Jallikattu, the controversial bull taming sport is back in news and has claimed its first victim in Tamil Nadu. A 19-year-old spectator was gored to death during this season’s Jallikattu celebrations in Madurai. The death reignites the debate surrounding the ancient sport.
Jallikattu is played during Pongal, an important harvest festival in which bulls are let loose and made to charge in an arena, only to be tamed by later by participants. However, animal rights activists have protested against it saying it is not only cruel to animals but also poses a grave threat to public safety. But its supporters say that it’s a part of Tamil culture.
In 2014, Supreme Court banned the sport which triggered a wave of protests which triggered a wave of protests in Tamil Nadu with many demanding the apex court to withdraw the ban.
In 2017, the state government had to finally bow to the public pressure and passed a law to legalise the sport while overturning the SC order.