Amid the protests raging over the ban of the controversial bull taming sport, Jallikattu, Indian Chess master Viswanathan Anand have come out to support Jallikattu saying that it was a cultural symbol and we should respect it. Hailing the protests happening in the state of Tamil Nadu, Anand said that generation next is “culturally rooted.”

“Jallikattu is a cultural symbol. Respect it. I am all for animal rights but here that is not the point. Tradition and livelihood are,” Anand tweeted. It was only today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and discussed the issues including the massive protests in the state of Tamil Nadu and drought.

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The Prime Minister has refused to comply to the demands of the AIADMK secretary Sasikala Natarajan’s demand to revoke ban on Jallikattu saying that he does appreciate the cultural significance of the controversial bull taming sport, the matter was presently sub-judice. However, he affirmed that the central government would provide all the necessary support for the steps taken by the state government.

Meanwhile, the protesters have gathered in numbers to show their support in revoking a ban on Jallikattu back in the state claiming it to be a part of their tradition. On January 18, thousands of students gathered at Chennai’s Marina Beach in Chennai. A man also buried himself in the sand near Marina beach as Jallikattu protest intensifies across the state. By evening, police took 14 protesters, all law students, to Panneerselvam for a meeting at his residence. After the 10-minute meeting, the students told reporters that they won’t disperse despite the CM assuring them that he would speak to the PM. Requesting the people across the state to give up their protest, the state government told them that they will take all the required measures to fulfill their demands.