Jallikattu or Bull Taming is the popular sport of Tamil Nadu is being conducted in various parts of the state as the grand Pongal celebrations. It is an important and traditional game for Tamils which gives enthusiasm and excitement among youngsters across the state. It is also known as Eru Thazhuvuthal or Manju Virattu where the people will grab the large bump on the bull’s back with arms to take control over them.
The man who holds its bump for long enough or at the certain distance will be announced as the winner. He gets the price from the owner of the bull or the committee will honor him with prizes.
On the occasion of Pongal festival, Jallikattu is organized in villages in various forms. There are several forms including Veli Jallikattu, Vadivasal Jallikattu and Vadam Jallikattu.
Vadivasal Jallikattu – It is a common type that is followed in most of the place. The participants should hold their arms tightly around the bull’s bump. At a time one participant can hold and tame the bull. The time and distance they manage to control the bull is considered as winning point.
Veli Jallikatttu – Bulls will be released in a ground without any restriction and can move freely anywhere. These bulls should be controlled and tamed by the participants. The same way of Vadivasal Jallikattu is followed here too.
Vadam Jallikattu – The bull will be tied with 49 ft rope. The team of participants are given 30 minutes time to untie the gift token tied in the bull’s horn.
Jallikattu is one of the most honored and a game of bravery conducted by Tamil people over 3000 years. But the game had been banned by the Supreme Court for last two years followed by an animal welfare organization PETA had filed a case against the game reasoned as the bull’s are being tortured and misused in the game. Hence last year on January 18, the people of Tamil Nadu and youngsters all around Tamil Nadu had rolled up their sleeves for an historical protest against the order of SC. The Tamil People in foreign countries also gathered hands to the protesters protesting in the TN. Soon the protest had spread to every Tamils allover the world.
Youngsters from every part of Tamil Nadu gathered at Marina beach to mark their protest to lift the ban of Jallikattu has made the whole nation to down their eyes toward Tamil Nadu. This event has taken its own place of honor in the history of Tamil Nadu. The government of TN had passed an immediate amendment bill to lift the ban of jallikattu after a week. This huge victory has not been celebrated across the state as police made lathi charge over the young protestors on the final day of protest.
After the amendment passed by the government places like Alanganallur, Avanyapuram, Paalamedu had conducted Jallikattu legally last year. As the protest created a huge impact in the hearts of Tamils, people started to focus towards the culture of petting Bulls and cows. Many people had avoided the packed milk products and started to maintain cows and bulls in their house.
Now the ban over the Jallikattu was completely lifted up by the Supreme Court and jallikattu was being conducted all over TN with usual protection and rules. On January 18 lot of youngsters had gathered at marina beach to mark the one year anniversary of the historical Jallikattu protest.
This year Jallikattu was conducted in many places of Tamil Nadu following some usual rules for both the bulls and the players prescribed by the jallikattu organizers. Some of them are, health of Bulls that are emerging out from the Vadi Vasal should be maintained perfectly, the horns of the bulls should be maintained to prevent the injuries to the player, there should not be any flower garland outfits on the bulls or any type of shoe in the toes of the bulls. Important rules for the players is "one bull must be tamed by one player, if more than one player involved in taming a bull then it will be announced that the bull is the winner. These type of rules were also followed in the last year’s jallikattu.
Here we are about to see some exciting news of the jallikattu conducted at Rachandhar Thirumala (R T Malai) of Karur district on this year Pongal.
1. R.T.Malai jallikattu started from 8:00 AM and ended at 4:00 PM following the court order, nearly 370 bulls are left to emerge out from Vaadi Vaasal.
2. Only the bulls which passed the formal test conducted by the organizers are admitted in to the vaadi vaasal. Tests like health of the bull, alcoholic content or any addictive chemicals in the blood stream of the bull are conducted by the team of experts.
3. The festival was inaugurated by Transport Minister M.R.Vijayabaskar on morning 8:00 AM.
4. Bulls are marked by paints and numbers to prevent the un-tested bulls in to the vaadi vassal.
5. The doctors who are appointed for the conduction of tests for the bull have arrived on morning 6:00 AM and returned back on 11:00 PM.
6. Though the prizes and gifts for the player and bulls seem cheap in rate, many of them participated to prove their bravery and honor and they didn’t expect any prizes from the organization.
7. Lot of prizes were given to the owners of the bulls which can’t be tamed by the players. It was the one of the biggest honors for the owners and the players who tamed the bulls which can’t be tamed by anyone for the years.
8. The players who participated in the taming are not only the professional tamers; teachers, computer engineers and some government officers are also taken part in the taming.
According to the people, the rules that are followed by the jallikattu organizers are most welcomed. If these types of rules are not followed then there will be lot of injuries and deaths. After the amendment of some strict rules, the people have witnessed the decrease of injuries to the bulls and death of players in this year’s jallikattu.