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All You Need to Know About the Sport of Jallikattu

Jallikattu is certainly a dangerous sports, which poses a risk of life for the participants

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banned bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu
Jallikattu sport of Tamil Nadu. Wikimedia

By Ruchika Verma

  • Jallikattu is a traditional Tamil sport
  • The sport involves bulls and humans, the latter trying to control the former
  • The sport was banned in 2014, which created lots of controversies

Jallikattu or Sallikkattu, also known as ‘eru thazhuvuthal’ and ‘manju virattu’ traditionally, was in news last year, around this time due to the ban imposed on it by the Supreme Court. The ban was much hyped and gathered a plethora of media’s attention.

Jallikattu ban was much hyped. Wikimedia Commons
Jallikattu ban was much hyped. Wikimedia Commons

Jallikattu ban has also garnered lots of political attention due to the involvement of Tamil Nadu and Central governments. The issue is much hyped due to the political context involved in it too.

What exactly is Jallikattu? 

Jallikattu is a traditional sport and spectacle in which bulls of the Pulikulam or Kangayam breeds are released into a crowd of people, and multiple human participants attempt to control the bulls while they try to escape.

Jallikattu is seen as animal cruelty by many activists. Flickr
Jallikattu is seen as animal cruelty by many activists. Flickr

Jallikattu is practised in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations. The districts, Madurai, Thanjavur, and Salem are the most famous for conducting Jallikattu. The game dates back to Tamil classical period, which went back to 400 BC. Ancient Tamil Sangam literature described the practice as ‘Yeru thazhuvuthal’ which literally means “bull embracing.” With time the sport has become synonymous with valour and bravery.

Also Read: Tamil Nadu legalises Jallikattu with a New Law

What happens in Jallikattu and how?

The bulls participating in the game are all lined up behind a narrow gate and released one by one into the arena. The participants have to either control the bull by holding its hump or clutch away from a flag attached to the horns. Owners of the bulls often announce prizes for the man who gets the hold of their bull.

The objective of the game is not to kill or overpower the bull, but to hold onto their hump for a certain amount of time or distance.

The participants are only allowed to hold onto the hump of the Bull. www.in.com
The participants are only allowed to hold onto the hump of the Bull. www.in.com

There are three variants to the game. First, when the bulls are released from an enclosed area. Second, when the bull is directly released into the open ground. And third, when the bull is tied to a rope as the only restriction, and a team of 7-9 members has to untie the prize from the bull’s horns in 30 minutes of the time period.

The gate through which bulls enter the arena is called Vadi Vasai. The bulls charge at the men standing most near to the gate. One of the rules also says that a participant is only allowed to hold bull’s hump and no other body part. The other rules vary from region to region.

Also Read: Animal rights organisations challenge new law on Jallikattu

Jallikattu Ban and Controversy

Jallikattu is certainly a dangerous sport, which poses a risk of life for the participants.

In 2014, The Supreme Court banned the sport, endorsing the activists’ concerns according to which, Jallikattu is not only cruelty towards the animal, but also poses a threat to humans. According to the data provided, between 2010 and 2014, 17 people were killed and approximately 1000 were injured during Jallikatu.

The Jallikattu ban was protests by many Tamilians.
The Jallikattu ban was protested by many Tamilians.

However, the ban invited a lot of protests. Many Tamil communities called this ban a violation of their culture and tradition.

In 2017, many lawyers plead to remove the ban which was rejected by the court. After requests and arguments of Tamil communities, central government reversed the ban, however, after Supreme Court struck the order down, the ban was imposed again. However, the government of Tamil Nadu sanctioned the sport and brought it back into the practice.

