With Tamil Nadu Government passing the bill on Jallikattu, a bull-taming sport yesterday, the focus is back on Kambala, a favourite sport in Karnataka state. State Chief Minister Siddaramiah has said that his government was in favour of holding the sport and asked the Centre to take a favourable stand on it as it did for Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.
“We are in favour of Kambala, we are for Kambala. We pressurise the Union government to take a stand in favour of this (Kambala), similar to the way in which it favoured Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu,” he told reporters. To a question on large-scale protests planned by Kambala committees, he said “…they are protesting for Kambala, we are also in favour of Kambala.”
What is Kambala
It is a traditional sport mainly held in rural Karnataka. The race is organised between two pairs of buffaloes, in the wet rice fields, filled with slush and mud. Both pair of buffaloes are under the control of a farmer on each of them. In earlier times, winning pair used to be awarded with coconuts and plantains, but with changing times, they are rewarded with huge prizes including gold coins. Buffaloes who are nurtured for the race are carefully taken care of. Some owners event build separate swimming pool for them to make them get used to conditions before every race.
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Ban on Kambala by Supreme Court
After some animal welfare organisations filed a plea in the Supreme Court in 2014, citing torture on the animal, the apex court banned the sport. There has been request from several quarters to lift the ban from the sport.