Jallikattu | All that you need to know

Jallikattu is a traditional sport in Tamil Nadu, usually celebrated as a part of Pongal festive celebrations, where a bull is released into the crowd of people.
The participants attempts with both their hands, to grab the hump of the bull, while the bull attempts to escape.
Participants hold the hump for as long as its possible, and try to stop the bull.  In some cases, participants must ride long enough to remove flags on the bull's horns.



Jallikattu or Sallikattu is derived from 2 words, salli meaning coins and Kattu meaning package, which describe the prize money that are tied to the bull's horns and that participants attempt to retrieve.

It was practiced during 400-100 BC,which later became a sport to show the bravery and the participants were rewarded with the prize money.
A seal from Harrappan civilization depicting the practice of JalliKattu was also found and is kept in National Meuseum in Delhi.

Source: tamilandvedas.files

As according to the JalliKattu's site, following are the rules of the game:

1.The Bull will be released on the the arena through the entry gate called ‘ Vadivasal’.
2.The bull tamer / contestant should try to ‘catch’ the bull by holding onto its hump only.
3.The bull-tamer should hold onto the bull till it crosses the ‘finish’ line. (Usually it is about 50 feet, marked by hanging overhead marker flags along the line.)
4.If the bull throws the tamer off before the line or if no-one manages to hold on to the bull, then the bull will be declared victorious.
5.If the bull-tamer manages to hold on to the hump till it crosses the ‘finish line’, then the bull tamer is declared the winner.
6.Only one bull tamer should hold on to the bull at one time. If more than one bull tamers hold on to the bull, then there is no winner.
7.The bull tamer should ONLY hold on to the hump. He should NOT hold on to the neck or horns or tails of the bull. Such tamers will be disqualifies.
8.No bull tamer will hit or hurt the bull in any manner.

Since 2004, The Animal Welfare Board of India have protested to ban the game due to the cruelty it posed on animals and even filed a case in the Supreme Court of India to stop the cruelty on the bulls.
The Supreme Court then ordered to ban the JalliKattu practice, which gained a lot of attention from people within the country.
The Youth started a movement known as 'pro-Jallikattu movement', the main motive being to protest against the ban of the traditional sport.

Source: timesofindia

On 27 November 2010, the Supreme Court allowed the practice of JalliKattu for five months in a year and directed the District Collectors to make sure that the animals that participate in Jallikattu are registered to the Animal Welfare Board. The SC also instructed that the Animal Welfare Board would send its representative to monitor the event.

On 7 May 2014, the Supreme Court of India banned Jallikattu altogether, and any practice against the law would result in penalty.

On 8 January 2016, the Ministry of Environment and Forests permitted the continuation of the tradition under certain conditions, however, this was overturned by the Supreme Court on 26 July.

On 8 January 2017, a protest was held at Chennai to oppose the ban on Jallikattu. Following the protests at Chennai, many students started rallies in various towns of Tamil Nadu.

Source: ytimg

on 12 January, The Supreme Court of India ordered a stay, which was later refused.

Many Jallikattu events were held across Tamil Nadu in protest of the ban, and hundreds of participants were detained by police.

The ban was later revoked on 21 January 2017, and the first Jallikattu game after the ban was revoked, held on 22 January 2017, in Alanganallur, Madurai.

Although the ban has been removed, the question that the ban revoke is good or not, still lingers and is debatable. 

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