An idea for JalliKattu

Suggestions on keeping Jallikattu safe for participants and viewers

Suggestions on keeping Jallikattu safe for participants and viewers
Suggestions on keeping Jallikattu safe for participants and viewers

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he JalliKattu issue seems to have taken over India completely – just as JNU did at the same time last year – a tradition, an historical right, a sport and a holiday combined. It is clear that Tamil Nadu feels passionately about it.

The build-up and fever on the day equate in a way to the JalliKattu performance as well as to modern day football in Europe.

Everyone says the Sacred Bulls are trained to enjoy the sport, perhaps, but how are the bulls trained? I would not say that all “training” methods for animal related sports are benign, even in horseracing and other horse competitions. JalliKattu is not comparable to a bullfight, you could say it resembles the running with the bull through the streets of Pamplona (actually this is just the precursor to death, as this is how they chase the bulls into the bullring); similar adrenalin and machismo are required for JalliKattu. It’s more comparable to the Italian tradition of the bareback riding at the Palio in Sienna, where horses charge around a Piazza at breakneck speed, literally. This sport means the world to the local community as the festival is still steeped in historical neighbourly competition (district versus district); it is a festival, a pageant and a spectator sport followed by a feast. The build-up and fever on the day equate in a way to the JalliKattu performance as well as to modern day football in Europe.

No doubt bulls / horses get stressed out in all this pageantry, as do cocks in fights in Andhra Pradesh and sheep thrown off hill tops in Yadgir – Karnataka. Clearly people denied these pleasures also get stressed and feel deprived. Is there no way of introducing a compassionate examination process and finding a way these traditions can be made relevant to the C21st without stringing them up in regulations and bureaucracy? Why not an independent self-regulating Governing body of JalliKattu, something like FIFA is for football, but of course less corrupt.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Security Division of FIFA was created when football came under worldwide attack from organised crime, after criminal groups infiltrated football associations to entice players, referees and officials into manipulating the outcome of a match, by determining in advance the result or the dynamics of a game. Ultimately it is FIFA’s job to protect the integrity of the game, there is a strict code of conduct for players… to play fair, “winning is without value if victory has been achieved unfairly or dishonestly”, to observe the rules of the game and respect opponents, other players, referees, officials and spectators. It goes without saying that players are neither drunk/ drugged nor discreetly armed.

Nowadays with the increased risk of terrorism all fans at high risk matches are scanned or searched on entry.

FIFA Safety and Security Regulations stipulate all entry points are equipped with facilities to search spectators for prohibited items, a stop and search policy within “reasonable grounds” is followed. Nowadays with the increased risk of terrorism all fans at high risk matches are scanned or searched on entry. Prohibited items include anything that could be used as a weapon, cause damage and/or injury or be used as a projectile, knives, nails etc. Obviously all narcotics or drugs are illegal and alcohol must not interfere with the spectators’ safe enjoyment of the match. Racist, xenophobic and items of ideological nature that could detract from the sporting focus are not allowed, the same goes for pyrotechnics and laser pointers.

Could not some of the same moral and ethical principles apply in JalliKattu? “The TN JalliKattu Authority” could agree best practice for the training of bulls and play, set parameters for observance, provide emergency services (vets and doctors), create Constituency associations/ clubs, diarise fixtures, issue results, collate injury statistics (for man and beast) and broadcast news.

Antonia Filmer
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Jallilattu has no parallels in human and animals, bull fights and cock fights are bloody and harms a animal badly. Here the farming community is ready to sacrifice their own lifes to find the alpha male, a natural selection among bulls- which modern life will not allow. BTW u need balls to try to hug a bull, a 300 pound lion can be easily be killed by a bull. I dont know why nowadays social media discussions are better than these articles.

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