DMK Announces State-Wide Agitation Against SC Order On Jallikattu

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January 12: Hours after the Supreme Court turned down the Tamil Nadu Government's plea seeking its intervention to pass a judgment on Jallikattu before Saturday, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Thursday announced a state-wide agitation over the ban on the bull-taming sport. Animal rights activists have called the controversial sport cruel and inhuman so will those positions be revisited before Saturday? On Wednesday, Centre said that it is ready to issue an ordinance on the issue but it will wait for the Supreme Court to deliver its verdict first. Can there be a middle ground on this?

V K Sasikala, the AIADMK general secretary also wrote a letter to PM Modi on the same issue.

Recalling that her predecessor late J Jayalalithaa was keen that Jallikkattu was "restored to its original glory as the primal sport of Tamil Nadu, she said, "The bulls specially reared for the goal are tamed by ardent youths and this sport is not in the least cruel to animals, unlike other sporting events involving horses, camels and other animals".

Sasikala, in her letter to the Prime Minister, noted that the ban on exhibition of bulls in the popular festival has caused "resentment" in the state. Police have also foiled a Jallikattu attempt at Cuddalore.

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Supporting the tradition, the Centre has said that it could ensure that bulls are not tortured or subjected to alcohol before the sport. Jallikattu is an integral part of the Pongal festivities.

Following the plea to restore Jallikattu during Pongal festival, in November 2016, the Supreme Court had dismissed the state's plea banning the bull-fights, holding that the practice amounted to cruelty to animals.

Political parties have been pressing the Centre as well as the Tamil Nadu government to take steps to let people hold the sport.

The festival of Pongal is celebrated to thank the Sun, rain and farm animals.

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