Urging the Central and the State governments to ensure the conduct of jallikattu during the Pongal festival across the State, thousands of people came together to participate in a rally held at the Marina beach on Sunday.
Many participants said that they had attended the rally after seeing posts about jallikattu on social media websites. “In the last one month, there have been lot of memes, videos and articles circulated on WhatsApp and Twitter about why jallikattu should be held and its importance, since it showcases our tradition,” said a software engineer who participated in the rally.
The participants comprised largely of students and working professionals and the organisers said that they had chosen to come together to make their voice heard minus political affiliations or the support of celebrities.
Nagendra Babu, one of the coordinators of the event from Care and Welfare, an NGO, said that they organised the rally to highlight the importance of the event and its contribution to preserving the culture and tradition of the Tamils.
“There has been a lot of discussion about Jallikattu on social media over the last one month and many youngsters are keen that the event be held this year. Participants from places in and around Madurai, Tiruchi and Coimbatore attended in large numbers as well to highlight the importance of protecting native breeds,” he said.
The participants walked from the lighthouse to labour statue bearing posters saying ‘Save jallikattu.’
They were accompanied by folk music performers and a decorated bull was also brought out as part of the rally.