Next Story

Jewellery: An Intrinsic Part of Indian Culture

Jewellery buying is not just a luxury in India

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Jewellery
Jewellery has been an intrinsic part of Indian culture and no other country in the world shares a more rich history than us. Pixabay

BY ADITI ROY

Jewellery has been an intrinsic part of Indian culture and no other country in the world shares a more rich history than us. Gujarat-based heritage house Narayana Jewellers has been a prominent player in the domestic market who have evolved over time and has been a part of the spectacular history. IANSlife caught up with Ketan and Jatin Chokshi, owners of the label to talk more.

Excerpts:

Tell us something about the history and lineage of Narayana Jewellers?

Ketan and Jatin: 2020 is very special for us as a brand as it marks our 80th anniversary in jewellery retail business. Though we have been into fine jewellery business for more than 138 years now, the company was founded in the name of M/S Ambalal Chaturbhai Chokshi in 1940 by Mr. Ambalal Chaturbhai Chokshi in the city of Vadodara. My father Mr. Narendra Ambalal Chokshi joined the business in 1969 and in 1984. restructured the company and re-launched it as “Narayan Jewellers” and introduced Jadau and Diamond jewellery along with gold.

Jewellery
While earlier gold was the only jewellery option preferred during weddings, jadau and diamond jewellery have found its place in the market now. Pixabay

How your history/famous lineage helping you evolve in the current market scenario?

Ketan and Jatin: The brand’s lineage of 80 years and the trust it has built amongst its peers and clientele have strengthened our foothold in the market. We have been catering to the generations in families with our heirloom designs being passed over from one generation to the other. A systematic and engineered approach to design with a USP of not creating a second piece of same design has helped us be a market leader in the wedding jewellery segment in Gujarat while building new clientele.

The brand has received more than 24 awards and styled the best of Bollywood, Hollywood celebrities over last few years, expanded its retail store, been a part of national and international fashion weeks including NYFW for last 5 season, Lakme Fashion Week, FDCI Couture Week. Narayan Jewellers has kept evolving and innovating to be relevant to today’s generations.

How have you seen the Indian jewellery market evolve over time in terms of customer preferences, price-sensitivity, designs-choices

Ketan and Jatin: While there has been a lot of evolution in the domestic jewellery market over the years, what remains constant is that jewellery buying is just not a luxury in India. It is a necessity and is considered auspicious. While earlier gold was the only jewellery option preferred during weddings, jadau and diamond jewellery have found its place in the market now.

Design choices in wedding and non-wedding segments have evolved with online exposure to fashion and what is happening around the world.

Who are your main target audience? Are you planning to expand your audience base?

Ketan and Jatin: While wedding and luxury clients are the main target audience, we are looking at everyone who understands and wants to buy jewellery which is high on aesthetics, design with the right mix of raw material and rightly priced is our target audience.

Since, traditional Indian customers buy jewellery on seasonal basis (wedding, occasions, etc), what are the different ways you can diversify your products?

Ketan and Jatin: We have been seeing jewellery buying all across the years, though the sales are higher during wedding and festive season. We are working on capsule collections for daily wear and to celebrate special days like Valentine’s Day, Rakhi, Mother’s Day, etc.

Jewellery
Jewellery buying is just not a luxury in India. It is a necessity and is considered auspicious. Pixabay

Tell us something about your association with Sotheby’s and Christies.

Ketan and Jatin: We had worked with Sotheby’s for “Emeralds for Elephants” Campaign to save Elephants and their habitats and with Christie’s for Gemfields project Blossoming for Project Nanhi Kali to help raise funds for the education of less privileged girl child. Our designs were very well appreciated and we helped raise 25% of the total auction funds at Sotheby’s and 40% of the total funds raised at Christie’s.

What are your future expansion plans?

Ketan and Jatin: Marking our 80th year in the retail business, we are planning to expand both domestic and international markets.

Also Read- Bollywood Actress Katrina Kaif Shares a Few At-Home Workout Tips

Since you started a manufacturing facility for cutting and polishing of diamonds in Surat before joining the family business, are you planning to come up with a school or training institute for budding jewellery designers?

Ketan and Jatin: No. Not as of now. (IANS)