Jallikattu is trending not just on time lines and twitter, but also on the street-style radar. Ever since, the rural bull-taming sport became the talk of the town this Pongal T-shirts with Jallikattu slogans and art have invaded stores and online shopping sites. Apart from the youth who have taken to the streets, young professionals and general public are enthusiastically buying the Jallikattu T-shirts, says Raghavendar B., co-founder of Chennai-based Angi Clothing that specialises in Tshirts and merchandise bearing typically Tamil designs. “We have designs on karagattam, therukoothu and other kinds of performing arts. Our Jallikattu T-shirts were designed three years ago before it became an issue. Only now, it is much in demand.”
The Body Language menswear store in Madurai has been witnessing unprecedented walk-ins these past few days. “We have a couple of designs based on Jallikattu and people are only asking for them. We are now planning to come up with other interesting merchandise like a bandana, wrist bands or gloves with Jallikattu on them,” says Vivek, the store owner.
“Young boys and girls are finding a form of self-expression in these unisex T-shirts. It’s a novel way of voicing concern for the sport or issue. It’s eye-catching, trendy and also conveys the message,” says Karthik R.K., a young teacher who went wearing a jallikattu T-shirt to the protests in Madurai.
City-based popular Radio Jockey Sikkandar Sulthan who has been batting for Jallikattu in his shows and on the streets says that Jallikattu has now entered popular culture and it will be soon seen on platforms of cinema, fashion and arts. “The T-shirt is just one aspect of it. It’s like letting your clothes speak for you. T-shirts with slogans and graphic arts are as good as placards. Even voluntary organisations are donating T-shirts with Jallikattu slogans and logos.”
Coimbatore-based online T-shirt store MeMy Buy has also come up with a range of polo tees and casual T-shirts in bright colours with graphic art on Jallikattu printed on them. D. Midhun, the proprietor says, “We are mass-producing Jallikattu T-shirts as there have been requests by various youth organisations in Coimbatore. The price ranges from ₹.250 to ₹.500, depending on the design. Though there are many colours, black is trending high as it’s also the colour to show protest.” Kumar Devendran of Angi Clothing adds, “It’s indeed surprising how something rural as Jallikattu has become a trend and fashion statement among the urban youth.”