International

Jallikattu supporters demonstrate in U.S.

Around 800 supporters of jallikattu demonstrated outside the Indian Embassy in Washington on Sunday, in a show of their support for brethren in Tamil Nadu. “Thamizhan endru sollada, thalai nimirnthu nillada” (Say that you are a Tamilian, hold your head high), the group that gathered from as far as 100 km chanted.

The demonstration was planned during one of the Pongal gatherings only a few days earlier, where the ongoing debate in India came on top. Siva Venkat, a resident of Ellicott City in Maryland launched a Whatsapp group that instantly attracted hundreds of people. Getting a permission to demonstrate over the weekend in Washington was not easy, with the Presidential inauguration on Friday — which was a show of American nationalism — and a women’s protest march on Saturday.

Nalini Britto, a homemaker and one of the organisers said she was “truly excited to be part of an event which made me feel truly at home,” a show of Tamil pride. “We may be living abroad and may be NRIs, but our hearts bleed when our own go through such pain as they did during the floods and during the vigil for the Nirbhaya rape. Every time the people in India come out on the streets, so will we,” she said.

Ramya, another participant, said, “We feel like we have also taken part in the protest in Chennai.”

Several passers-by inquired about jallikattu, said Babu Vinayagam. “Victory Lonnquist, a strong supporter of the native American protest against Dakota oil pipeline was much interested in learning about our love for native bulls,” he said.

“Vendum Vendum, Jallikattu Vendum” (We want, we want, Jallikattu), “Vaazha vidu, Vaazha vidu, Tamizhanai vaazha vidu” (Let the Tamils live) and “Aaya sutta murukku, PETA vaaiyai norukku” (Grandma-made ‘murukku’, PETA’s mouth has to be crushed), the demonstrators chanted in Tamil solidarity.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 1:18:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Jallikattu-supporters-demonstrate-in-U.S./article17082524.ece

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