873 bulls, 400 tamers participate in jallikattu

Youth attempt to hold on to a bull at the jallikattu organised by the Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Federation and the district administration in Coimbatore on Friday.

Youth attempt to hold on to a bull at the jallikattu organised by the Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Federation and the district administration in Coimbatore on Friday.

A near-empty arena made no difference to jallikattu in Coimbatore on Friday as bulls and players raised the spirit of the sport with their enthusiastic participation.

At the end of day’s play, the sporting arena witnessed over 873 bulls exit the decorated gate, vaadivasal , to run through the trough while escaping the outstretched arms of the 400 players, who tried to hold on to their hump.

The organisers, Tamil Nadu Jallikattu Federation and Coimbatore district administration, adjudged Kuruvithurai player Mani the first prize winner for successfully holding onto 21 bulls. Minister for Electricity and Prohibition and Excise V. Senthilbalaji gifted a car on the Chief Minister’s behalf.

The organisers declared Podhumbu player Prabhakar the second prize winner for holding on to 19 bulls and Natham player Karthi the third prize winner with 18 bulls to his name.

They also announced Kattikudipatti Subramanian’s bull as the best followed by Sivagangai Rajesh’s and Seelayampatti Senthil’s.

Mr. Senthilbalaji said for the Coimbatore jallikattu that was held with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety guideline, the organisers had registered 1,250 bulls from Theni, Madurai, Sivagangai, Salem, Thanjavur and several other districts. But, they could allow only 873 bulls due to paucity of time.

He also said that the event saw no player or bull suffer any injury of concern.

Earlier after he inaugurated the event in the presence of Collector G.S. Sameeran, senior police officers and the Federation office bearers, the police personnel on duty sent in players in batches into the arena.

The challenge before the players was to hold onto the hump of bulls till the end of trough or three rounds or a certain time. If they succeeded the Federation organisers declared them winner or announced the bull owner as winner.

The organisers mostly gave steel utensils as prize and in some cases gold coins or almirah or bicycle depending on the sponsors available.

In a few cases, they also gave LED television sets to players if they held on to three or four bulls in their round or successfully held on to a bull that showed valour.

Second prize winner Prabhakar’s friend K. Nagaraj said a group of friends participated in the Coimbatore leg of jallikattu to showcase their valour and make the village proud. It was the pride that made them visit Coimbatore and not the value of gifts offered.

V. Deepak, a player from Keeripatti in Madurai, said it was the love for jallikattu that made him participate in several events since the ban on the sport was lifted.

The Animal Husbandry Department checked every bull that was registered before allowing the owners to take them to the vaadivasal. Nasal or oral extracts were tested on the spot to see if the owners had drugged the animal, said sources.

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Printable version | May 16, 2022 3:16:13 pm |