I am proud to call myself a tamilian who is fighting for the rights to conduct Jallikattu in tamilnadu. There are lakhs of people who are fighting to remove the ban imposed on the cultural sport around Tamilnadu and across the world. Social media is flowing with the support from people from various countries.
Having said that I am not going to say why we need Jallikattu because already there are lot of articles and vblogs talking about it. I want to showcase on how cruel Peta or Animal welfare board is acting towards Tamil culture. They have only one allegation about Jallikattu and it is cruelty towards bulls. They speak about this sitting in an air conditioned room somewhere in the United states or in New delhi eating pizzas or burgers. Have they been with a farmer or a family in village who has bull, they would know the affection the family does show to the cattle. Be it the PETA CEO or any animal activist, they are just talking with what has been reported or captured in one incident. Its simply like calling all delhi men as rapist because Nirbhaya was raped in the capital or addressing all Bengaluru men as saddist for few acts on the new year eve.
I did have a quick chat with my friend Bharathiselvam, who is born and brought up as an agriculturalist. Their family is into farming and they have cows and bull at home. I felt its my duty to make the world hear from the right person who has the full rights to talk about Jallikattu.
Me : Though its ironical, just wanted to ask you if you do support jallikattu and thus protests happening for it?
Bharathi : Yes, i completely support this cause. I am so proud and happy that finally tamilians have come together to fight for a problem that is affecting farmers.
Me : Yeah thats true. It makes me so proud that people have come together even though they are not directly involved. Ok tell me from a agriculturalist point of view that why do you want jallikattu?
Bharathi : (Response as received) இது என் பாரம்பரியம், என் அடையாளம் மற்றும் என்னுடைய அடுத்த தலைமுறை நோய்னெடி இல்லாம வாழ நம்முடைய நாட்டு மாடு காக்கபடனும். Translation : This is my culture, my identity and my gift to next generation to lead a healthy life. For our next generation to be healthy, we should save our native bulls and cows.
Me : Do you have a cows and bull at home?
Bharathi : (Response as received in Tamil) நாங்களும் மாடு வளர்கிறோம். Translation : Yeah we are also have cattle at home.
Me : Thats good da. Now these animal activists are talking about cruelty against bulls and cows, so want to check how do you treat them at home. Wats ur daily activities with them?
Bharathi : (Response as received) எங்களுடைய பிள்ளைகள் மாதிரிதான் பாத்துப்போம், நான் இங்க இருந்தாலும் ஒருநாள் கூட அம்மாட்ட ஆடு மாடு எப்படி இருக்குனு கேக்காம போன் வட்சதே இல்ல. அம்மாவும் அப்பாவும் அதனாலேயே சேர்ந்து எந்த விழாவுக்கும் வரமாட்டாங்க. மாடுங்களை பாதுக்கறதுக்கு ஒருவராவது வீட்ல இருப்போம்.
Translation : We treat our cattle like our kids. Though am away from home, I shall always enquire about how the cattle is doing whenever i call home. Mom and dad will never go to a funtion together as atleast one of us should be at home to take care of the cattle.
Me : Yeah i know. Even when i came to your home, I have seen your mom feeding the cattle same time when she gave us food. I can understand the feelings. Ok tell me what is your pongal agenda? Do you send your bull to jallikattu ?
Bharathi : (Response as received) மாட்டு பொங்கல் தான் ரொம்ப சந்தோசமா இருக்கும், எங்க பக்கம் ஜல்லிகட்டு நடக்காது மஞ்சுவிரட்டுதான் நடக்கும், மதியமே மாட்ட குளிப்பாட்டி மால போட்டு அலங்காரம் பன்னி மாலையில் கோவிலுக்கு பிடிசுட்டு பொய்டு பூஜை பன்னி மாட்டு கயிற கழுத்துல சுத்திவிட்டு எல்லாரும் சேர்ந்து பின்னடி நின்னு விரட்டுவோம். எங்க மாடு நாங்க யாரும் கூட வராமலே அதுவே சரியா எங்க வீட்டுக்கு வந்திடும். வீட்டுக்கு வந்தும் இளைப்பாற்றி சாப்பிட விட்டு அப்பா திாிஸ்டி சத்தி ஊா் எல்லைல போய்டு திாிஸ்டி கழிப்பாங்க.
Translation : Maattu Pongal (a day of Pongal is dedicated to celebrate cows and bulls) is very special and gives us happiness to celebrate. We call it Manjuvirattu in our locality. We give the cattle good bath in the afternoon and decorate them with garland. The bulls are taken to temple in the evening and pooja is done for them. We then tie the rope around its neck and will shoo it from behind. Men usually try to embrace the hump of the bulls and they will be declared as winners. Our cows know our home very well and they reach us after the event. After they reach home, we will allow them to rest and then feed them. My dad shall then do a ritual to eradicate drishti or negative energy on the bull and take it to the village border to throw the drishti away.
Me : Do you think your bull being handled cruelly is good?
Bharathi : They are not cruelly handled. Others also take care of it. If there is cruelty do you think we shall send them there. I have told already that they are like our kid. Do any mom send her kid to be harmed?
Me : Good question. If there had been harm will our ancestors allowed it ? Another important question I had was have you seen any bull dying because of jallikattu?
Bharathi : In my past 30 years of my life i never seen such things. The bulls are treated like gods. I have seen people getting hurt but not bulls.
Me : What do u know about the connection of jallikattu and breeding mechanism? Do u see a connection?
Bharathi : Bull and cows are more active while manchuvirattu and jallikattu. They join with us like our brother or sister or friend and enjoy the celebration happily. The winning bull will roam around our village and is authoritative to breed with the cows, all the village people take care of the winning bull and it will be feeded by all of the villagers. We will call it as kovil kaalai (Bull that belongs to the village temple).
Me : Whats your take on people who are opposing jallikattu ? Can you make them understand why we need jallikattu?
Bharathi : Come and live with us for a month or a week, you can understood very well. Without knowing of our life style with cows and bulls dont make unneccessary words like cruelty. To taking care of our cows and bulls, my mom and dad avoid more no of functions. and they take turns to attend the functions alternatively. The people and the cattle know each other’s language. When they are hungry or need something, we can understand from their tone itself. Likewise, they know if we are talking to them with love or anger.
Thank you so much Bharathi for your time. His bull awaits the day it could play again with its friends in the field.
Dear animal activists, I would request you just one thing. Do not interfere in our culture or identity. Our tamil culture is more than 1000 years old and we have been the most loving and caring people in the world. You could see that from the way the protests are happening now in Tamilnadu. You would not heard of a theft or a molestation or a rape or any negative news from the field. We the people of Tamilnadu are well behaved and we know to preserve our heritage. Kindly do keep your concern with you and not poke your nose into our affairs.
Following is the image to showcase the difference between Spain bull fight and Jallikattu. When you call the harmful Spain bull fight as an art , why the bloody hell you want Jallikaatu to be banned?
The protesters have displayed the power of common man and have clearly conveyed that the people of Tamilnadu will not be silent everytime when there is an injustice done to Tamilnadu people. The people who are fighting to ban this sport and the judges who have passed verdict should be clear on what is happening in the field. Just with the happenings in one location, the supreme court should not derive its decision. I wish a permanent solution is drawn to this issue and hope the government would take the steps for the same. PCA should be amended and the Jallikattu should be declared as cultural sport of Tamilnadu.
Photo Coutesy : Google