Students, techies, actors, politicians have converged in Marina Beach and OMR demanding that a ban be lifted on the traditional bull-taming sport of Jallikattu. About 3,000 people have gathered since Tuesday night at Chennai’s Marina beach and big protests are also being held in other parts of the state. The Madras High Court said today that it will not “interfere” with the protests.
The gathering virtually brought the entire coastal main roads like OMR, Beach Road, DGS Dinakaran Road, Kamaraj Salai, Wallajah Road to a standstill.
- The primary demand of the protestors is that the Chief Minister O Panneerselvam speak to them and prevail upon the Union Government and put pressure on Supreme Court to permit Jallikattu. Technically this can be done by way of an ordinance.
- The protestors are also are asking for a immediate ban on PETA.
- The police have tried to get the crowd to disperse, but have so far been unsuccessful.
- Tamil Nadu ministers Jayakumar and Ma Foi Pandiarajan met the protesters and assured them that the government agrees with them and will approach the centre to seek an ordinance.
- Cine actor Vijay, actor Sivakumar and Vishal have made statements in support of Jallikattu. “Law was not created to rob people off their tradition and rights but to protect it.
- Animal rights activists say Jallikattu subjects bulls to torture and pain “You basically see a bull having its tail bitten, being stabbed with sickles, agitated, stuff rubbed into its eyes with 20 people jumping on it,” said advocate and animal rights activist, Rudra Krishna.
- But the champions of Jallikattu say there is no cruelty to the animals. “Our people revere bulls, there is no cruelty,” said Tamil Nadu’s education minister Ma Foi Pandiarajan.
- All political parties in the state say they support Jallikattu and accuse each other of not pushing enough to have the ban lifted. The ruling AIADMK has blamed the DMK for the ban, imposed when its partner the Congress led the Central government. The DMK has taunted the AIADMK for not ensuring that Jallikattu was allowed this year.