Jallikattu protest at Marina Beach: Why are students at the forefront of this mass movement to uphold tradition?

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Updated: January 18, 2017 3:26:13 PM

All eyes are on Chennai's famous Marina Beach which has become the hub of Jallikattu protests. TV reports suggest that there are over 12,000 people gathered there and crowds have surged after the late night vigil on Tuesday.

You can't help wondering about the rationale that triggers hundreds of college students to take to the streets to protest in support of Jallikattu. (PTI)You can?t help wondering about the rationale that triggers hundreds of college students to take to the streets to protest in support of Jallikattu. (PTI)

All eyes are on Chennai’s famous Marina Beach which has become the hub of Jallikattu protests. TV reports suggest that there are over 12,000 people gathered there and crowds have surged after the late night vigil on Tuesday.

You can’t help wondering about the rationale that triggers hundreds of college students to take to the streets to protest in support of Jallikattu. Typically, college students are associated with animal rights and human rights activism. This time, they are pitching for Jallikattu to be held and raising angry slogans against PETA and Centre.

“PETA, get out, PETA, get out” the angry students are shouting these slogans at Marina Beach.

“Don’t insult the tradition and beliefs of the ordinary Tamilian – you are insulting our society, splitting the unity of our people,” another youth is seen shouting on TV.

What is amazing about this jallikattu protest is that it is different. Given that the sentiments are running high, this has been a show of peaceful strength so far. You may be surprised to know that many students are seen cleaning up the litter at the beach and there are tweets which images which show this. So, we are dealing with a responsible student movement that is conscious of how they are conducting this movement – this is not a bunch of fanatical followers of a time-told tradition.

Be honest – how many times have you seen a massive students movement like this, pitching to uphold a time-old tradition that has been banned by the apex court?

[What Kamal Haasan meant when he said if you want a ban on jallikattu, ban biriyani]

It may be difficult for outsiders to understand the sentiments building up behind this movement but we can’t wish it away or have an ostrich-like approach to it. In fact, you can’t but help admire these students for coming out to Marina Beach to raise awareness about a cause they strongly believe in. They are passionate about jallikattu even if this means protesting in public against an apex court order!

[This SC court judgment on jallikattu calls the bluff on Kamal Haasan’s bull statement]

By being at the forefront of these peaceful demonstrations, the students are sending out a powerful message to the whole nation – that jallikattu isn’t just a sport but it is a Tamil way of life.

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