A group called Jallikattu Lovers UK staged a demonstration in London on 13th August.
Close to 50 people came to the demonstration with some who had to travel from far-off Manchester, Birmingham, Kent, Outer London.
The group led the demo with the single point that Jallikattu must not be strangled and that the bulls of the farmers be protected.
Many are already questioning what would happen to the bulls once the Jallikattu is no more.
There is no action plan for the protection of the Jallikattu bulls who have survived so far due to their links to the Tamil culture. A bull without this traditional game is likely to enter the meat market and this rare species may get lost forever.
While many foreign NGOs portray this festival to be no short of blood-sport, a farmer-bull bond is something which the Indian community cherishes a lot. A bull is like a son in the family and parting with it is heartbreaking. Therefore, going for a blanket ban on Jallikattu without impartially understanding the merit of the argument of anti-ban activists would be really wrong.
If bull protection is what both the parties want, then why not consider the angle that after the ban these bulls, so-far reared by even poorest with the hope of getting their day in the sunshine at a Jallikattu event, may end up either in the leather or in the meat market.
Surely, that would be a disaster. What goes in the favour of the Jallikattu is the fact that bulls are traditionally considered part of families, especially among the Hindus. They are brought up with the best possible help only on the basis that the stronger a bull, the better will be his fortune in a Jallikattu event.
What does a farmer get from Jallikattu?
A Jallikattu event does not fetch money, but so what? Not everyone merely wants money alone, some just want to feel proud that their pet bulls too participated in an event that has the participation of the best bulls! For some, this is a reward in itself.
It is much like dogs being put to different tests but in this case, a human will is what is on test against a Jallikattu bull. No bulls get killed as it happens in the bull fights of Spain, but all bulls who participate become star attraction of the villages. Coming to allegations of cruelty, there are cruel owners of dogs and cats too, but no animal rights activists ever ask for a ban on cats and dog shows. It is also not rational to simply ban any cultural event which could easily be molded and shaped into a conservation event. For example, organizations dedicated to animal rights can come and speak about the special bond and intelligence of the bulls and use cultural and religious points to help connect people better. Many animal rights organizations have also been accused of cruelty towards animals, so should we ban them too using the same logic? Of course not, we just need to sort out the bad apples and allow the good ones to function. How difficult is that?
— Seenivasan (@Seeni_Karuppa) August 19, 2016
In India, with one of the largest vegetarian populations of the world and with millions of humans who see cows and bulls as part of their spiritual, religious, and cultural environment this can be very easily done, provided there is zest to ensure the betterment of bulls.
In short, let’s calm and slow down and think on this before we act in haste. Remember the bulls need friends today.
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