Legitimising Jallikattu, Kambala will increase acts of cruelty against animals

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New Delhi | Updated: January 28, 2017 6:45:29 PM

The description of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) as anti-India and anti-Hindu by saffron netizens is not surprising in a country which is patently regressing into the earlier centuries where animal rights are concerned.

For instance, the calls for legalising the bull-taming "sport" of Jallikattu, which is said to represent Tamil Nadu's tradition and culture, have been made since the late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's time. (PTI)For instance, the calls for legalising the bull-taming “sport” of Jallikattu, which is said to represent Tamil Nadu’s tradition and culture, have been made since the late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s time. (PTI)

The description of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) as anti-India and anti-Hindu by saffron netizens is not surprising in a country which is patently regressing into the earlier centuries where animal rights are concerned.

For instance, the calls for legalising the bull-taming “sport” of Jallikattu, which is said to represent Tamil Nadu’s tradition and culture, have been made since the late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s time.

If her interest was to bolster her political position via a show of respect for the “ancient” pastime, the reason why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sided with her — as also with the O. Panneerselvam government at present — is to forge a direct or indirect alliance with the ruling AIADMK in order to secure a foothold in the state’s politics.

That the issue of animal rights will take a back seat as a result of this entanglement of politics with culture is only to be expected.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has lost no time to exploit the heady mixture of electoral calculations — the assembly polls are just over a year away — and support for traditional sports by saying that the state will revive buffalo racing in line with the legitimisation of Jallikattu.

His enthusiasm for the “game” is starkly different from the government’s indifference to the problem of child marriage considering that Karnataka accounts for 23.2 per cent of all the underage marriages in the country.

There are reports that in line with the current trend in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, politicians elsewhere are preparing to breathe life into other such instances of fun and games even if these violate judicial diktats.

Among the currently outlawed sports which may be revived are bullock cart racing in Maharashtra, buffalo fights in Assam and cockfights in Andhra Pradesh.

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