Auckland – More than three hunderds of tamil immigrants and Tamil Indian students gathered and protested at Auckland Domain this Sunday(22/01/17) evening at a ban on an ancient bull-taming festival in Tamil Nadu so called Jally Kettu. The protesters support their traditional bull tame game , in support to the existing protest of Tamil people in different part of India and abroad. The animal rights groups say this game is cruel. The Tamil protestors said that, it is an attack to our culture and traditional festival. India is a multicultural country and every religion,groups communities have the liberty to celebrate their tradional festival. In addition to New Zealand, the protests were also organised in Australia, USA ,Singapore , Malaysia, France, and United Kingdom.
Two participants killed during Jallykettu on Sunday
However, despite the Supreme court ban, in accordance with Ordinance issued by the Governer of the state, the game was held on this Sunday in parts of Tamil Nadu with tens of thousands taking part but two participants were killed at one of the events. It was held at Pudukottai, Trichy and Erode districts while a bullock cart race was organised in Coimbatore, organisers said. At Pudukottai, two participants were severely injured and died on the way to a hospital, police said.
According the Auckland tamil protestors,who support the Jallykattu, justify their stands . One of organising leader Mr Sowndra Rajan Palanisamy Pandyan said to Indianzherald that , “the ban of our traditional game may destroy our culture and tradition, we have the right to protect the tradition and heritage.” He also added that”People who have never been to Tamil Nadu are telling us about culture and calling it barbaric. The farmers treat these bulls like their children and no parent can be cruel to their child.”
India’s Supreme Court outlawed Jallikattu last year after a plea by animal rights groups that argued the event is cruel. Thereafter 2017 pro-Jallikattu protests ( also known as the pro-Jallikattu movement, which triggers to numerous leaderless apolitical youth groups protesting in January 2017 in large groups in several locations across the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, with some sporadic protests taking place across India, as well as overseas.
The chief motivation of the protest is against the Supreme Court‘s order to ban Jallikattu a Tamil traditional bull taming sport, which is held during Pongal, a harvest festival in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The sport is conducted annually on the second day of the Tamil month Thai. The sport was banned by the Supreme Court in a decision citing animal cruelty based on a lawsuit filed by the animal rights activists group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which asserted that the tradition violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Critics say organisers lace the bulls’ feed with liquor to make them less steady on their feet and chuck chilli powder into their faces and eyes to throw them into a sudden frenzy as they are released from a holding pen.
Tensions have been escalating for the past week after hundreds of people were arrested in Tamil Nadu for allegedly organising local Jallikattu contests in defiance of the court ban.
Several popular Tamil film stars have voiced their support for the demonstrators, as has India’s leading spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin.
Opposition and ruling parties in the state have criticised the ban and want Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to have it overturned.
A government led by Modi’s predecessor did order a ban in 2011 but it was effectively ignored until last year’s Supreme Court ruling.
The participants then try to control the bull by its horns or tail, in a race to subdue the bull within a specific time.
PETA, an animal rights group, has released footage it says shows bull farmers doping their animals before the event, but organisers of the festival insist the animals suffer no harm.