Tamil Nadu

CM to flag off jallikattu in Madurai, but stir continues

Bullish about jallikattu: K. Selvaraj of Koothappar village, near Tiruchi, kisses his bull after hearing about the ordinance on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday stepped up preparations for the conduct of jallikattu in Madurai and other parts of the State on Sunday morning following the Governor’s approval for the ordinance proposing amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960).

Announcing that the sport will be held across the State, Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said he would flag off the event at 10 a.m. at Alanganallur, in Madurai. Other Ministers are expected to inaugurate events in their respective districts.

Plea to public

“I urge the youths, students and the general public to make the jallikattu events across Tamil Nadu a grand success by participating in large numbers,” the Chief Minister said.

 

Even as Madurai Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao held a meeting with the jallikattu organisers of Alanganallur and Palamedu, protesters across the State refused to call off their stir, demanding a ‘permanent solution’ to the issue of holding jallikattu events.

An official release from the Raj Bhavan said that considering “the sentiments of Tamils and to protect their cultural right and having regard to the grave and volatile situation prevailing in the State and in the best interest of maintaining law and order," it had been decided to promulgate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Ordinance, 2017.

The ordinance, which envisages State-specific amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, is meant for “ensuring survival and well being of native breeds of bull and preserving cultural traditions” of Tamil Nadu, according to a senior government official. Another official says Section 11 (treating animals cruelly) of the 1960 Act is being amended. The text of the ordinance will be made available only by Monday morning.

 

Mr. Panneerselvam, in a statement, said that “to replace the ordinance, a bill will be moved in the session of the Assembly that is beginning on January 23 (Monday) and adopted during the session.”

Asked why the ordinance route had not been tried earlier, the official said, as early as August 2015, the Tamil Nadu government had proposed to the Union government State-specific amendments to the 1960 law, exempting jallikattu from the purview of the Acr. Though this was reiterated many times later, the proposal had received the green signal from the Centre only now, the official said.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister tweeted that “all efforts are being made to fulfil the cultural aspirations of Tamil people.” He also stated that the Centre was “fully committed” to the progress of the State.

Mr. Panneerselvam also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Governor Rao for their prompt support, and assured them that jallikattu would be held in all the districts with “all safety measures.”

A delegation of Members of Parliament of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), led by Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, also called on President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi in this regard.

Meanwhile, PETA India, the animal rights organisation that has set itself on the opposite side of the argument, pushing to retain the ban on jallikattu, and under fire for this position, said in a statement: “We await a draft of the new ordinance and shall study it.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 3:38:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/CM-to-flag-off-jallikattu-in-Madurai-but-stir-continues/article17074909.ece

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