[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]amil Nadu is witnessing a January Revolution by the youth of the State who have come out in the open since late Wednesday evening to stage demonstrations demanding lifting of the ban imposed on Jallikattu by the Supreme Court in May 2014. The Marina Beach in Chennai, along the Bay of Bengal, turned into a sea of humanity with more than 30,000 youth including college and school students staging a sit in since Wednesday night demanding the State government pressurise the Central government to promulgate an ordinance to circumvent the Supreme Court ban on the traditional sport of Tamil Nadu.
But what stood out throughout the State was the kind of slogans raised by the demonstrators who condemned Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the ban on Jallikattu.
The agitation and demonstrations held all over the State since Wednesday night remained peaceful and there have been no reports about any untoward incident from anywhere. The youth earned the encomiums of police and law enforcement agencies for their peaceful demonstration. Though Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, in an announcement made late Wednesday evening said that he was flying to New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and plead with him to promulgate an ordinance to ensure that Jallikattu could be staged in the State, it has not cut ice with the youth who made it known that they would not disperse from Marina Beach or other venues in the State till the chief minister makes a public appearance and gives them an assurance.
But what stood out throughout the State was the kind of slogans raised by the demonstrators who condemned Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the ban on Jallikattu. “Anti- Tamil RSS and BJP quit Tamil Nadu,” screamed the placards displayed by the demonstrators. Interestingly, the RSS or the BJP do not have anything to do with the ban on Jallikattu and both the organisations are in the forefront demanding the lifting of the ban through legal routes.
According to intelligence officials monitoring the situation, the demonstrations though peaceful have turned out to be anti-India campaigns. Tamil-chauvinist leaders like Francis Seeman, who addressed the gathering at the venues, alleged that Tamil Nadu was getting a raw deal both from the Centre as well as the Supreme Court on all issues. “Though the Supreme Court had directed Karnataka to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, the State is yet to get the water while Karnataka is wasting water into the Arabian Sea. What is the point in remaining in India only to suffer?” Seeman asked the demonstrators. .
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he ire of the youth at Marina Beach was directed against PETA, one of the NGOs campaigning against Jallikattu. “Ban PETA which is against Tamils and Tamil Nadu,” said one of the placards displayed by the agitators. The crowd of youth had gathered at Marina Beach, Anganalloor, Dindigul, Madurai and other places unannounced and stealthily. “A Sri Lankan Tamil by name Muraleedharan Sivalingam was the person who mobilised the crowd all over the State with the help of social networking sites,” said one of the animal rights activists on condition of anonymity. The activist also said that the agitation is being supported, sponsored and directed by the Lefts and Tamil secessionists.
The Supreme Court judgement was based on the materials submitted by various petitioners.
The hypocrisy of major opposition parties came out in the open during the agitation. M K Stalin, leader of the Opposition and working president of the DMK asked the Centre to promulgate an ordinance to circumvent the 2014 Supreme Court ban on Jallikattu. The same DMK was part of the UPA government (2004 to 2013) which ensured that Jallikattu is banned based on amended list prepared by the Animal Welfare Board of India.
Justice K S Radhakrishnan, the former Supreme Court judge, who was a member of the two-judge Bench which banned Jallikattu in 2014 told Team PGurus that it was not that easy for the Central government to promulgate the verdict delivered by him. It may be possible for the union ministry of environment and forests to get the ban removed but it is going to be a time consuming process,” said Justice Radhakrishnan who has since retired from the apex court.
Dr Subramanian Swamy, senior BJP leader, was the only politician to tell the Tamil Nadu people that the ban could be lifted through a legal course of action and not through ordinances. “It is not possible for the Centre to promulgate an ordinance to resume Jallikattu. The Supreme Court judgement was based on the materials submitted by various petitioners. If the petitioners so feel, they may be able to approach the court with enough evidences and reasons for altering the earlier submissions. The only course of action is through petitions and submissions,” Dr Swamy had told many times in the past and had asked the agitators to go by the rule of law. The agitation all over Tamil Nadu since Tuesday night has been peaceful. “This peaceful behaviour is my contribution“ said Dr Swamy while referring to the agitation on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Though chief minister Panneerselvam is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister to plead for the promulgation for an ordinance, as of tonight, there are no chances of the Centre trying to circumvent the Supreme Court. “The ties between the Centre and the apex court are not that cordial. Prime Minister Modi or members of his cabinet would not do anything which may upset and annoy the Supreme Court,” said a senior official based in New Delhi.
For Jallikattu to be revived the only course of action available for the people of Tamil Nadu is to wait for the good will of the Supreme Court. If they persist with the demand for an ordinance, it may backfire on the State, according to political observers. “People in the State should try to subvert the affidavit filed by the then Central government in 2014. It is for the government of the day to decide what should be the content of the statement submitted to the apex court,” said Ramakrishnan Gauthaman, director, Vedic Science Research Centre, Chennai.
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