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We Do Jallikattu

Posted by Yashaswini Balasubramanyam in Society
January 20, 2017

With all the Jallikattu buzz all around, I was astounded by the support and the unity, and all of the selfless protests going on. I was amazed. I was urged to put up a status saying, ‘I support Jallikattu’. I just wanted to, because, come on, one person might be wrong, or even two. But not an entire state. Nope. I was very sure the protests had a solid cause. But no, without knowing all about it, I could not think of updating a status. Now that I have done my part and have gone through numerous articles, I will voice out my opinion. A few points and I will be done. So hear me out, will you?

1. For the umpteenth time, Jallikattu is not bullfighting. Jallikattu/ Yeru Thazhuvuthal means ’embrace bulls’. Get your facts straight.

2. PETA wants the ban on Jallikattu, because rescuing animals is their responsibility. But they never said that by preventing Jallikattu the bulls will directly be sent to slaughter houses. *Slow claps*

3. Yes, years ago, the bulls were given alcohol, but that is old. Naive people. But now rules have been imposed and followed. There is no alcohol involved, neither is there any of the chilli powder thing going on. The bulls are tested for alcohol, and so are the men. Medical tests are involved. There are people from all the animal rescue teams with their prying eyes from the start till the end of the event. How is it still a problem then? In what way?

4. As much as they shove the pictures of injured men or bulls on our faces, they do not show the ones where the bull is a part of the family pictures. They just wouldn’t. Neither would they talk about how divine the species is considered. The respect attributed to them, nor the pictures of a whole village mourning at the death of a temple bull. The tradition.

5. There were 130 cattle breeds in India 100 years ago. Currently, there are only 37. Do you have anything to say to this, PETA?

6. The bulls are not traumatised. The entire event is a lively one with screams, laughter, shrieks and shouts of people as they run. And hey, the bulls are familiar with the sport and come prepared for it. Dogs are playful, cats are clean. Bulls are wild. That’s just how they are.

7. They say the bulls are injured and hurt due to men trying to climb over them. One question. How much would a man weigh? Let’s say 80-85 kgs. Two of them would weigh around 160 kgs. How much do you think a bull weighs? They weigh a lot more and can carry a lot more weight. Now rant about the bulls being burdened and traumatised when a man climbs over! It’s like a kitten climbing over you.

8. So what happens if there’s no Jallikattu? The calves that would otherwise be reared or fed with nutritious diets and tamed, would now go to slaughter houses. The beef that you eat. So, I am assuming that their claim that Jallikattu ban would rescue animals means, they would be protecting these young calves from having to live in this cruel world, kill them and save them. Is that it? Because I see no other animal rescue going on.

9. About the bulls being injured. One, it happens very rarely.. Two, there are no weapons obviously. Three, nobody even dreams of hurting the divine species. The same with the bulls. They charge towards the crowd wildly, getting excited when people run away in fear. But that is it. The bull would not run right into you, ever. Again, when treated wrongly, reflexes can’t be stopped. There is no real danger unless you do not know your rules.

10. We are not against PETA. All of us are on the same page against animal cruelty. We are against PETA in this case since we see no point. Jallikattu preserves native cattle breeds. The ban will eventually lead to extinction of your breeds. Jallikattu will lead to strong and virile breeds. The ban would lead to the death of the calves sooner than ever, thanks to the slaughter houses.

11. The people who are against Jallikattu are the blind believers who have been reading the headlines over the years. The headlines that tell the world about the injuries at the event, loss of lives and all of that. What  do you expect from the press? Sensational news. If the event is praised, it wouldn’t catch many eyes. So dig up all the flaws instead.

12. The other bunch of people against Jallikattu are these big MNCs or the people at the slaughter houses. Why? Banning of Jallikattu would result in the loss of the native breed. If the native breed is lost, it would result in an increase in imported breeds. Why? Because they can secrete more milk. How? They are commercial breeds. What happens to the quality of the milk? God knows! What happens to our own cattle, sold to the slaughter houses. All the meat is exported to the foreign countries. What happens to the market prices of the cattle. It falls rock bottom. Whose gain? The big dairy industries that replace ours. Who’s affected? The dairy farmers. What other alternative occupation do they have? None.

What do we have now? Everything, but no native breeds. The cattle is gone. The farmers are gone.

So now, can I say ‘We do Jallikattu’?

I guess yes.


Image source: Bobinson KB/ Flickr