Jallikattu takes life: A look at how 2017 protests against ban on it made Tamil Nadu volatile

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Published: January 15, 2018 6:55:27 PM

A year after Jallikattu protests rocked Tamil Nadu, a 19-year-old youth lost his life because of the sport in Madurai on Monday

Jallikattu death in Madurai, Tamil NaduMadurai: Participants trying to tame a bull during the Palamedu Jallikattu in Madurai district on Monday. PTI Photo

A year after Jallikattu protests rocked Tamil Nadu, a 19-year-old youth lost his life because of the sport in Madurai on Monday, as per ANI. According to police, the incident happened at the end of the bull taming enclosure, which is also known as “collection point” – where bull owners tether the animals after they finish their run across the arena.

The deceased was identified as Kalimuthu. He had participated in the first round of the event. Madurai collector told CNN-News18 that the bull attacked Kalimuthu when he was playing with the animal outside the arena in an open space.

The bull-taming sports Jallikattu is played across Tamil Nadu as part of the harvest festival of Pongal celebrations. Last year, Jallikattu had grabbed national headlines following massive protests against the ban on the sports.

There was a widespread movement across Tamil Nadu, manifesting itself into not just a bid to save the 2000-year-old sporting tradition. Politics behind the protests was apparent on many occasions. The protests had taken place just when five states were set to go to polls. Interestingly, the protests also overshadowed many political games undergoing in the states that were going to poll then. However, on the face of it, the protests in 2017 in Tamil Nadu were organised by independent groups, student organisations and not organised political outfits – with politicians of hues jumping the gun with their statements.

The last year’s Jallikattu’s protests were sparked off by villagers of Alanganallur in Madurai on January 16 last year. Soon, people started gathering at Chennai’s Marina beach and the protests spread across the state like wildfire.

Before the protests, the Supreme Court had upheld its order to ban Jallikattu. The court had cited the violation of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Week-long protests had ended after the state government passed a bill to amend the PCA Act.

However, for Tamil Nadu, the Jallikattu protests were just one of the many protests that rocked the state in 2017. These included protests against ONGC for alleged water contamination, NEET, government’s apparent inaction in tracing missing fishermen after cyclone Ockhi. Protests by people against problems due to drought in Tamil Nadu had also reached New Delhi.

The year eventually ended with superstar Rajinikanth announcing his decision to form his own political party, cleanse the system.

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