Jallikattu also known as eru thazhuvuthal and manju virattu is a bull taming sport during Pongal in Tamilnadu whose evidence was mentioned even in Sangam literature.
Controversy originated when central government added bull to the prohibited list of animals which cannot be trained for entertainment. SC upheld this decision in 2012.
Recently there were large scale demonstrations against the ban in TN especially in Chennai from all sections of people.
Situation is result of lack of effort from both state and central governments to saturate the issue at the earliest. After 2012, state government did not take sufficient measures to lift the ban. When the protests reached its peak, it hurriedly passed an ordinance against SC's ruling, which did not satisfy the protesters who could realize that ordinance valid for 6 months is only a temporary solution. Though Animal Welfare Board of India confirmed it is not going to challenge the ordinance by TN government, chances are very high that PCA may challenge it which might trigger the protests and start the problem all over.
Instead of making sure that the protests did not turn violent, government ordered the police to use force to evacuate people from Marina beach to make preparations for republic day. Instead of using the opportunity for constructive criticism, opposition also sought to aid the protests for it's political advantage.
What is more disturbing is the fact that there were anti national activities and slogans by supporters of LTTE. All this shows a clear lack of governance and strong leadership.
But the protests show a larger picture than just against banning Jallikattu.
Tamil Nadu has always been against the domination from North India in all aspects starting from demand in constituent assembly to block Hindi as national language to Dravida movement which reached its peak during 1960s to recent opposition to GST. Later because of strong leadership provided by DMK and AIADMK heads and state's ability to pioneer in many social welfare schemes, the movement got saturated to some extent. Again the insecurity started rising because of political vacuum created by the death of AIADMK leader Ms. J. Jayalalitha , DMK leader Karunanidhi's prolonged illness.
Other reasons: Because of various economic problems among youth, governments not had been able to provide sufficient relief to recent floods, TN's ever growing water crisis and center's attitude towards resolving Kaveri river water dispute between TN and KA.
So the frustrated youth and middle class especially, fed up with in-efficient governance and insecurity caused by political vacuum participated in the protests in large scale.
- Anusha Kolli