Tamil Nadu

Alanganallur demands permanent solution

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Even as Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam called for an end to the protests in support of jallikattu that have been sweeping across the State, pointing out that steps have been initiated to pass an ordinance for the conduct of the sport, his plea seems to have cut no ice with protesters in Alanganallur, who are now demanding a permanent solution to the issue.

A.P. Saravana Kumar, a villager involved in the protest from day-one, said that the villagers did not wish to stage protests for jallikattu again in the years to come. “This should be the last protest that we are holding for jallikattu. We do not want it to be a yearly affair,” he said.

Syed Omer Muckthar, a protester from Tiruchi, who is part of the core group of protesters guiding the participants, said that the ordinance could easily be challenged in the court. “We want bulls to be permanently removed from the list of animals that cannot be exhibited (performing animals). We feel only that can provide a long-lasting solution,” he said.

When the announcement about the ordinance came on Friday morning, the mood of the agitators was initially to give up their stir once jallikattu is conducted in a few days’ time. However, there was a change of heart as the day progressed and by evening, the protesters declared that they would not relent until a permanent solution to the jallikattu conundrum is found.

“Let the government do whatever it wants. But we want that solution to be permanent,” said Pon. Kumar, a protester.

However, the future of the protest movement was cast into doubt as certain sections of the villagers seemed to have mixed opinions about the prospect of continuing the agitation after the conduct of jallikattu this year.

“I don’t think that the momentum can be sustained once the sport is conducted. Many might prefer to give up the protest after that,” said a villager, requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, the turnout of protesters in Alanganallur continued to swell when compared to the past few days. Scores of protesters from Madurai city and nearby villages as well as members of various organisations kept revisiting the venue to express their solidarity with the cause.

Volunteers had a tough time ensuring supply of food and water to protesters. An LED screen was set up at the venue, which played back jallikattu videos from previous years to keep the protesters entertained.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 6:05:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/alanganallur-demands-permanent-solution/article17070737.ece1

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