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Jallikattu- T.N. govt. allows Jallikattu

Jallikattu- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 1: Indian History- Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

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Jallikattu- Context

  • Despite the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Tamil Nadu government recently allowed the conduct of Jallikattu, Manjuvirattu and Vadamadu.
  • Only 50% of the seating capacity can be filled, and the number of spectators at the Jallikattu event will be capped at 150 to ensure adherence to physical distancing norms.

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Jallikattu- Key Points

  • About: Jallikattu is a competitive sport in Tamil Nadu to honour bull owners who rear them for mating.
    • Jallikattu is a violent sport in which contestants try to tame a bull for a prize; if they fail, the bull owner wins the prize
    • Jallikattu is also referred by other names such as Yeruthazhuvuthal, Madu Pidithal, and Pollerudhu Pidithal.
  • Jallikattu Belt: Jallikattu is mostly popular in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu. This region is also known as the Jallikattu belt.
  • Timing: Jallikattu is celebrated during the Tamil harvest festival, Pongal (typical in the second week of January).

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Jallikattu- Importance in Tamil Culture

  • Preserving Native Bulls: Jallikattu is considered a traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure-breed native bulls.
    • At a time when cattle breeding is often an artificial process, conservationists and peasants argue that Jallikattu is a way to protect these male animals which are otherwise used only for meat if not for ploughing.
  • Respect among Natives: The owners of premium Jallikattu breed bulls command respect locally.
    • Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Barugur and Malai Maadu are among the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu.

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Jallikattu- Evolution of the Legal Battle

  • 2007: Animal Welfare Board of India and the animal rights group PETA moved petitions in the Supreme Court against Jallikattu as well as bullock cart races.
  • 2009: The Tamil Nadu government, however, worked its way out of the ban by passing a law in 2009, which was signed by the Governor.
  • 2011: Centre added bulls to the list of animals whose training and exhibition is prohibited.
  • 2014: the Supreme Court banned the bull-taming sport, ruling on a petition that cited the 2011 notification.
  • 2017: To nullify the 2014 order of SC, the Tamil Nadu government released an ordinance amending the central Act and allowing Jallikattu in the state.
    • This was later ratified by the President.
  • 2018 (Present Situation): the Supreme Court referred the Jallikattu case to a Constitution Bench, where it is pending now.


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