Friday, 20 January 2017

Jallikattu Is India's National Heritage

Jallikattu is a bull-taming or bull-embracing sport practised in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. Although this sport is practiced mainly by people from the Mukkulathor community, it is participated by everyone irrespective of communal or religious background in Tamil Nadu. Jallikattu is the pride of the Tamil people. It has now become the symbol of Tamil unity.

This sport originated in the Indus Valley civilisation about 4,000 years ago. According to the famous ephigraphist, Iravatham Mahadevan, a well preserved seal was found at Mohenjodaro in the 1930s. This seal shows a Jallikattu scene with a charging bull and several men thrown in the air as they try to control it.

Even in Hindu scriptures, there has been mentions of Krishna taming bulls. Most of these bull tamers or as we call today, Jallikattu players, come from martial communities in southern Tamil Nadu. 

In ancient times, those who were capable of being bull tamers were selected in the army of the kings. This is because the courage and skills displayed in Jallikattu is what exactly the army needed for its military raids. The act of stealing the enemy's cattle is the first act of provocation during war in ancient India.  

Although today the sport is not needed by the Indian army, it still plays an important role in our culture. Since only native bulls are used in Jallikattu, it helps to ensure that the native breeds are preserved. 

Jallikattu's connection with Indus Valley civilisation, Krishna and ancient Indian warfare shows that this sport is the identity of not just Tamil Nadu but the whole of India which sees the Indus Valley civilisation as its mother civilisation. 

The people of Tamil Nadu are the last society in India to preserve this sport. It has either been abandoned or forgotten by other Indians but continued to survive because of the Tamil people's determination. 

Jallikattu should be revived all over India. It must become a national sport conducted in a professional manner. Let there be arenas built all over India for the purpose of conducting Jallikattu. If that happens, it will create opportunities for tournaments or leagues to be held just like for cricket.

For this to happen, the ban on Jallikattu must be lifted immediately. Every Indian must stand in solidarity with the people of Tamil Nadu. They are the last guardians of this ancient sport.

This is India's national heritage. Not just Tamil Nadu heritage. 
Lets not kill it. Lets save Jallikattu!

PETA and its sympathisers can keep their opinion to themselves.
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