thousand rupees, and momentary adulation. To oppose the ban saying it goes against culture is unacceptable.