Tuesday January 23, 2018
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SC says no to politicians’ photos on government ads; here’s what common man has to say

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Supreme Court has come up with a new guideline today, which prohibits the government and its agencies from using pictures of political leaders in government advertisements since it leads to promotion of a personality cult.

The bench, led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, has only allowed the use of photographs of the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, President and deceased leaders like Mahatma Gandhi for the advertisements.

The court stated that the use of photographs of political leaders not only leads to association of an individual with a project, but could also end up with a development of a personality cult, which is a direct injustice to democracy.

These advertisements are directed towards the public, therefore, it’s essential to know their opinions on this issue.

NewsGram asked the general masses whether the guidelines issued by Supreme Court are justified or not.

“I don’t understand how the Supreme Court tags this as an injustice to democracy? When a political leader is associated with a government scheme, the general people become aware that the person is the master-mind behind the scheme. Therefore, it becomes easier for the voters during elections to elect the rightful political leader. Through the use of photographs, these leaders make personal relations with the public,” said Shadab Malik, an entrepreneur.

While Shadab questioned the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court, Tanuj Mitra, a student, seemed to favor the guideline. He told NewsGram, “Indeed it’s an injustice to the democracy and often leads to dictatorship. We see all kinds of political leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalitha, Mayawati, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao in Telangana and now Modi being represented as cult figures by their blind followers. The important thing is to notice how SC would curb this representation of larger than life pictures. SC should also review what kind of an agenda is being set by these advertisements. Associating cult figures, like the Father of the Nation, would lead to trivialization of the idol figures and would impact the perception of those figures.”

“The SC should also analyze the visual discourse along with photographs, which leads the public course of action. The center as well as the state should be responsible enough to not mislead the public and misuse the freedom of speech and expression. The role of the public relation offices, which conducts such advertisements, should also be brought under the scanner,” Tanuj added.

Aparna Pathak, a computer science graduate, too supported the decision of the top court and told NewsGram, “I think there is no need of those smiling faces whose size is more than the main concern of the advertisements. It is done only for the sake of securing votes in future. These advertisements are merely used as assets by ministers to deceive public at the time of polls.”

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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 a lots of controversy

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 hyed 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 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 open ground. And third, when 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 time period.

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

Also Read : Animal rights organisations challenge new law on Jallikattu

Jallikattu Ban and Controversy

Jallikattu is certainly a dangerous sports, 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 protests by many Tamilians.

However, the ban invited a lots 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 stuck the order down, the ban was imposed again. However, the government of Tamil Nadu sanctioned the sport and brought it back into the practice.